APS User News
Issue 73, September 15, 2011



-- Tweet Time! APS Beamlines Now Tweet Operational Status Info
-- Changes to User Electrical Safety Training Requirements
-- Groundbreaking for the New Advanced Protein Crystallization Facility
-- Meg Vigliocco-Hagen, APS General User Program Administrator, Retires!
-- Meet Beverly Knott, New APS Beam Time Access Administrator
-- Safety Snippets: Practice Good Housekeeping

-- 4th Annual Postdoctoral Research Symposium: Registration Deadline September 21
-- 2011 Advanced Light Source Users' Meeting, October 3-5, 2011
-- 2011 SSRL/LCLS Annual Users’ Meeting & Workshops, October 22-26, 2011
-- General Users Proposals Now Being Accepted
-- Changes to User Training Course Requirements
-- Save the Date: APS/CNM/EMC Users Meeting, May 7-9, 2012
Instructions for subscribing, unsubscribing, and submitting info

Like many of you, I have been involved in synchrotron radiation research for my whole career, and most of that has been connected with the APS. My involvement with the APS began 20 years ago when I led the formation of the IBM-MIT-McGill Collaborative Access Team to build out and instrument Sector 8. When I came to the Argonne Materials Science Division 16 years ago, I was initially attracted because of the APS. Since then, the community and the dedicated staff of APS have built it into a fantastic facility, in many ways the leading x-ray facility in the nation, the crown jewel of Argonne and of DOE user facilities. So, it is a great honor for me to take on the responsibility of Argonne Associate Laboratory Director (ALD) of Photon Sciences and Director of the APS at a time when the Advanced Photon Source Upgrade (APS-U) project will bring even more muscle to this great scientific adventure.

It is a significant professional challenge to move from user and beamline developer to this new position. In the past year, while I served as Interim ALD, I came to see the APS from a new perspective. We've had some big successes: the completion of the conceptual design of the APS-U, the development of several new beamlines such as the automated powder diffraction at Sector 11 and the canting of Sector 34, the dedication of the Lilly Research Laboratories beamline at Sector 31, the initiation of the Advanced Protein Crystallization Facility, the continuing excellent reliability of our source, a user program that smoothly serves many thousands of users per year, and, of course, the outstanding science that continues to pour out of the APS.

There are some shared challenges ahead of us, for users and staff alike. We must gear up for the changes that will inevitably arise as we move forward with the APS-U, while at the same time there is an urgent need to reduce the rate of safety incidents. We need to bear in mind that the rapid development of x-ray facilities around the world is both an opportunity and a challenge: an opportunity to capitalize on new possibilities and collaborations and a challenge to maintain our leadership in the field. The APS is on a great trajectory. With the APS-U we will remain this Nation's premier hard x-ray source for the foreseeable future, allowing us to confidently plan our path well into the next decade. I am very happy to have this opportunity to work with all of you in the user community and with the personnel at the APS to continue and expand our excellence in both research and operations.

Looking ahead, I see four major priorities:

We will maintain the APS at the forefront of hard x-ray science by achieving the major beamline and component upgrades laid out in the APS-U scope; securing support for additional beamlines, for instance in biology; improving integration of our organization and overall programmatic execution; taking advantage of many new opportunities to build up our user communities and the partnerships that will flow from the APS-U; and making sure that the new technical capabilities we develop will result in a real impact on science and society.

We will maintain our record for producing world-class science and happy users by looking to the health of our staff research programs, developing innovative accelerator and x-ray source ideas, continuing to provide excellent user support and fostering new user communities such as industry, and coordinating the Upgrade with ongoing operations and research so that our scientific programs can flourish without setback.

We will support your research by continuing our excellent record for machine operations and reliability while we improve our safety and efficiency.

And we will improve synergies between APS users and the larger Argonne community, finding new ways to seamlessly coordinate with our sister user facilities, the Center for Nanoscale Materials, the Electron Microscopy Center, and the Advanced Leadership Computing Facility, while participating in vital initiatives in areas such as energy storage and new materials for energy.

I am deeply appreciative of this opportunity to work with the broad range of scientists and engineers who are the APS users and staff. The APS is more than a splendid piece of scientific equipment – it’s a vital scientific community. I am constantly amazed by the intellectual breadth and depth, the scientific curiosity and inventiveness, and the energy of the people who come here to work.

I hope you will continue to offer me the benefit of your thoughts, experience, and advice, and I really look forward to our common mission of maintaining the APS as one of the most productive destinations worldwide for scientists who rely on hard x-rays to carry out their research.

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Tweet Time! APS Beamlines Now Tweet Operational Status Info
APS users have a new option for receiving both facility-related (e.g., beam status updates) and beamline-specific (e.g., shutter changes, equipment protection status) operational information: users can follow both individual beamline accounts and APS-wide notifications on Twitter!

The APS uses a variety of means to communicate operational information to beamline users in real time (e-mail messages, audio announcements, messages posted on TV monitors around the ring, etc.). However, most of the information presented is facility-wide in nature. In an effort to provide more detailed information about the readiness status of APS beamlines, the APS has set up a number of feeds on twitter.com where individualized status messages for beamlines are sent. These messages can include (depending on the beamline) information such as changes in shutter status, changes in the status of the personnel or equipment safety systems, and the status of the liquid nitrogen valves that feed the beamline, etc.

To receive these messages, users need to create an account at twitter.com and then subscribe to the feed(s) from the beamline(s) they wish to receive information about. Twitter can then deliver SMS (or “short message service”) messages directly to your cell phone. If you have a smart phone, you can use one of the many Twitter applications to monitor the messages.

All of the beamline feeds follow the same format (e.g., http://twitter.com/APS_01BM, http://twitter.com/APS_01ID, ... http://twitter.com/APS_34BM and http://twitter.com/APS_34ID). Twitter has mechanisms with which you to easily turn off the notification either via the web or by sending a SMS to Twitter if you wish to cancel the messages.

In addition to the beamline-individualized feeds, there is also a feed that sends out “beam available/unavailable” messages (see http://twitter.com/APS_NOTIFY). One of the advantages of using Twitter is that you can subscribe to multiple feeds simultaneously (e.g., any/all of the beamlines that you are working at in addition to APS_NOTIFY). Twitter joins the other options available for receiving APS operations information, including the status website (http://www.aps.anl.gov/Facility/Status/) and e-mail lists. The “Aps_notify” list (http://www.aps.anl.gov/mailman/listinfo/aps_notify) alerts subscribers to major operations events such as loss of stored beam, shutter enable, and alert messages from the Main Control Room. The other e-mail list is “XRAYOPS” (http://www.aps.anl.gov/mailman/listinfo/xrayops), which facilitates communications about x-ray operations to beamline scientific staff, floor coordinator personnel, and accelerator physicists.

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Changes to User Electrical Safety Training Requirements
As of October 1, 2011, APS users will no longer be required to take Argonne’s ESH377 awareness course for electrical safety training, which is required for Argonne National Laboratory employees. The course covers the requirements of the NFPA 70E standard (National Fire Protection Association Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace) for regular Argonne employees. APS users fall into a category of staff that needs simply to know what they can and cannot do electrically. This general electrical safety information will be added to ESH100U, the Argonne National Laboratory User Facility Orientation (which users will now be required to take every two years).

As a user, the only electrically related activities you are permitted to perform at Argonne are the following:
• Plug into and unplug from an outlet a piece of electrical equipment with a plug that easily fits the receptacle and requires no modifications as long as the equipment either has a “Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory” or NRTL marking such as Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL) or Canadian Standards Association (CSA) sticker, or has a Argonne Designated Electrical Equipment Inspector (DEEI) approval sticker.

• Operate/use such a piece of equipment in accordance with its instructions.

• Operate common light switches.

• Replace batteries in common consumer-type products such as tools, pagers, cell phones, and laptop computers.

Users are not permitted to perform any other type of electrically related activity or task. Contact your Floor Coordinator if any other electrically related work, task, or activity is required. See also "Changes to User Training Course Requirements" under Briefly Noted for more information about user training requirements.

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Groundbreaking for the New Advanced Protein Crystallization Facility
On August 30, 2011, groundbreaking for the new Advanced Protein Crystallization Facility (APCF) took place just outside of the Advanced Photon Source, Laboratory Office Module (LOM) 435. Slated to open in 2014, the $34.5M APCF will be a state-of-the-art laboratory unparalleled in the U.S. Focused on the production, purification, and characterization of proteins and protein crystals, the facility will provide researchers from around the world with access to highly automated, large-scale systems that will facilitate dramatic new research opportunities in molecular biology, biochemistry, and protein engineering.

The groundbreaking ceremony included remarks from John Kamis (Senior Advisor to IL Governor Pat Quinn), the Hon. Judy Biggert (U.S. Representative, IL Dist. 13), the Hon. Jim Durkin (IL State Representative, Dist. 82), Joanna Livengood (Manager, Argonne's DOE Site Office), Wayne Anderson (Director, Center for Structural Genomics of Infectious Diseases), and Argonne's own Eric Isaacs (Director, Argonne National Laboratory).The invited speakers all recognized not only the powerful scientific importance of the facility but also its role in Illinois' "innovation ecosystem" and the long-term economic benefit it will bring to the State. In recognition of the importance of this collaboration between the State of Illinois and Argonne National Laboratory, John Kamis announced that August 30, 2011, had been officially declared Argonne National Laboratory Day in the State of Illinois. A photo gallery of the event can be viewed here (click on Detail to view captions), or choose a slideshow.

Funding for the design and construction of 50,000 square-foot structural genomics facility is being provided by The State of Illinois. The APCF will complement the Structural Biology Center, a DOE scientific user facility also located at the APS. The APCF will also serve the growing needs of the Midwest Center for Structural Genomics (one of four Protein Structure Initiative Centers funded by the National Institutes of General Medical Science), currently located within Argonne's Biosciences Building. You can read the full press release about the groundbreaking ceremony here.

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Meg Vigliocco-Hagen, APS General User Program Administrator, Retires!
The APS has bid farewell to Meg (Margaret) Vigliocco-Hagen. She has now begun her retirement years and has moved to Wisconsin to be close to her children and grandchildren. Anyone who has had the pleasure of working or interacting with Meg will surely miss her dedication, wonderful people skills, and "can-do" attitude.

Meg joined the Experimental Facilities Division of the APS in 1992 and demonstrated her considerable skills in a variety of positions before joining the APS User Office in 2001. Her work with the General User Program has facilitated steady growth among our User community, as well as improvements in the electronic submission, review, and allocation system. User satisfaction also increased, with Users benefitting from Meg's thorough understanding of the system and her calm and courteous approach to customer service and problem solving.

If you would like to send retirement wishes to Meg, please e-mail apsuser@aps.anl.gov. The User Office will collect all messages and make sure Meg receives them.

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Meet Beverly Knott, New APS Beam Time Access Administrator
Bev joined the APS User Office staff in 2003, following work in the private sector as a currency trader. In 2009, she began handling various support activities for the General User Program and now has assumed primary administrative responsibility for the entire APS Beam Time Access system. Users can reach Bev at bevknott@aps.anl.gov, gu_program@aps.anl.gov, or 630-252-7385.

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Safety Snippets: Practice Good Housekeeping
Good housekeeping is one of the surest ways to identify a safe workplace. You can tell how people feel about safety just by looking at their housekeeping practices. Good housekeeping isn’t the result of cleaning up once a week or even once a day. It’s the result of keeping things cleaned-up all the time. It’s essential to a good safety program, promoting safety, health, production, and morale.

Whose responsibility is housekeeping? It’s everyone’s. Clean work areas and aisles help eliminate tripping hazards. Respecting "wet floor" signs and immediately cleaning up spills prevents slipping injuries. Keeping work and storage areas uncluttered reduces the chance of fire as well as slips, trips, and falls. Accumulated debris can contribute to a fire, and clutter slows movement of personnel and equipment during fires. Other good housekeeping practices include keeping tools and equipment clean and in good shape and keeping hoses, cables, and wires bundled and out of the work area. Sharp objects should be picked up immediately using tools like a broom and dustpan, never with bare hands. Be aware of open cabinet drawers, electric wires, sharp corners or protruding objects. Either correct the unsafe condition if you are able and it is safe to do so, or notify your APS point of contact that something should be done. How a workplace looks makes an impression on employees and visitors alike. Good housekeeping goes hand-in-hand with good public relations. It projects order, care, and pride.

Besides preventing accidents and injuries, good housekeeping saves space, time, and materials. When a workplace is clean, orderly, and free of obstruction, work can get done safely and properly. People feel better, think better, and do better work as well as increase the quantity and quality of their work.

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-- 4th Annual Postdoctoral Research Symposium: Registration Deadline September 21
Argonne National Laboratory's Postdoctoral Office invites you to participate in the 4th Annual Postdoctoal Research Symposium, which will be held October 27, 2011. Postdoctoral fellows and senior graduate students are being asked to submit papers in the research areas of biology, chemistry and biochemistry, engineering, environmental Science, materials science, mathematics and computer science, physics and high-energy physics, and synchrotron research. Abstracts must be submitted electronically and registrations received by Wednesday, September 21. More details and on-line registration forms can be found at http://www.dep.anl.gov/postdocs/symposium/.

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-- 2011 Advanced Light Source Users' Meeting, October 3-5, 2011
The 2011 Advanced Light Source Users' Meeting is set for October 3-5 at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Meeting highlights include workshops, plenary session, poster session, a student poster “Slam” and competition, ALS UEC Town Hall and panel, user services updates, ALS staff and user photography contest, exhibitors, and the awards banquet.

Important Deadlines:
* Student Poster Competition Submissions: Thursday, September 15, 2011
* 2011 User Meeting Awards: Thursday, September 15, 2011
* Early Registration : Friday, September 23, 2011
Full meeting details and registration information can be found on the web at http://tinyurl.com/2011-als-user-meeting.

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-- 2011 SSRL/LCLS Annual Users’ Meeting & Workshops, October 22-26, 2011
The annual 2011 SSRL/LCLS Users Meeting is a great opportunity for scientists and colleagues to interact and to learn about the latest plans, new developments, and exciting research at LCLS and SSRL. Several pre-conference events are being offered in advance of the conference (which officially begins on October 24th):

    * X-Ray Spectroscopy of Magnetic Solids (XRMS) - Oct. 22-23
    * Time Resolved X-Ray Science at High Repetition Rate Workshop - Oct. 22-23
    * De-Mystifying the Lightsource Experience - Oct. 23

In addition to a vendor exhibit, the meeting will offer combined plenary talks featuring the latest user research, user facility instrumentation, and science highlights. Workshops include:

    * Synchrotron Applications in Chemical Catalysis
    * Non-Linear X-ray Sciences and Optics
    * Advanced Crystallography
    * Future X-ray Sources: LCLSII Challenges and Opportunities

Attendees, especially students, are encourage to submit a poster. Students who submit an abstract for the Outstanding Student Poster Competition on October 24 receive a free dinner (immediately following the users' conference poster session) and are also eligible to compete for the $100 prizes to be awarded.

Early registration rates for the users meeting and the workshops are available until October 10. Discounted room rates at the Guest House are available until September 16th; specify SSRL/LCLS/SLAC when making reservations. See the conference web site for full details and on-line registration.

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-- General User Proposals Now Being Accepted
The APS General User Program is now accepting proposals for the 2012-1 run cycle. The submission deadline is October 28, 2011, at 11:59 p.m. CDT. The on-line proposal submission form can be found at http://www.aps.anl.gov/Users/apply_for_beamtime.html.

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-- Changes to User Training Course Requirements
As of October 1, 2011, the following new training intervals will become efffective for two core courses required for all APS users:

Course Number

Course Name

NEW Training Interval
(old training interval)


Argonne National Laboratory User Facility Orientation

2 years
(used to be no retraining)


Advanced Photon Source User Orientation

2 years
(used to be 5 years)

How can you know when retraining is required for you? All users listed as an experimenter on an APS Experiment Safety Assessment Form (or ESAF) will see a summary of their core APS training courses and their due dates. All core courses can be completed on-line as remote training; see the APS training page for more information.

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-- Save the Date: APS/CNM/EMC Users Meeting, May 7-9, 2012

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