2001 Executive Meeting Minutes

October 19, 2001


2:00 OPEN SESSION (Open to All SSRL Users) Welcome/Introduction of Newly Elected SSRLUO-EC Members (Paul Foster)

Impact of SPEAR3 Upgrade and Shutdown on SSRL Users (Keith Hodgson/Tom Rabedeau) 3:30 CLOSED SESSION (SSRLUO-EC Only) Selection of SSRLUO-EC Vice Chair for 2002 (Corwin Booth)


Welcome Remarks At the conclusion of the 28th Annual SSRL Users' Meeting at 2:00 pm, Paul Foster, SSRLUO-EC Chair, called the meeting to order. Paul began by thanking the co-chairs, Corwin Booth and Ana Gonzalez, who organized a great users' meeting. Paul wished Corwin good luck as he takes over as SSRLUO-EC Chair. He thanked the users who agreed to be nominated for the SSRLUO-EC: Nicholas Pingitore, Chris Garcia, Dave Stout, Uwe Bergmann, Lichung Ming, Erik Nelson, Brian Stephenson, Jane DeWitt, and Ben Bostick. Paul also thanked the retiring SSRLUO-EC members: Paul Alivisators, Pat Allen, Bruce Clemens, Marilyn Olmstead, and Bob Scott. Election results were announced: Nicholas Pingitore, Univ. Texas El Paso - Environmental/Geosciences

Dave Stout, Scripps Research Institute - Macromolecular Crystallograph

Uwe Bergmann, LBNL - Materials/Chemistry

Erik Nelson, LLNL - Materials/Chemistry

Jane DeWitt, Cal State University - Structural Molecular Biology

Ben Bostick, Stanford University - Graduate Student Member, Environmental/Geosciences Paul suggested the following changes to future meetings: Announce meeting schedule in advance; there was agreement to have 3 regular meetings each year, roughly in February, June, and October (in conjunction with the annual users' meeting).

Have open session at the beginning of each meeting for all interested users; it was suggested that the first 10 minutes be allotted for users' to state any issue they want to address. At the conclusion of the open session, the "walk-in" issues could be prioritized, discussed by the users present, deferred by the EC until more information is available, or referred to the appropriate SSRL staff or management.) Paul reiterated the EC's desire to work with SSRL administration to accommodate user research needs during the SPEAR3 shutdown and to address user-specific needs during this period and introduced Keith Hodgson who lead a discussion on this topic. Impact of SPEAR3 Plans on SSRL Users Keith Hodgson began by stating that he thought the open session format was a good idea as it should encourage more users to attend and provide a forum to address users issues as they arise.

As a follow up to many discussions held over the last few years, Keith repeated the plan for the SSRL facility to be shutdown for SPEAR3 (SP3) upgrade beginning in April 2003. If plans proceed as anticipated, SP3 will be completed and brought up in November 2003; it may take approximately 1-1/2 to 2 months for commissioning and fine tuning before SP3 will be ready to accommodate users (probably in late December 2003 or January 2004 for most beam lines).

SSRL may be able to provide a broad spectrum of selected, specific arrangements to assist users during the shutdown (e.g., work with other light sources to accommodate SSRL users; loan equipment to other facilities to meet specific needs, send staff to other facilities to help set up or allow faster changeovers between users, etc.)

Keith has started to talk to the Directors of the other SR facilities and believes that the community will work with us to try to make accommodations for users as has been done in the past.

Keith asked for users' input, and specifically recommended that the users organization form a small group of users representing the various fields/techniques which comprise the SSRL user community to solicit general user input and recommend proposed actions that SSRL could take to help users from these fields.

Corwin Booth recommended extending the proposal period during the shutdown, which Keith thought was reasonable pending approval of the PRP.

Dave Stout asked whether it would helpful to extend operating hours to make maximum use of the beam lines before the shutdown, specifically during Thanksgiving and Christmas. Keith agreed that the goal of delivering as much beam as possible was a good idea, but he and many of the attendees noted that the shutdowns were both equipment and staff driven, after running for a straight 8-9 months, both needed some down time to remain in optimal condition. Keith did state that he was open to suggestions from users, such as proposals for changes to the standard run schedule.

John Bargar noted that students, who have a limited time frame to complete work and thesis, may be at particular risk during the shutdown and suggested that information material be prepared to help users plan for the downtime.

Keith mentioned that due to budget constraints, SSRL would not be able to upgrade all beam lines immediately to be SP3 compatible, and that current plans may be adjusted depending on funding. He also mentioned that the DOE had requested a plan of how SSRL planned to deal with these issues by mid December. SP3 Upgrade Schedule As a continuation of his presentation during the users' meeting, Tom Rabedeau provided an upgrade schedule (copies of slides appended herewith and available at: http://www-ssrl.slac.stanford.edu/users/ssrluo/sp3_bld.ppt ). The plan (resources permitting) is to have all front ends 500mA capable on SP3 start up (Fall, 2003); all ID beam lines 500 mA capable in 2004, except BL4; and all bend beam lines 500 mA capable by 2004 (recognizing that all beam lines may not be operating ideally at this point). This schedule could be accelerated if additional funding becomes available.

Given the budget, BL4 is the last BL scheduled to be brought up and is not scheduled to be completed until the third quarter of FY 2005 (when other factors such as the optics and LN plumbing are also scheduled to be ready). SSRL is looking into other arrangements to accommodate BL4-1, 4-2 and 4-3 users in the interim. Options may be available on BL3, BL8. There could be a large impact on the biological SAS user community as that capability does not exist at other light sources and in this scenario would not be available at SSRL until Q3 2005. An option could be to temporarily move that capability to BL6-2. This would require changing the hutch structure, and although not providing as much access, could provide similar capabilities as BL4-2. CLOSED SESSION

Attendees: Paul Foster, Corwin Booth, Cathy Knotts (SSRL Liaison), John Peters, Nick Pingitore, Dave Stout Paul asked the committee to work together to respond to Keith's call for input. ACTION: Paul requested that members of the EC submit a list of all the specific scientific disciplines and techniques represented by SSRL users so that the EC could determine which user groups are most likely impacted by the shutdown, begin to work on a proposal, and proceed to form a small group to work with SSRL management to address these issues.

Corwin Booth asked if there were any nominations for the next Vice Chair. No nominations were received during the meeting. ACTION: Cathy Knotts agreed to send a note to the EC requesting that they send nominations for Vice Chair by the following week. (Uwe Bergmann was subsequently nominated and agreed to serve as the next Vice Chair).

Potential dates for the next meeting in late February/early March 2002 were discussed. ACTION: Cathy Knotts will contact EC members to narrow down a date and will announce this information to users when available. Paul suggested that at the next meeting, the EC should discuss plans of how best to represent the users to Congress and others who could impact budget allocations.

The meeting adjourned at approximately 3:15 pm.


May 23, 2001

Attendees: Paul Foster (Chair), Patrick Allen, Lipika Basumallick, Corwin Booth, Bruce Clemens, Cathy Knotts (SSRL Liaison), Marilyn Olmstead, John Peters, Robert Scott


2:30 Welcome/Update on SSRLUO EC Activities (Paul Foster) 
§ Presentation to SLUO, Februray 2 
§ DOE Program Review, April 4 
§ Meetings with Congressional Staffers in DC, May 7-8 
§ SLAC Scientific Policy Committee Meeting, May 11
3:00 SSRL Update (Keith Hodgson) 
§ SPEAR3 Status
3:30 User Research Administration (Cathy Knotts) 
§ SSRLUOEC Membership/Nominations for 2002 members 
§ Lytle Award Nomination Process
4:00 Oct. 18-19 Users Meeting and Workshops (Corwin Booth)
4:30 Other Business

Update on SSRLUO-EC Activities

  • Paul Foster, SSRLUO-EC Chair, called the meeting to order around 2:45. Paul described the many activities that the SSRLUO-EC had been involved with over the last several months. In April, user representatives met in a focus session with the DOE program reviewers to share their views. Some questions from the reviewers included: Are SSRL staff and administration concerned with user needs? Do SSRL and the SSRLUO-EC effectively serve all users? Users shared many positive experiences at SSRL, and one user was quoted as stating that SSRL "rocks".
  • In addition to several recent presentations, Paul has been working with the other synchrotron user committee chairs and lobbyists to generate support of increased funding for physical sciences in general and synchrotron light sources specifically. This involved meetings in Washington DC in early May with Senate and Congressional staffers. Requests also went out to users to participate in a letter writing campaign to their representative(s) and also to encourage their representative(s) to add their name to the bipartisan support of the DOE Office of Science that is circulating around Congress. EC supported the multiplex idea that more people should be encouraged to spread out to as many congressional representatives as possible. Several suggestions were made as to how to raise money to send more users to DC to meet with representatives. Although no decision was reached, some suggestions were to establish user organization dues or a PRT surcharge. Other suggestions were encouraged. ACTION: If they have not already done so, users are encouraged to show their support through these mechanisms, especially industrial users who are asked to get their management to support this effort as well. Even this far into the funding process, it is not too late to show support for increased budgets.
  • At the SLAC Scientific Policy Committee Meeting in May, Paul presented examples of SSRLUO-EC activities and results of user surveys. One advisor questioned how to increase survey results and how to address user comments. A suggestion was made to schedule some meetings with advance notice to users to encourage more general user participation in open sessions. ACTION: The SSRLUO-EC decided to hold meetings approximately every four months in February, early June, and October and to announce that meeting are open to all users, except closed sessions.

SSRL Update

  • Keith Hodgson joined the meeting from approximately 3:30-4:00 and gave a presentation on SSRL which included SPEAR3 plans and preparations. Corwin Booth raised the question of how scheduling would be handled immediately after SPEAR3 (Sept. 2003), including commissioning time and how rapidly SSRL expected to bring the system back up to 500 mA operations. Keith described the plan to pump down and begin injection in mid November 2003 with the goal of reaching 200 mA by the end of December. At this point, Keith anticipated bringing users back in Jan. 2004, with an estimated 1-2 month period before the run would be stabilized. The EC asked Keith to give some thought to creating a general policy for users during the shutdown, perhaps working with other facilities to get beam time elsewhere and/or supplying staff or other resources to help bring SSRL users up at other facilities. Bob Scott questioned which beam lines can support the higher current and how priorities would be set relevant to SPEAR3? He also requested that SSRL seek and include users input into the decision-making process. ACTION: Keith agreed to prepare a more detailed presentation at a future meeting to include discussions of which beam lines are unique to SSRL and which other facilities have similar capabilities and may be approached to help SSRL users. Keith also suggested asking Tom Rabedeau to give a more detailed presentation on beam line development at a future meeting; possibly including a tour or walking discussion around the beam lines.
  • Keith described new initiatives, such as BioX, SPPS, and the west pit beam line enclosure (the last easily expandable build out space which could include 6000 sf of floor space, 2 insertion devices, a bend magnet beam line). Facilities for the nanoscience initiative and beam line are pending successful funding. SSRL anticipates the help of Stanford University and outside funding to support advanced materials research. Bruce Clemens raised concern that the budget for SPEAR3 may provide funds to build out but may be insufficient for operations. Keith described his plan to request an additional 47 FTE's, which requires an additional $7.1 M, to run SPEAR3 effectively. ACTION: Keith stated his plan to share the results/report of DOE program review with the SSRLUO-EC when it is received.

User Research Administration (URA) Update

  • Cathy Knotts gave a presentation on URA activities, including recent staff changes, end-of-run questionnaires, and user survey results. ACTION: SSRLUO-EC members and all users are encouraged to complete and return a survey after each experimental start. Comments and suggestions are confidential and are only shared with SSRLUO-EC Chair and SSRL Management.
  • Cathy asked the EC to start to think about nominating colleagues for the slots which will be open in October, including: 1 each in Materials/Chemistry; Environmental/Geoscicences; Structural Molecular Biology, and Macromolecular Crystallography. ACTION: Cathy will announce via Headlines and will send an email to users requesting their input on nominations. Ballots will be collected later in the summer and through the first break at the Users' Meeting with new members announced at the meeting.
  • Cathy asked the EC to start to think about nominations for the 4th Annual Farrel W. Lytle Award. Past awardees have been: Farrel Lytle, Tom Hostetler, and Roger Prince. The EC decided to review nominations and hold a brief meeting, perhaps by email or conference call, later in the summer in order to determine awardee so that sufficient time would be available to prepare appropriate "roasts" for the honoree. ACTION: Cathy will announce via Headlines and will send an email to users requesting nominations.

Plans for User Meeting

  • Corwin Booth, Co-Chair of the Annual Users Meeting, described tentative plans to bring in numerous speakers and hold workshops at the annual meeting. Corwin announced that the committee had decided not to hold a workshop highlights session and, as much as possible, to incorporate student presentations in each session. A session on new technologies may be driven by abstracts which will be solicited for the final program. Three workshops have been suggested so far: Thin film scattering (Sean Brennan, Bruce Clemens), Science with the Proposed Sub-Picosecond Pulse Source (SPPS) (Jo Stohr), and Microscopy by focussing or imaging of hard and soft x-raysSPPS (Jan Luning). Paul Foster noted that no protein crystallography workshops had been suggested, perhaps due to the summer school planned later in the year and little interest or time among staff or users. A decision was reached to use the SPEAR3 RF cavity as the logo on meeting announcements and programs. The EC discussed increasing the general registration fees to $125 (not changing student fees of $50) to offset costs associated with putting on the meeting; they also recommended trying to keep the dinner costs around $25 per person. ACTION: Corwin will continue to work with co-chair, Ana Gonzalez, SSRL staff, and the EC to plan and coordinate the meeting, with discussions to continue at the next EC meeting in July. Cathy will formally invite Pat Dehmer to the annual meeting. Cathy will coordinate user registration and other meeting logistics.

Other Business

  • Marilyn Olmstead distributed an email about a new program to test protein crystallography samples (small crystals, small molecules) at APS. The program offers auto centering and mounting on crystals sent by users via Federal Express.
  • The EC decided to meet again in July. ACTION: EC members agreed to check their calendars and send dates when they are not available to meet to Cathy by email ( ) so the date of the next meeting could be set and announced.
  • The meeting concluded at approximately 5:30 pm.
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