Minutes of the APSUO Steering Committee Meeting

Held on July 22, 2003, at Argonne National Laboratory


J. Andrew, M. Capel, L. Chen, D. Cookson, J. Cross, S. Durbin, M. Gibson, S. Ginell, H. Grunder (welcome only), G. Ice, L. Keefe, D. Mills, M. Rivers, J. Rose, B. Ruzicka, S. Strasser, M. Vigliocco-Hagen, and P. Zschack.

Presenters (lunch time sector overviews):

K. Attenkofer, E. Dufresne, D. Haeffner, J. Linton, L. Lurio, I. McNulty, and G. Srajer.

Dr. Herman Grunder, Director of Argonne Laboratory, welcomed the group and indicated that this group's input to the APS is very valuable. He commented that "the APS Users are the treasures of the laboratory, and many people will reap the benefits of the science they are conducting. "

Routine Business:

Steve Durbin welcomed the new members to the first meeting. He indicated that the meeting would devote time to electing a new vice-chair, follow up on the last APS User's Meeting, and begin planning for the 2004 meeting.

The minutes from the May 1, 2003, Steering Committee meeting were approved as written.

APS Highlights:

Murray Gibson briefed the group on the publication output for the APS and reminded them of what can be included in these statistics. Conference proceedings and theses are perfectly acceptable to be included in this count. The publication output is a primary measurement of user/facility/scientific accomplishment.

The bending magnet beamline has been funded by BES for Sector 11. Commissioning and Operations will be done by APS. The beamline will operate as a general user beamline.

The results of the 2003 user survey show that over 85% of users are satisfied with APS performance, service, and scheduling, while 79% are satisfied with support from CAT staff. 73% are satisfied with support from APS staff. Response rate to the survey was low with only 356 responses.

Gibson also discussed the Partner User (PU) Program. It is anticipated that partner users will do great science and add to the facility and general users in some way by building and/or operating a beamline or endstation or developing a new user community. Our CATs are an important and continuing example. APS will be offering more partner user flexibility in the future. This flexibility will be key to the success of the program.

The Partner User Policy has now been endorsed by the Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) and is now on the web. Eighteen PU proposals have been received for sectors 1-4, 7, 8, 11, and 12. They are currently being evaluated by a SAC subcommittee, with the APSUO chair as a member.

The Sector Review Panels (SRPs) conduct one-day reviews, which include an oral overview and scientific presentations by sector personnel, a tour of the sector, and a closeout with sector management. The panel prepares a report of findings for transmittal to the sector management shortly after the review. The Scientific Advisory Committee reviews the report of findings and provides final recommendations to the APS/ALD. The APS/ALD makes the final decision on sector renewal and time allocations. The next reviews are scheduled for September (MR- and PNC-CATs) and November (IMM- and ChemMatCARS-CATs).

BES-funded sectors: Sectors 7 and 8 are receiving $600K support and are offering 50% of time to General Users in FY2003. Sectors 11 and 12 are receiving full operational support, are integrated into APS, and are operating under a transition plan. Sector 20 is also receiving $600K and offering 50% of time to General Users in FY2003. A new group has been structured into the Experimental Facilities Division. Jin Wang will lead this new Time-Resolved Group.

A Collaborative Development Team (CDT) is similar to a CAT during the construction and commissioning phase. (The IXS CDT MOU signing is imminent.) A transition plan is then submitted by the team when the beamline enters the operations phase. The nano and powder diffraction beamlines will be CDTs.

The President's budget for FY2004 has the APS at $94.5M. The House has voted for an additional $8M in BES for facilities operations, while the Senate is at the President's budget level for BES. User advocacy in this area is invaluable.

The University of Chicago Review is tentatively scheduled for September 17-19, 2003. The entire APS will be reviewed.

Operations Update:

Bill Ruzicka presented an update on the APS Operations Division. AOD is adding personnel to increase user support for technical interface, safety, and policy and planning. A new group, User ESH Group, will be responsible for all aspects of user program safety. The Beamline Technical Support Group will facilitate the research efforts of the APS user community, will act as the APS point of contact for APS/user technical interface issues, and will support the AOD Division in the development of user technical support.

Ruzicka told the group that a 24-bunch mode with uniform fill pattern with 24 equally spaced bunches could happen as early as July 30. Information on this will go out to all sectors this week. A 23 singlet fill pattern was originally designed as a compromise between users request for uniform fill pattern and limitation of accelerator systems, requiring dead time upstream of the bunch to be sampled.

A survey form for Sample Preparation and Characterization Lab will be forthcoming. Results of this survey will be shared. It was also suggested that a listing of equipment that could be shared with others be published.

Ruzicka introduced the idea of the College of DuPage conducting training on Machine Shop Safety. The Machine Shop Safety Program will provide training and information on how to protect users from shop and machine hazards. It will also ensure that standard operating procedures are in place for machinery and equipment use and all work is performed in accordance with applicable regulatory requirements. The training will be conducted through lectures, hands-on training, and via the Internet. After completing this training, the Machine Shop Coordinator will be able to train others.

A brief overview was given on the OSHA inspection that was conducted at ANL. Of the 967 hazards identified by the OSHA team at ANL, 22 of them were identified at the APS. With the exception of one, all of the APS observations have been abated. The OSHA team of inspectors was favorably impressed with the general housekeeping and condition of the work places. They were most impressed with the positive attitude and responsiveness of all the individuals with whom they spoke.

General User Program Overview:

Dennis Mills presented an overview of the General User Program Status and Highlights. The new centralized General User Program has been accepting proposals for two runs (2003-1 and 2003-2). The deadline for General Users proposals for the running period of 2003-3 is August 1, 2003. Thirty-five beamlines are currently participating, with 4 or 5 more expected to join in the next fiscal year. In FY 2004, there will be approximately 8,000 shifts to allocate (this is a change from the meeting handout where it was stated that "in 2003-3, there will be ……").

Program enhancements include the creation of a General User Program Advisory Committee, the addition of a macromolecular crystallography proposal review panel (PRP), the addition of more reviewers for the Condensed Matter PRP, and the introduction of a paperless Experiment Safety Analysis Form (ESAF) procedure. Major changes to the GUP interface include allowing multiple requests during the same run (e.g., for scattering and absorption on different beamlines), rapid access requests on program proposals, and establishing "pool of available proposals" that beamlines can use to fill unexpected gaps in schedule.

The new GUP Advisory Committee has been established to provide guidance to APS management on general user issues. This committee will be chaired by Denny Mills with Lisa Keefe and Thomas Gog as members. Susan Strasser and Steve Durbin, as APSUO Chair, will be ex officio members. Mills asked that any questions or concerns about the GUP program be brought to his attention or discussed with members of the committee.


During the lunch break, representatives from various sectors gave overviews of their sector to help the steering committee stay informed about user issues and help the group get a more complete picture of the user enterprise and to give them a chance to discuss issues that may be important to the user community. Presenters at this meeting and the sector they represent are shown below.

Sector 1 - Dean Haeffner
Sector 2 - Ian McNulty
Sector 3 - Ercan Alp
Sector 4 - George Srajer
Sector 7 - Eric Dufresne
Sector 8 - Larry Lurio
Sector 11 - Klaus Attenkofer
Sector 12 - Jennifer Linton
Sector 20 - Julie Cross

Executive Session:

The committee nominated members to serve as vice chair of the APSUO Steering Committee. The position is very important in that the individual elected will serve as the planner for the 2004 User Meeting to be held May 3-6, 2004. Mark Rivers was elected as the new Steering Committee vice chair.

The group reviewed the minutes from the 12th User Meeting De-briefing Meeting held on May 13, 2003. The minutes offered some good "lessons learned" that will be incorporated into the planning for the next meeting.

The plan is to maintain the basic framework that has worked well in the past - Tuesday (Workshops), Wednesday (Open Meeting), and Thursday (Workshops). Durbin suggested that subgroups be formed to plan for the workshops. Steering Committee members and the three subgroups are shown below:

Malcolm Capel - Life Science
Lin Chen - Nano Science
David Cookson - Nano Science
Julie Cross - General Science
Steve Durbin - General Science
Steve Ginell - Life Science
Gene Ice - General Science
Lisa Keefe - Life Science
Mark Rivers - General Science
John Rose - Life Science
Sunil Sinha - General Science
Carol Thompson - Nano Science
Paul Zschack - Nano Science

Each member was asked to think about speakers for the open meeting. Work should start soon in getting speakers and workshops lined up.

Other user meeting issues discussed were a possible alternative to the Compton Award for the next meeting and whether the registration fee should be raised. These issues will be discussed further.

Also discussed was the possibility of recognizing graduate students in some special way. Members were asked to think this over and offer suggestions at the next meeting.

Other News:

A workshop on a common interface for crystallography users was discussed. The workshop will be a one-day event sometime after October and before Christmas. Keefe and Ginell were asked to put together a "road map"/agenda for the workshop.

Paul Zschack summarized the latest Appropriations Bill. The House passed the bill and increased it $8 million over what the President requested. The Senate appropriation has stayed at the President's level. Member of congress should be approached now and should be urged to allow the same $8 million that the House did,

It was decided that David Cookson should continue to attend the APS Operations Meeting.

Next Meeting:

The next APSUO Steering Committee Meeting will be held on Thursday, October 9, 2003, at 9:00 A.M. in Building 401, Room A5000.