Minutes of the APSUO Steering Committee Meeting

Held on July 8, 1999, at Argonne National Laboratory


C. Abad-Zapatero, R. Alkire, S. Dierker, P. Fenter, S. Heald, E. Isaacs, D. Mills, C. Pittroff, W. Schildkamp, G. Shenoy (APS Update and Close Out only), G. Srajer, S. Strasser, and J. Tischler (ex officio)

Routine Business:

Minutes of the April 15, 1999, meeting were approved and action items reviewed. The topic of how TWG reports are acted upon and how those actions can potentially affect the user community was added to the APS Update.

APS Update and Reports:

APS Update: Gopal Shenoy reviewed current statistics for operational performance, reporting that operational parameters are on target with facility goals. Availability has been running at 97%. The machine is currently operating in singlets mode with two fills per day (8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.), with a 10-minute test of top-up operation conducted during the morning fill. Shenoy noted that the sources of machine faults are reviewed weekly at CAT Chat.

The biggest recent issue has been the shift to singlets operation. The Technical Working Group's (TWG) timing subgroup studied timing issues and recommended singlets as the operating mode for the facility. (The APSUO SC noted that there is currently no formal process by which the recommendations of a TWG subgroup are translated into actions on the part of the APS.) Operation with singlets allows both typical experiments and timing experiments to be performed. It was assumed that there would be no change in ring lifetime. However, when the vertical coupling had to be decreased in order to improve injection efficiency, an unexpected loss in lifetime occurred. It has been estimated that there is a 20% loss of photons at any given beamline as a result of the decreased lifetime. Additionally, the beam appears to be less stable. The situation is being studied by the APS, and various potential solutions are being evaluated.

APSUO SC members discussed at length the impact of singlets operation on their work, as well as other operations-related topics (e.g., top-up tests). It was suggested that an electronic newsletter (sent to badged users) might be a good medium to disseminate both current and planned operations information of this nature. The group discussed potential formats for such a newsletter (e.g., regular, periodic distribution or on an as-needed basis) and possible sources for the information/topics covered by the newsletter. Additionally, a strong sentiment was expressed that the reduced lifetime and related issues need to be resolved in a timely manner.

Shenoy briefly reviewed the current status of DOE FY 2000 funding. The requested budget for the APS is $107M, and the Presidential budget is $87.7M (compared to the FY 1999 numbers of $106.6M and $87.3M, respectively). The actual FY 1999 funding was $86.2M. It is likely that the budget allocation process for FY 2000 may continue through August and September.

Shenoy next reviewed the funding status for several CATs. Funding for COM-CAT's infrastructure behind the shield wall is being paid for by the State of Illinois. For SER- and HP-CATs, the APS can provide the undulator magnets and the frame, but as yet has no funding for the front ends. The APS has sent a proposal to NIH requesting funding for front ends and a LOM. NIH indicates that their FY 2000 budget must be resolved before they can address the proposal. Two more CATs (in the area of biological sciences) have approved scientific cases. When they complete their remaining requirements and sign Memorandums of Understanding, they, too, will require front ends and insertion devices.

Shenoy provided a detailed look at the recent APS reorganization. Added to the original XFD and ASD divisions are two additional divisions, the APS Operations Division and the User Program Division. Shenoy noted that the reorganization accomplished the transition from a facility focused on construction to a facility geared toward providing a robust management system aimed at maintaining excellent operations to support user scientific goals. The original two divisions were too large (the largest at ANL) to manage effectively. The new structure is also designed to effectively handle future strategic initiatives and planning, to balance the work load, to develop and manage an extended user community, and to build flexibility in the staff and facility. Shenoy noted that the APS' goals are to generate capabilities at the APS that will enhance user science and to lay ground work to support the future user community (e.g., fourth-generation development). Shenoy reviewed the top levels of the new organization and explained the rationale behind its development. He indicated that the APS is currently working through the transition with a target date of October 1, 1999, set for completion. As soon as the new organizational chart has been finalized, copies will be distributed to the Steering Committee.

The draft DOE rules on conference fees were discussed. The new rules apply only to DOE-sponsored and DOE contractor-sponsored events (e.g., the Tenth Users Meeting) and state that no registration fees can be collected from DOE employees or DOE contractor employees for those events. Funds to cover allowable conference costs might be inter- and intralab transferable; these options are being investigated. Unallowable expenses (e.g., refreshments, banquets, and "give aways") cannot be supported by the labs. Because of this, DOE and DOE contractor employees will have to pay for lunches and banquet fees out of per diem funds. (It should be noted that no per diem funds are provided for conferences less than 50 miles from a home institution.) If a conference is sponsored by a non-government organization, all-inclusive fees can then be paid for by the laboratory.

APS Independent Investigator program: Susan Strasser reported that most of the current APS CATs are now conducting experiments. She discussed the APS policy on Independent Investigators (IIs) and reviewed the criteria by which CATs declare themselves "operational." Strasser reviewed the II Program Questionnaire (included in the meeting packets) and told the group that all CAT Directors have been asked to complete the form to facilitate planning for the future.

Executive Session:

Tenth Users Meeting planning: In light of the new DOE rules on conference fees, the group recognized that industry sponsorship of reception(s) should be considered. Strasser indicated that she has not yet looked into banquet locations; the group expressed support for holding the banquet at the Adler Planetarium, if possible.

Workshop organizers and a possible workshop layout for the Tenth Users Meeting (10 UM) were discussed at length. The following is a summary of the suggested topics and organizers:


Day/Time Slot
Prelim. Description
Potential Organizer(s)

APS 101

1/2 day

Tuesday a.m.

repeat of past workshop format

Efim Gluskin?

APS 201

1/2 day

Tuesday p.m.

developmental advances and innovations, microfocus

Ian McNulty?

Biological Studies for the 21st Century

full day Tuesday

a.m. & p.m.

structural genomics
supermolec. aggregates
drug design
non-cryst. bio materials
time-resolved imaging

Jack Johnson?
Janet Smith?


1/2 day Thursday


environmental remediation

Ken Kemner?
Steve Sutton?

Time Resolved and Speckle

1/2 day Thursday


pulse-probe work

Phil Bucksbaum?
Lin Chen?
Denny Mills?

The APS 201 workshop was proposed to further facilitate technology transfer from SRI-CAT with respect to the development of innovative instrumentation, etc.

Eric Isaacs will solicit organizers for the proposed slate of workshops. The poster session is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday evening, perhaps combined with a reception at the Argonne Guest House. The student poster award(s) will be announced on Wednesday before the User Science session.

Astrobiology was suggested as a general science talk idea, possibly given by speaker Ken Nealson, Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Other speakers suggested included the head of the NIH and Pat Dehmer (perhaps speaking on the theme of interagency cooperation with synchrotron research). The group agreed that the science talks can wait until October for further discussion to see what topics are on the leading edge of research.

APS Doctoral Fellowship program: Depending on the status of the program at the time of the Users Meeting, an announcement will be made at the meeting about the fellowship program. If the funding for the fellowship (which will require a four-year commitment) comes from an industrial source, the name of the fellowship might have to reflect the name of the sponsor. DOE funds are currently being discussed for the program. The group agreed that other funding opportunities still need to be pursued.

Compton Prize draft announcement and schedule: The draft announcement of the APS Compton Award was approved.

APS operations scheduling statement: The scheduling statement should be placed as a link on the long-range schedule page and on the APSUO home page.

Close Out: Steve Dierker reviewed topics discussed during the Executive Session and outlined the action items.

Next Meeting:

The next meeting of the APSUO Steering Committee will be held Thursday, October 28, 1999.

Action Items:

  1. Distribute copies of the new APS organization chart to the APSUO SC when the new organization is finalized. (S. Strasser)
  2. Investigate the options for implementing an electronic newsletter. (S. Strasser)
  3. Prepare a draft first flyer for the Tenth Users Meeting for review at the next meeting. (S. Strasser)
  4. Draft an application form, a description of a review/selection process, a call for applications, and a first brochure for the APS Doctoral Fellowship program for review at the next meeting. (S. Strasser)
  5. Continue to search for additional funding sources for the APS Doctoral Fellowship Program (E. Isaacs)
  6. Note on either the APSUO home page or on the APS schedules page that the draft schedules are presented to the Research Directorate for comment. (S. Strasser)
  7. Post the APS operations scheduling statement on the APSUO home page and on the APS long-range schedules page. (S. Strasser)