2003 Executive Meeting Minutes

Ocotober 10, 2003

Attendees:   Uwe Bergmann, Ben Bostick, Linda Brinen, Ray Cowen, Lisa Downward, Deanne Jackson Rudd, Cathy Knotts, Richard Lee, Glenn Waychunas

A meeting of the SSRL Users' Organization Executive Committee (SSRLUO-EC) was held on October 10th, immediately following the 30th Annual SSRL Users' meeting. A summary of issues discussed follows. Follow up or action items are highlighted in bold.

  • Uwe Bergmann, SSRLUO-EC Chair, called the meeting to order at 3:45 pm. The meeting began with introductions, as many of the newly elected members were in attendance. The results of the October 9th election were announced at the dinner, and included:
    • Joy Andrews, California State University Hayward (Materials/Chemistry)
    • Glenn Waychunas, LBNL (Environmental/Geosciences)
    • Timothy Stemmler, Wayne State University (Structural Molecular Biology)
    • Linda Brinen, University of California San Francisco (Macromolecular Crystallography)
    • Lisa Downward, University of California Santa Cruz (Materials/Chemistry)
  • Following up on his opening remarks as well as those of Mike Lubell from the American Physical Society encouraging user activism, Ben Bostick reported that he was preparing to send an email message to all SSRL users requesting that they visit the SSRLUO website and forward letters to their Congressional representatives. He reported that a format has been developed by the APS that automatically identifies representatives based on the users' address and also provides sample letters to facilitate rapid submittal by users. Ben related from personal experience that this activity has the potential to have a huge impact on representatives to raise their awareness about the user science supported by synchrotrons, particularly as they are considering future budgets for physical sciences and for synchrotron facilities. http://www.dartmouth.edu/~ssrluo/
  • Uwe announced that it is time to elect a SSRLUO-EC Vice Chair for the coming year. The role of this person includes co-organizing the 2004 Annual Users' Meeting as well as participating in meetings with management, DOE, Congressional representatives, etc. (This usually involves a trip to DC in the Spring). The following individuals were nominated, and Cathy Knotts will send an email to the rest of the committee inquiring whether there are any additional nominees so that an election can be held:
    • Richard Brennan, Oregon Health & Sciences Univ.
    • Andrew Fisher, University of California, Davis
    • Anneli Munkholm, Lumileds Lighting
  • A suggestion was made to consider changing the name of the user discipline for EC membership from "Structural Molecular Biology (SMB)" to something more descriptive. The SMB category has lead to some confusion among users because SMB incorporates "Macromolecular Crystallography (MC)" but is really intended to represent SMB users other than MC users. Suggestions considered were: Physical Biosciences, Physical Biological Methods, Bio Spectroscopy and Scattering. Please forward other suggestions for consideration to the committee.
  • Along similar lines, a suggestion was made to consider changing the user discipline identified as "LCLS" to something that incorporates the short pulse effort for SPEAR. Suggestions considered included: Short Pulse, Ultrafast Dynamics. Please forward other suggestions for consideration to the committee.
  • Competition for the Lytle Award was particularly strong this year, as numerous well documented nominations were received and considered by the EC. To facilitate awards in the future, more defined procedures and guidelines were discussed. Since the Lytle Award recognizes achievements over one's career, a decision was made to limit future nominations to one individual per nomination (e.g., dual nominees would not be considered). Nominations will continue to be reviewed and voted on by the executive committee. This will be done via a closed (secret ballot) vote, and the nominee with the majority vote shall receive the award. In the case of a tie, the nominations with the tied votes, will be discussed by the committee, and voted on again until a majority vote is determined. Nominations not selected in a given year may be resubmitted for consideration in subsequent years.
  • Feedback from the 30th Annual Users' Meeting was very positive. Approximately 300 people were registered to participate in the numerous activities scheduled from October 8-10th including several concurrent workshops. Suggestions for next year included exploring ways to formalize a program for the award dinner (e.g., introductions to newly elected EC members, more recognition of poster competition winners and their research activities, as well as the Lytle Award). The EC would also like to encourage greater participation in this event, particularly among graduate students. One idea to be explored is whether the cost of the dinner could be subsidized or waived for all graduate students who submit a poster for the competition so that they could be present to receive their awards.
  • Changes to site access related to foreign visits and assignments were discussed. New DOE rules require that facilities track badged users in the DOE Foreign Access Tracking System (FACTS), and that users from sensitive and SST countries be approved by the DOE before they can visit. This will require that all users inform SSRL User Administration at least 45 days in advance of all scheduled beam time or planned visits to SSRL so that required documentation can be completed and any necessary approvals sought. Ben Bostick and Cathy Knotts will participate in a meeting on this topic along with other user organization representatives and user program mangers at BNL at the end of October. Deanne Jackson Rudd is the representative to the SLAC Security Committee. Users with questions or concerns can contact these individuals. More information on these new site access rules will be shared as they become available.
  • Changes related to radiation safety training and procedures were discussed. User operations on SPEAR3 are expected to resume in March 2004. During this first run with SPEAR3 (now until July 2004), all of the experimental floor will be considered a radiologic controlled area (RCA) while radiation surveys are completed. All users in this area must have current GERT training (General Employee Radiation Training) and wear a dosimeter during this period. Procedures to facilitate GERT training and transfer of valid training from other DOE facilities for SSRL users are being implemented. More information will be provided shortly.
  • The meeting adjourned at 5:30 pm.

May 9, 2003

Attendees:   : Uwe Bergmann, Corwin Booth, Ben Bostick, Richard Brennan, Ray Cowen, Lisa Dunn, Jerry Hastings, Britt Hedman, Keith Hodgson, Cathy Knotts, Tim McPhillips, Anneli Munkholm, Erik Nelson, Piero Pianetta, Nick Pingitore, Tom Rabedeau, Michelle Steger

A meeting of the SSRL Users' Organization Executive Committee (SSRLUO-EC) was held on May 9th, and a summary of issues discussed follows. Follow up or action items are highlighted in bold.

  • Uwe Bergmann, SSRLUO-EC Chair, called the meeting to order at 12 noon. Since the meeting start time was moved up from the original 1 pm to accommodate several individuals' schedules, pizza and salad were provided by user administration for this working lunch meeting.
  • Keith Hodgson was present to give an update, summarizing thirty years of service and productivity at SSRL. Keith gave an update on major projects including the SPEAR3 upgrade, SPPS, and LCLS. The transition from a 2nd to 3rd generation light source is progressing well, with the project on time and on budget. The SPEAR2 removal phase is complete and the floor preparation for SPEAR3 installation has begun. LCLS received $6M for project engineering and design (PED) funding in FY03. The LCLS project was also well represented in the DOE-BES 20-year facility road map (copy of this report was distributed). The next DOE review of LCLS is scheduled later in May. Keith summarized the additional cost to effectively operate and utilize the advanced capabilities of SPEAR3. SSRL's operations proposed in the President's FY04 budget include first significant increase for SPEAR3 ($3,727K or ~18%).
  • Jerry Hastings gave an update of the Sub-Picosecond Pulse Source (SPPS) experiment, which is scheduled to begin the week of May 12th. SPPS is the first opportunity in the world to conduct science with high brightness, short pulse x-rays (and in preparation for LCLS). An undulator, multilayer monochromator, and experimental hutch have been installed. The progress to prepare for SPPS has been astonishing; most activities have essentially happened within the last month, including radiation physics approval, which is expected next week. The initial run of SPPS has been scheduled from May 1-June 15, and the next run is scheduled for about 12 weeks from November 15-February 15, 2004. SPPS operates in a parasitic mode, sharing FFTB beam time with other SLAC programs in the research yard, and is supported in part by SLAC staff. Because of the numerous constraints on SPPS, there is no general user component. SPPS is a collaborative experiment, and new collaborators can approach existing collaborators and propose experiments. There is growing support for SPPS, and it is possible that these experiments could continue in partnership with SLAC in the LCLS era.
  • Tom Rabedeau presented several slides and a status report related to beam line development. He reported that first light in the new BL11-3 was achieved and that users were able to collect data on this newest beam line before the 2003 run ended in March. Tom noted that beam line shielding associated with SPEAR3 would be phased in; this coupled with the ramp up needs and ring run schedule would likely mean that many beam lines could be used at 100 mA when SPEAR3 comes up in early 2004. The plan is to hold off on removing SPEAR2 components until their SPEAR3 replacements are ready to be replaced, which may mean temporary 1-2 week shutdowns approximately every few months. The BL4 and BL7 insertion devices will be replaced with 20 pole hybrid insertion devices this summer. Since the beam line masks will not be fully configured for the power of these new insertion devices, the wiggler fields will be reduced to limit the power density to an acceptable level. The associated narrowing of the radiation fans will render only the end stations on BL4-2 and BL7-2 functional until the mask upgrades are complete. The side stations would not be operational until their upgrade work is completed. Even with degraded capabilities, users should still experience an order of magnitude in better brightness.
  • Uwe and Ben Bostick reported that they traveled to Washington, DC in April along with user organization chairs and vice-chairs from other DOE supported light source. While there, they met with representatives from DOE, OSTP, Congress, Senate, and appropriations committees. Copies of handouts and follow up letters are available on the user activism website: http://www.dartmouth.edu/~ssrluo/
  • Ben announced that he had recently sent an email to SSRL users and encouraged users to write or visit their local Congressional representatives to express their interest in increased funding for physical sciences and for general user facilities. Ben mentioned that some of the representatives that he spoke with were not aware of the facilities, the DOE research program, or the large user community that benefits from the light sources. These communications can have tremendous impact. Ben has updated the users organization website to make it easier for users to locate and contact their representatives: http://www.dartmouth.edu/~ssrluo/
  • The next annual meeting of the SSRL Users' Organization will be held on October 9-10, 2003. Ben Bostick and Tim McPhillips, co-chairs for this meeting, shared their plans to have sessions related to scientific techniques rather than by discipline. User suggestions for speakers that could cover interdisciplinary topics and suggestions for workshops are encouraged. It was requested that facility talks be less technical and more focused on the science available with the upgraded equipment. The first mailing will be sent out shortly, and updates will be posted on the website: http://www- ssrl.slac.stanford.edu/conferences/ssrl30/
  • A suggestion was made to incorporate ways to acknowledge the 30th anniversary of SSRL, perhaps by inviting past users or students to a reunion reception during the annual users' meeting. A suggestion was made to encourage users to bring an old poster with an incentive, such as "bring an old poster and get a free drink", or a "prize for the oldest poster." It was suggested that early users who helped SSRL get started be specifically invited to participate if a reunion event is held, including Ed Stern, Farrel Lytle and Dale Sayers.
  • A list of ~500 graduate student theses from 1974-2003 was circulated to the committee. Users were asked to review SSRL's publications lists, and let SSRL know if there are other theses or related user publications that should be added to the publications list as this is one of the primary ways to demonstrate the impact and productivity of a facility, and this will be helpful if we decide to have a special recognition for graduate students and other users at the next users' meeting: http://www- ssrl.slac.stanford.edu/publications/
  • The committee urged users to stay active in SSRL activities, even during the current shutdown. Each EC members was asked to think in advance about potential nominees for the annual Lytle Award and to consider submitting nominations for this award. Lytle Award nominations are due before September 8, 2003.
  • Regarding candidates to fill upcoming vacancies on the SSRLUO-EC, users are encouraged to contact potential candidates to determine if they are interested in running for a position on the EC. Forward the candidate(s) names to Cathy Knotts who will prepare and distribute a ballot later this summer. A list of current and past EC members by scientific discipline was distributed for informational purposes. The election will conclude on October 9th and the new members will be announced at the annual users' meeting.
  • Users attending the annual meeting in October or any other SSRL related business at SLAC are encouraged to make reservations at the new SLAC guest house, which will open in June. http://www.stanford.edu/dept/hds/SLAC/
  • Deanne Jackson Rudd is the SSRLUO representative on the SLAC Security Coordination Group (SCG) committee, which discusses and coordinates security communications and implementation of security policies. An alternate to SCG is requested in the event that Deanne is unable to attend some meetings. Richard Brennan volunteered to serve as the SCG alternate if he is able to attend by phone or if the committee is interested in covering his travel expenses from Oregon.
  • SSRLUO-EC welcomed Ray Cowen, a representative from the SLAC Users' Organization (SLUO). As a follow-up to the suggestion made by Dr. Raymond Orbach in 2002, the SLAC and SSRL users' organization have begun to invite representatives to each others' users meetings to work towards more interactions and coordination between user communities. SLUO meets quarterly to discuss recurring topics; the next meeting is scheduled on June 13th. Ray summarized several issues related to SLUO such as coordination among the many collaborators involved with HEP projects, presentations, publications; coordination with other HEP facilities, meetings with Congressional representatives; education, public relations and user outreach. SLUO coordinates physics tutors for local students and invites SSRL users interested in helping with this project to contact them.
  • The meeting concluded with a brief discussion of issues that the EC should follow up on. It was suggested that the users' organization explore the possibility of running quick scans at SSRL to facilitate faster turn around of the EXAFS beam lines in order to accommodate more users, given that BLs 4-1, 4-3, 7-1 and 7-3 will be down for some time. It was acknowledged that this change may require some equipment upgrades, and that significant effort may be needed to change beam line control and operating programs. Uwe will discuss the idea of quick scans with SSRL management and may suggest this at the PRP meeting on June 10th when the SSRLUO-EC Chair was invited to give a brief update of SSRLUO activities.
  • The next meeting will likely be done by phone or e-mail to follow up on Lytle award nominations, candidates to run for the 2003 SSRLUO-EC election, and other user issues. All members of the SSLUO-EC were encouraged to attend the upcoming annual users' meeting on October 9-10, 2003.
  • The meeting adjourned at 3:15 p.m.

February 6, 2003

Attendees:   Uwe Bergmann, Corwin Booth, Richard Brennan, Lisa Dunn, Andy Fisher, Britt Hedman, Keith Hodgson, Cathy Knotts, Anneli Munkholm, Erik Nelson, Piero Pianetta, Nick Pingitore, Tom Rabedeau, Deanne Jackson Rudd

  • Uwe Bergmann, SSRLUO-EC Chair, called the meeting to order at 9:30 am.
  • In October, Uwe met with Dr. Raymond Orbach who asked the users' organization to provide feedback related to SPEAR3 and to provide suggestions given budget constraints. Ben Bostick will be asked to follow up on this and to prepare a letter to Dr. Orbach. Uwe also reported that Dr. Orbach encouraged more interaction between the SLAC users' organization (SLUO) and the SSRL users' organization. To work towards that, the SLUO chair or a representative will be to sit in on the open sessions of future SSRLUO-EC meetings and vice-versa.
  • Tom Rabedeau presented beam line development slides which summarized the plans and priorities shared with SSRL users at previous meetings. The priority remains to have all the front ends 500mA capable when SPEAR3 turns on, which is a necessary pre-step for SPEAR3. Insertion device beam lines are the next priority. Four engineers are working on the bending magnet beam lines and have been asked to develop ways that these beam lines may be able to accept higher than 100mA current by making adjustments to critical components (e.g., key masks may be replaced, graphite filters installed upstream, etc.). These beam lines may be usable, but with degraded capabilities compared to their ultimate performance and optimized operation under SPEAR3.
  • Tom reported that the new 20-pole insertion devices for BL4 and BL7 have arrived. A decision has been made not to pull the BL4 and BL7 hardware until all hardware has been received and is ready to be installed which means that the center-line end stations (BL4-2 and BL7-2) could be opened and used at reduced current in the interim. Even with degraded capabilities, users should still experience an order of magnitude in better brightness. The BL7 installation work would likely be scheduled in the summer shutdown and would include replacing the tunnel, beam transport, hutch, optics and utilities installation.
  • With BL4-2 in operation, small angle scattering (SAS) users could be accommodated there until the work on BL4 is ready to begin (estimated in 2006) or until the current is higher than BL4-2 could accept, after which SAS users could be accommodated on BL6-2. Britt Hedman reported that there was a plan being developed to notify SAS users of this new development. Also, arrangements have been made with the Photon Factory in Japan to accommodate some SSRL SAS users during our shutdown.
  • Masks are in fabrication. Commercial alternatives to using the SLAC brazing shop are being investigated.
  • Ramp up plans from 100mA to 500mA will be developed. Commissioning time without users at beam lines may be used to demonstrate capacity and allow for training with the higher current, lower emittance equipment. Although it is too early to predict the exact user operations schedule for 2004 and beyond, SSRL is planning to have shorter shutdowns than in the past, but may need to schedule more frequent short maintenance/accelerator physics days for SPEAR3 related work. It was pointed out that extending the run longer into the summer would be dependent on critical utilities such as electricity, water and on the availability of essential SLAC services. Time may also be allocated in the future for construction of alcoves, additional shielding as the current is ramped up, and additional beam lines such as the east pit.
  • Tom reported that first light in the new BL11-3 was achieved recently, but it was much weaker than expected. They will utilize scheduled maintenance/accelerator physics days to work on this, including removing a bellows between the monochromator and mirror for insertion of an ion chamber to check if this is the problem.
  • Recent lightning strikes caused some power outages. Piero Pianetta reported that back up generators are being investigated for critical equipment. LN monos are particularly sensitive to long power outages.
  • Some DOE funding is being provided for the first phase of an LN distribution system for the new LN monochromators. If additional funding can be identified, we may be able to purchase a large tank to feed the system and be able to provide backup to current system.
  • The LN monos on insertion device beam lines are limited to 2 cuts of crystals, and there is significant overhead to replace crystals (requires warming and venting mono, several days to replace, etc.). There is also a leak risk as the monos have limited thermal cycles. Staff are trying to determine the best cut for the majority of applications. Due to these limitations, it might not be possible to accommodate a small number of users who may request crystal cuts different from the majority of users. Unusual requests may be accommodated on bend magnet beam lines.
  • During the long shutdown, equipment will be removed and covered, and the floor will be emptied to protect everything from dust and damage during construction work.
  • Keith Hodgson reported that a serious safety accident had occurred in January and he urged everyone, particularly users, to exercise caution when working at or visiting unfamiliar environments such as SSRL. Although all details were not yet known, an employee was working alone on a ladder when he fell and hit his head. He was in intensive care for some time, but now seems to be on the road to recovery. The accident could have been life threatening and is being taken very seriously. Keith reiterated the importance that SSRL and SLAC place on working safely. He encouraged everyone to understand and learn from this accident, to exercise particular caution when working on ladders or elevated platforms, and to look out for each other whether at SSRL or at home. Additional information and safety guidelines are available on the website:http://www-ssrl.slac.stanford.edu/safety/
  • It was reported that two new staff scientists were recently recruited to SSRL, Michael Toney and Uwe Bergmann.
  • Keith reported that the President's '04 budget had been released, even though the current '03 budget is not yet out, and that the government was still operating under a continuing resolution. This is an area of potential concern, particularly for the LCLS program which had $6 M allocated in the '03 budget that cannot be used until the appropriations bill or a continuing resolution for new starts is approved.
  • Users expressed their desire to contact DOE officials to support the need for funding for the current budget cycle as well as the next '05 budget which BES should be starting to formulate. Users also expressed the need to articulate the need for future funding sufficient to capitalize on the capabilities of SPEAR3 so that the utilization of this already-invested-in equipment is not threatened.
  • With the announcement that Uwe had accepted a position at SSRL, beginning in March 2003, a closed session discussion was held to determine how to handle the position of EC Chair. There are no rules that prohibit the Chair from working at SSRL; however, SSRL employees would not be able to participate in lobbying activities that the users organization may undertake. The committee decided to have Uwe continue as chair through the remainder of his term rather than elect another chair for the rest of the year. Vice Chair, Ben Bostick and other EC members plan to represent user interests to the DOE and Congress.
  • A user representative is sought to serve on a SLAC security committee which will coordinate security communications and provide for the collaborative implementation of security policies. Deanne Jackson Rudd volunteered to serve on the committee as an SSRL user representative.
  • The next annual meeting of the SSRL Users' Organization will be held on October 9-10, 2003. Ben Bostick and Tim McPhillips will co-chair this meeting. A subsequent meeting will be held to begin planning for this meeting with the goal of getting the first mailing out by late Spring/early Summer. User suggestions included emphasis on the SPEAR3 upgrade including a significant status report of upgrade activities, new scientific capabilities with SPEAR3, and possibly tours of SSRL. The committee urged workshop organizers to summarize their workshops and publish these on the website. The few workshop summaries that are available are posted on the website: http://www-ssrl.slac.stanford.edu/publications/
  • The committee urged users to stay active in SSRL activities, even during the upcoming shutdown. Each EC members was asked to think in advance about potential nominees for the annual Lytle Award and to consider submitting nominations for this award.
  • Regarding candidates to fill upcoming vacancies on the SSRLUO-EC, users are encouraged to contact potential candidates to ensure they are interested in running for a position on the EC. Forward the candidate(s) names to Cathy Knotts who will distribute a call for nominations and put together a ballot later this year. A list of current and past EC members by scientific discipline was distributed for informational purposes.
  • The committee discussed holding another meeting in early/mid May to follow up on these issues and to get updates on budget on SPEAR3 related activities.
  • The meeting adjourned at 12:15 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Cathy Knotts
SSRL Liaison to SSRL Users' Organization Executive Committee


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