Minutes of the APSUO Steering Committee Meeting
July 22, 2004
Argonne National Laboratory

Attendees: K. Brister, M. Capel, J. Cross, S. Durbin, P. Fernandez, R. Gerig, J.M. Gibson, S. Ginell, T. Gog, T. Graber, G. Ice, R. Klaffky, G. Long, D. Mills, M. Rivers, B. Ruzicka, W. Smith, S. Strasser, E. Streets, C. Thompson, R. Torres, and M. Vigliocco-Hagen

Lunchtime Presenters: J. Chrzas, S. Heald, J. Quintana, J. Rose, and P. Zschack

Routine Business:
The minutes from the May 6, 2004, steering committee meeting were approved with one correction. Mark Rivers will serve temporarily as the APSUO representative at the Ops Directorate Meetings instead of David Cookson.

APS Update:
J. Murray Gibson gave the group an update on various APS issues. The final FY 2004 budget for APS included an additional $3.4 M to build the shell for LOM 437. If the President's budget is passed, the APS will be able to manage in FY 05, but a significant increase in FY 06 budget will be necessary for the APS to maintain an acceptable level of operations. The overall outlook for a discretionary budget is gloomy. Regarding the administration and FY 06 and beyond, the interagency working group (IWG) chaired by Pat Gallagher is the best hope for operational and instrument funding increases for synchrotron facilities. The IWG will review operating models and needs; deal with issues regarding regional needs; and provide an opportunity for facilities to articulate new missions, additional responsibilities, and the need to support/encourage partnering. Gibson asked the steering committee members to look over the information about this new group and its responsibilities and offer comments.

With respect to BES CAT transitions, in FY 05 the APS can expect to provide almost full support for PNC (Sector 20) with the only exception being the Canadian Partner User Project (D. Crozier, 15% beamtime). APS will be providing full support for MHATT (Sector 7) and IMM (Sector 8) in FY 05. BESSRC (Sectors 11 and 12) will also be fully supported with the last transition in FY 05. CMC-CAT (Sector 9) will begin transition in FY 05. Possible transition of UNI-CAT (Sectors 33 & 34) is being discussed for FY 06.

A recent review of Sectors 1-4 identified the need for scientific and instrument specialization. The partner user process will be examined at upcoming SAC meeting.

Other areas discussed included exploration of a 1296-bunch mode and examination of sector-specific beta functions. There is a plan to call for proposals for second undulators. In addition, the APS is pursuing the development of a superconducting undulator and other novel IDs.

Gibson discussed the Strategic Planning Meeting to be held on September 2-3, 2004, at Lake Geneva , WI . Steering committee members were invited to attend.

User Support:
Patricia Fernandez gave an update on the AOD Experiment Operations Support Group. This group was formed in April 2004 by the merger of the Experiment Floor Operations and Beamline Technical Support groups. Consolidating these resources allows AOD to more efficiently and effectively evolve toward a model of enhanced user support. The mission of the group is to facilitate the efficient, productive, and safe use and operation of the beamline-based research facilities. In support of this mission, the EOS group provides technical support to APS users and the groups that operate the beamlines. It also provides points of contact to interface the APS users to the support services of the APS amd ANL. Safety oversight of user operations for the APS is also provided. A detector pool has been established and plans for an equipment pool are coming along. Expanded/new user services include enhanced shipping support, emergency after-hours access to detector pool equipment, assistance with beamline construction, and manufacturing support. Other opportunities for expanded or new user services are to provide sector specific orientation for new users, assist the resident beamline personnel in supporting their General Users, provide assistance on ESAFs and chemical waste management, help manage beamline improvement and/or modification work, and assist with electronics/equipment repairs.

Overview and Status of the General User Program:
Denny Mills gave the attendees an overview of the General User Program which officially began with Run 2003-1. For 2004-3, 38 beamlines are currently participating in the GU Program. Since the program began ~1,700 proposals have been submitted with multiple beam time requests against many of these. Future plans include the development of a mail-in crystallography model, the implementation of SGX Service Model to meet GUP obligation, and service crystallography with a slightly different approach from ChemMat CARS with implementation planned for sometime in FY05. Mills asked the APSUO to establish a review committee to examine the present system and recommend improvements.

Proprietary Research Update:
Mills then highlighted provisions of the draft proprietary research policy and invited final comments. In response to questions about the status of COM-CAT, Mills indicated that the Request for Proposals has been left open for the time being.

Strategic Planning Workshops:
Gopal Shenoy discussed the scope and structure of nine Strategic Planning Workshops being held in 2004, the last four of which will be presented at the Strategic Planning Meeting in Lake Geneva , September 1-3, 2004. Shenoy invited the members of the APSUO Steering Committee to attend this meeting. These workshops will elicit frontier problems in a given research area, resulting in a white paper outlining opportunities for new research.

Working Lunch/Sector Presentations:
The following CATs made brief status reports: PNC-CAT, UNI-CAT , NE -CAT, SERCAT, LS-CAT, and CMC-CAT.

Steering Committee Business:
1) Election of a Vice Chair:
Carol Thompson was elected Vice Chair for 2005.

2) General User Program Evaluation Process
The GUP is requesting a review of its processes after a two-year period of operation. Since the GUP was originally developed by a subcommittee of the APSUO, it was asked to organize and conduct the review. Steering Committee members Keith Brister, Steve Ginell, Thomas Gog, and Tim Graber volunteered to serve on this committee. Mark Rivers will serve as an ex-officio member.

3) Visit to Washington , DC ; User Advocacy
Steve Durbin reported on a visit to DC by four BES synchrotron facility user organization representatives, who met with staff members of legislators and also executive branch members of the Office of Management and Budget.

4) Update on Structural Biology Collaborative Project
Malcolm Capel said that many elements have been standardized, and the project plans to develop a white paper defining these elements, including remote access and graphical user interfaces.

5) 2004 User Meeting Retrospective
By all metrics, the meeting was judged a success. Steve Ginell would have preferred that sessions all start at the same time. There was some question about whether grouping of techniques into a single session was good practice.

6) 2005 User Meeting Planning
By the next meeting of the APSUO Steering Committee, Carol Thompson hopes to have selected chairs for the workshop and poster committees. A representative to the Compton Award Committee will have to be appointed.

The next APSUO Steering Committee Meeting will be held on Thursday, October 14, 2004.