Minutes of the APSUO Steering Committee Meeting
Held on October 9, 2003, at Argonne National Laboratory
J. Andrew, M. Capel, L. Chen, D. Cookson, J. Cross, S. Durbin, R. Gerig, M. Gibson, S. Ginell, L. Keefe, R. Klaffky, D. Mills, M. Rivers, J. Rose, B. Ruzicka, S. Strasser, C. Thompson, M. Vigliocco-Hagen, and P. Zschack.
Presenters (lunch time sector overviews):
R. Alkire, W. Anderson, K. Brister, M. Capel, J. Chrzas, T. Irving, L. Keefe, K. Moffat, W. Smith, and S. Wasserman.
Steve Durbin welcomed the group and indicated that the meeting would devote time to discussion of a proposed Life Sciences Beamline Controls and Interface Workshop, APS Updates, as well as to plan for the 2004 Users Meeting.
After the addition of two names to the list of lunchtime presenters, the minutes from the 07/22/2003 steering committee meeting were approved.
Murray Gibson reported that the APS had 2,767 unique users in FY 2003, a 20% increase from the previous year. The University of Chicago review that was conducted in September was very successful. The budget is still in continuing resolution.
Gibson addressed the XOR sectors and whether or not the conversion of BES sectors has led to more users. He reported that there has been a healthy increase in user numbers on sectors 7, 8, and 20, with staff increases on each sector as well. There has been positive feedback from users regarding support.
Another area Gibson addressed was the 20-year plan and getting community buy-in. Phases I and II will deal with maximizing beamline operations, as well as maximizing source capabilities from 2004 through 2014. Phases III and IV (2010--2023) will be devoted to a next generation facility and a super storage ring that would involve a one-year shutdown in 2018. The Partner User Council will play a role in determining possible directions for the rebuilding of beamlines, and the APSUO will be very beneficial in facilitating a dialog to represent user needs and desires (perhaps through a retreat in the next 6-9 months). The Partner User Proposal system will play and important role by providing more flexibility and more user community involvement in new initiatives.
In the area of special operating modes, Gibson stated that the evaluation of science for special modes is done by the Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) through the sector review process. Since each sector is only reviewed every three ears, this could present a problem. The Technical Working Group (TWG) should also be involved in this process.
Gibson spoke of the new personnel at Argonne National Laboratory and the Advanced Photon Source. Gabrielle Long has been named as an Associate Division Director for the Experimental Facilities Division (XFD). She will head the XOR, which includes all beamline research and operations. Eric Isaacs has been appointed as the Director of the Center for Nanoscale Materials (CNM) at Argonne and will work closely with the APS. A nanoprobe beamline will be operated jointly by APS and CNM.
Gibson stated that Mohan Ramanathan has been appointed as the Critical Components Systems Manager and will approve all work on critical components in beamlines and front ends. Sector 23-ID (dual canted undulator) front end has undergone an independent safety review with the result that the installed components will be modified to follow well-established APS practices. Clearer procedures will be developed for the review of new designed of any critical components in the future.
New Operating Modes:
Roger Klaffky briefed the group on the 324 singlets, low emittance lattice, as well the 23 singlets, high emittance lattice modes. A 24-bunch mode will be operational next week.
Access Issues for Non-U.S. Citizen APS Users:
Susan Strasser outlined the user facility access procedures, as well as the United States access processes that are required for non-U.S. Citizen entry and the problems encountered by all DOE facilities. The APS currently has over 5,800 badged users, 47% of which are non-U.S. citizens with 18% of those from sensitive countries. FY2003 figures fall right in line with those statistics with 2,767 unique users and 1,290 of those users as non-U.S. citizens.
The APS goal is to minimize the inconveniences for users in the area of facility access. Along those lines, Strasser will attend a meeting in late October at Brookhaven National Laboratory with other DOE facility administrators and State Department officials. This meeting will focus on the difficulties that face our foreign national users and what can be done to help these individuals.
Strasser urged the group to tell users to register as far in advance as possible to help eliminate some of the problems encountered through this access process.
General User Program Update:
Dennis Mills gave the group an update on the General User Proposal process and the improvements that have been realized since the centralized system's inception. Since there is no accurate "pre-centralization data," quantifiable improvements are difficult to gauge. The new system was designed to provide easier, wider, and more fair access to general users. The centralized proposal system has met those design goals. The system has also relieved CAT management from proposal submission and review processes. Also, the number of user shifts available to general users has increased, but that is due more to a change in policy related to APS support of BES beamlines than to the centralized general user program.
Mills indicated that in order to collect better feedback about the program, a new End-of-Experiment Form (EEF) is being developed with a planned implementation date of 01/04. A draft of the form will be introduced to the Partner User Council at its next meeting.
During the lunch break, representatives from various Life Sciences 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. Presenters at this meeting and the sector they represent are shown below:
-- Keith Moffat
Sector 14 -- Keith Brister
Sector 17 -- Lisa Keefe
Sector 18 -- Tom Irving
Sector 19 -- Randy Alkire
Sector 21 -- Wayne Anderson
Sector 22 -- John Chrzas
Sector 23 -- Ward Smith
Sector 24 -- Malcolm Capel
Sector 31 -- Steve Wasserman
Life Science Workshop discussion:
The presenters were asked to remain to help plan the Life Sciences Beamline Controls and Interface Workshop to be held later this year.
Durbin distributed copies of letters that were sent from a Consortium of Science User Groups to senators and congressmen in the various appropriations subcommittees whose efforts could help increase FY04 facilities funding.
Mark Rivers talked about the plans for the 2004 User Meeting for the APS to be held May 3--6, 2004. Rivers will be sending out an explicit invitation within the next few days to the PUC and user community for suggestions for workshop and user meeting speakers. Rivers also provided a listing of workshop topics that were discussed over the past few years, and it was determined that perhaps a techniques/instrumentation workshop or an automation and sample environment workshop would be in order for the next meeting. There is no need to restrict the workshop to a life science workshop. Several award alternatives were discussed -- a Young Investigator Award, a Best Thesis Award. This will be discussed further.
In regard to the End-of-Experiment Form discussed earlier, the group felt that this should be enforced with General Users, but it should be made easy.
The next APSUO Steering Committee Meeting will be held on January 15, 2004.