2004 Executive Meeting Minutes

October 22, 2004

Attendees:   Juana Acrivos, Joy Andrews, Benjamin Bostick, Michael Brzustowicz, Lisa Downward, Lisa Dunn, Britt Hedman, Bob Hettel, Keith Hodgson, Cathy Knotts, Richard Lee, Piero Pianetta, William Schlotter, Glenn Waychunas

Welcome/Introduction of Newly Elected Members

Ben Bostick called the meeting to order at 3:30 pm and announced the 2004 election results. New members were introduced and welcomed to the committee: Juana Acrivos, Alex Bell, Michael Brzustowicz, Kate Newberry, Joseph Noel, Bill Schlotter

Since this was the last meeting of the old committee, and the first meeting of the newly constituted committee, one of the first orders of business was to nominate candidates to serve as Vice Chair for 2005 (Vice Chair will organize the next users' conference and will serve as Chair in 2006). Juana Acrivos nominated Joy Andrews, and Joy accepted the nomination. Glenn Waychunas nominated Dick Lee, and Dick accepted the nomination. Cathy Knotts will circulate an email to the full SSRLUOEC requesting members to vote for one of these candidates, after which the new Vice Chair will be announced.

SSRL Directors Update

Keith Hodgson reported that an electrician was seriously injured in an electrical accident at the SLAC linac on October 18th, receiving 2nd and 3rd degree burns on about 50% of his body. Keith reiterated that safety is a top priority, and accidents are taken very seriously here and at all DOE facilities. All of SLAC is subject to safety stand-downs and mandatory safety training, but the users' meeting and workshops were allowed to continue as scheduled. Most of the site remains on work restrictions, including the accelerators. All work involving high voltage, lock/tag out, elevated platforms, hoisting and rigging will continue to be restricted, and the accelerators will remain shutdown for an indefinite period of time.

Because this has been categorized as a 'Type A Accident' (the most serious level), the specific details of the accident are being rigorously investigated by a team assembled by the Department of Energy. Although it is still impossible to provide an accurate estimate of the length of the shutdown because everything is out of our hands at the moment, we now believe that the current shutdown will likely last at least 6 weeks, which means that we MAY be able to restart in early December. This estimate will only be true if our assumptions turn out to be correct, that is to say, that the accident investigation concludes within 3 weeks which is the scheduled time frame, that the accident report is prepared and analyzed within about a week, that any actions mandated by the report can be readily implemented, that SPEAR3 turns back on with no difficulties so that commissioning activities can resume, and that Radiation Protection is available to review and approve each beam line for user operations. We estimate that this puts us into early December, but it could take longer before DOE allows SLAC and SPEAR to resume regular activities.

Although we are not aware of any user safety issues and have not been required to change any of our procedures, Keith wants to take this opportunity to review all safety related issues within the lab, and to encourage user input into this process. In addition, Keith requested 1-2 volunteers from the users organization to work with him, Ian Evans (SSRL Safety Officer), Cathy Knotts (Manager, User Services), and others in forming a panel to review current user safety documentation, processes, and procedures. The group will be charged with reviewing existing documentation and asking rigorous questions in order to ensure that everything is as it should be and/or to identify any safety pieces which may be missing or which may need updating. Juana Acrivos volunteered, and Ben Bostick volunteered Linda Brinen to work with SSRL on this panel. Keith repeated that he wanted a quick response on this. He also requested that safety be placed on the agenda of future SSRLUOEC meetings as a mechanism for users to continue to discuss safety and for these representatives to provide updates to the full SSRLUOEC.

SSRLUO Representative to ADCC

Bob Hettel reported that the SLAC Computer Coordinating Committee is about to be re-assembled with a membership of ~15 representatives around the site. The committee functions to provide management oversight of computing strategy, establish operational policies, and provide guidelines for the development of computing resources. Since the technical issues driving management decisions require a detailed and working knowledge of SLAC's needs and the available technologies, a Computer Coordinating Committee (CCC) will be appointed to be responsible for developing and bringing to the Associate Directors' Committee on Computing (ADCC) potential technical solutions which will guide management decisions in addressing computing problems. The CCC will consist of leaders of the major computing efforts around the Lab - major experiments, controls, SSRL, HEP and SSRL users, business computing, server farm, networking, and desktop computing. The Deputy Research Director, Steve Williams, will chair this new committee. The ADCC management oversight of computing with the technical advice of the CCC will serve the laboratory in its need to deal with changing technology within limited resources. Clemens Wermelskirchen and Martin George will represent SSRL, and the SSRLUOEC was invited to have an additional user representative on the CCC. Michael Brzustowicz expressed interest, discussed the issue with Martin George who reported that the meetings cover many issues, few of which actually relate to SSRL. Mike will ask Martin to keep him informed of any information related to SSRL. Mike will serve as a liaison between the CCC and the SSLRUOEC, and he will present the collected information at the SSRLUOEC meetings.

SSRLUO Representative to SLAC's Security Coordination Group

Cathy Knotts reported with Deanne Jackson Rudd graduating and leaving the committee, SSRL is in need of another user volunteer to serve on the SLAC Security Coordination Group. This group meets periodically to coordinate security communications and to establish integrated security groups for the laboratory, reporting to the laboratory director, to provide for the collaborative implementation of security policies. Since Ben Bostick has participated in other meetings on related to security and site access, he volunteered to serve on this committee.

Update of User Activism and DC Meetings

Ben Bostick reported that, within the last several months, there seemed to be little response or interest from user representatives from the other light sources for a trip to DC, likely because of the political uncertainty due to the upcoming election. Ben recommended that users continue to try to meet with their local representatives and that, whenever possible, it would be most effective to try to meet with individuals at higher levels within Congress, DOE, or OSTP, rather than staff members at lower levels. It was noted that previous user meetings with government officials had tremendous impact in raising awareness about basic science programs within the DOE, and that well organized visits and meetings should be continued. Keith reported that future budget projections would likely be flat or declining. Juana Acrivos suggested that members of the SSRLUOEC approach the senior management of their institutions to support funding for basic sciences, particularly heads of major universities (organizations such as the AAU could have significant influence). Public outreach was discussed as a way to increase the visibility of user facilities and the need to support basic sciences (e.g., town hall meetings, public lecture series, community outreach).

Update on SLAC Guest House

Cathy Knotts reported that the Guest House needs to have 80% occupancy in order to break even on their costs. They are occasionally sold out, but have not been reaching this goal overall. Only about 12 rooms a month have been attributed to SSRL, so it is essential that users specify their affiliation with SSRL when reserving rooms. There are problems with the on-line reservation system in that if you request a particular type of room that is not available, you are not informed of many other types of rooms that are available. Cathy encouraged users who have difficulties securing reservations on line to call the Guest House directly (650-926-2800). Cathy requested that users keep her informed of their experiences with the Guest House, as she will be serving on a special committee that SLAC Director Jonathan Dorfan is convening to address Guest House issues such as reservations, occupancy, etc.

Juana Acrivos suggested that if available, it would be a good idea to extend transportation into the evening hours for users and visitors who do not have their own transportation.

The meeting adjourned at 5:15 pm.

Cathy Knotts
SSRL Liaison to SSRL Users' Organization Executive Committee


July 30, 2004

Attendees:   Uwe Bergmann, Benjamin Bostick, Linda Brinen, Lisa Downward, Andy Fisher, Britt Hedman, Keith Hodgson, Cathy Knotts, Richard Lee, Anneli Munkholm, Piero Pianetta, Deanne Jackson Rudd, Glenn Waychunas

A meeting of the SSRL Users' Organization Executive Committee (SSRLUO-EC) was held on July 30, 2004. A summary of issues discussed follows. Follow up or action items are highlighted in bold.

  • Benjamin Bostick, SSRLUO-EC Chair, called the meeting to order at 1 pm.
  • Keith Hodgson welcomed the SSRLUOEC and remarked that the advice and support of the users was critical to SSRL. Keith discussed the strategic vision for SSRL over the next several years, SPEAR3 status and beam line expansion capacity including TXM, PX, MatSAXS, Hi-ResPES, SCund1, and SCund2. There is an opportunity for users to provide input into future beam lines that are up for definition. (ACTION)
    • A proposed SAXS/WAXS experimental station could be used for nanoparticles (FeOOH, TiO2, ashphaltenes), polymers, supramolecular assemblies, catalysts, metallic glasses, nanoporous materials, and thin films.
    • The proposed science for an inelastic x-ray scattering and advanced spectroscopy facility could include: bulk characterization of low Z elements (XRS) in ambient and extreme conditions, characterization of 3D metals (XES, RIXS, and S-XAS). A workshop to identify scientific problems and beam line parameters was held in October 2003. For 2004, we plan to build first element for X-ray Raman spectrometer to be used at existing wiggler station for testing and first experiments. For 2005 and beyond, complete XRS instrument and build RIXS/XES spectrometer; dedicated station at insertion device beam line; and investigate dispersive optics for applications at LCLS.
    • For the hard x-ray microscopy facility, beam time scheduled in March, May and July for commissioning of a fluorescence microprobe for 2D and 3D imaging on BL6-2. The advantages of a hard x-ray microscopy facility are: examination of thick samples in ambient atmosphere, fluorescence yield (XANES) and phase contrast imaging, large depth of focus, and large working distance. Two scientific areas have been identified: 1) study of the architectural structure of bone (NASA, UCSF, Cornell), and 2) study of microbes in wound tissue (NASA), determination of locations and dynamics of microbes in tissue by virtual sectioning, immuno-labeling and 3D mapping.
    • The soft x-ray beam line proposal involves three endstations to facilitate materials, surface, environmental science, chemistry and biology: user chamber, STXM/speckle, spectroscopy. The beam line was funded by DOE in July 2003; commissioning is planned for late calendar 2005 or the first part of 2006. A new proposal for the interferometer controlled scanning transmission x-ray microscope (STXM) is planned later in 2004. The STXM will be developed in collaboration with H. Ade (NCSU) based on ALS polymer-STXM design. New capabilities could include: extended photon energy range, incorporate fluorescence yield detector, incorporate streak camera.
  • Keith reported that the LCLS had received 32 Letter of Intent proposals involving 256 investigators. The LCLS SAC met in July and recommended that the initial program be organized around 5 themes: AMO science; coherent scattering at the nanoscale; pump/probe diffraction dynamics; nano-particle and single molecule (non-periodic) imaging; and pump/probe high energy density physics. A proposal to the DOE BES for an ultrafast science center was funded starting in August 2004. It was noted that more active user outreach could help to engage potential users early on, gauge the interest of the community, and generate ideas for new experiments with LCLS. (ACTION)
  • Britt Hedman presented a status report on the experimental stations available during the 2004 user run. To date, operations have resumed on: BL9-3, 9-1, 9-2, 5-4, 10-2, 10-1, 6-2, 11-1, 11-2, 11-3, 7-2, 2-3, 2-1, 8-2, 8-1, 4-2, 1-4. Although not ready for users during the 2004 run, BL1-5 (crystallography) and BL2-2 (white beam) are expected to be available in October 2004; BL3-1 (LIGA) not finished with the Radiation Physics process, may be ready to resume operations in early 2005; BL3-3 (soft energy), possibly, early 2005 with interim optics (final optics in 2006-2007).
    • Beam line work planned during the 2004 summer shutdown includes: BL5-new slits and BPM; BL6-new optics (M0 and M1 mirror and associated hardware) and new shielding; BL10-masks, slits, etc.; Bl11-new graphite filters. During the 2005 holiday shutdown (December 22, 2004-January 2, 2005) all of BL9 is scheduled for work including new optics, associated hardware, slit jaws, masks, etc.; user operations expected to resume on BL9-1, 9-2 and 9-3 by the end of January.
    • Future beam line work includes: BL5-1/5-2 (photoemission)-first beam through new rebuilt beam line seen July 2004, beam line ready for users in 2005; BL7-run BL7-2 through July 2005 as is, BL7-1 and 7-3 down with rebuild of all of BL7 planned during the summer 2005 shutdown (in conjunction with earthquake/shielding work needed on the Building 120 shield wall which stretches from BL2 to BL10); BL4-1/4-3 (XAS) closed through approximately 2006 when all of BL4 should be ready for 500 mA and final optics.
    • The biggest uncertainty in timing is Radiation Physics (RP) review for 500 mA operation of beam lines; the process is not yet started but will take advantage of beam line documentation developed for 100 mA operation levels. Beam lines will run at 100 mA during the first part of the 2005 user run.
  • Ben Bostick shared the presentation that he made to the SSRL Proposal Review Panel (PRP) summarizing activities of the SSRLUOEC, such as user activism and trips to Washington, DC planned in the Fall to encourage support for synchrotron facilities.
    • To increase the general response rate on end-of-run summaries, user administration staff have posted notices around the beamlines and sent email reminders. Ben reported that users continue to express a high degree of satisfaction related to their beam time - and response rate on end of run summaries have increased from ~25% in 2003 to >35% in 2004.
    • Ben reported that the PRP requested user input on the proposal review and appeal process as well as future beam time capabilities. (ACTION)
    • The SSRLUOEC decided to write a letter to DOE, perhaps in collaboration with the PRP, acknowledging the remarkable progress on the SPEAR3 upgrade and returning beam to users within 1 year. They also expressed concern that no additional resources to operate SPEAR3 could compromise SSRL's ability to bring up new beam lines, to continue to operate effectively, and to continue to provide the outstanding user support for which SSRL is known. (ACTION)
  • Next SLAC Public Lecture - Metal, Molecules, Life and Death, August 31, 2004: This public lecture will be given by Dr. Graham George, former SSRL scientist and now Canada Research Chair in X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy, Department of Geological Sciences, University of Saskatchewan. For more information see: http://www2.slac.stanford.edu/lectures/info/2004_08_31.htm
  • Cathy Knotts summarized user administration activities, including communications, new procedures for GERT and foreign visits, and user operations. SSRL is working with SLAC communications and other lightsources to develop a collaboration: www.lightsources.org
    • Approximately 680 on-site users participated in beam time in 2004 with 466 experiment starts. Demand exceeded 100% on all available beam lines, with several over 200% demand (BL2-3, 11-1, 11-2 approximately 350% demand).
    • Only 22 new proposals and 2 extension requests were received for PRP review during the last cycle. The light response could be attributed to the extensions given to active proposals during the 2003 SPEAR3 shutdown and during 2004 transition.
    • Call for new proposals (Xray/VUV due November 1, 2004; MC due December 1, 2004). Beam Time Requests for 1st scheduling period in 2005 (begins Oct 18, 2004) due before August 13, 2004. (ACTION)
    • Proposal forms will be modified to prompt users to respond to questions related to informing and acknowledging SSRL on publications. (ACTION)
    • GERT Training Requirements Continue in 2005 (users need to make appointments for GERT training prior to arrival). (ACTION)
    • Tracking on-site users through DOE FACTS database (users need to submit user information 30 days in advance of anticipated visits; advance approval only needed for users from SST countries; taking >1 yr). (ACTION)
  • In honor of the many contributions of William E. Spicer, SSRL has established the W.E. Spicer Award for scientific excellence to be awarded annually to a young scientist. The Spicer Award will be presented at the annual SSRL users' meeting to a young investigator who has made important technical or scientific contributions that benefit from or are beneficial to SSRL or the synchrotron community. The award, which is open to senior graduate students and those within seven years of entry into their professional scientific field at the time of nomination, will consist of a certificate and $1,000. Nominations in the form of a letter or email summarizing the technical or scientific contributions of the candidate should be sent by September 1, 2004 to Cathy Knotts, SSRL MS 99, 2574 Sand Hill Rd., Menlo Park, CA 94025. http://www-ssrl.slac.stanford.edu/faculty/spicer.html. The SSRLUOEC was asked to nominate 2 individuals to serve on the selection committee to which Linda Brinen and Lisa Downward volunteered. Users are encouraged to submit nominations. (ACTION)
  • Users are encouraged to submit nominations for the 2004 Lytle Award, which was established in 1998 to promote important technical or scientific accomplishments in synchrotron radiation-based science and to foster collaboration and efficient use of beam time among users and staff at the SSRL. The Lytle Award consists of a certificate and $1,000. All SSRL users and staff are eligible for this award, but only nominations for individuals will be considered (no group awards). Letters of nominations summarizing the individual's contributions and why you feel they should be recognized through this award must be forwarded before the September 10th deadline to . http://www-conf.slac.stanford.edu/ssrl/2004/lytle.htm (ACTION)
  • Users are asked to nominate colleagues for the 2005 SSRLU0EC. There will be seven vacant positions to fill on the SSRLUOEC for 2004 in the following disciplines: materials/chemistry (2); biospectroscopy (1); macromolecular crystallography (2); ultrafast science (1). In addition, nominations for a graduate student member of the committee (in any discipline) are needed. The SSRLUOEC is a voluntary organization which serves as an advisory panel to communicate user needs or concerns and to help advocate the role synchrotrons play to the larger community. Members generally serve a two-year term. Send nominations to us before the September 24th deadline. We will contact candidates, collect brief biographies, prepare and distribute ballots, and the final voting will held at SSRL's Annual Users' Meeting on October 21, 2004. All newly elected members begin their term immediately following the Users' Meeting. http://www-ssrl.slac.stanford.edu/users/ssrluo/ (ACTION)
  • Uwe Bergmann presented a proposal to establish memorial award(s) for outstanding graduate student poster presentations (proposed Melvin P. Klein Memorial Best Graduate Student Poster Award or Melvin P. Klein Memorial Outstanding Structural Molecular Biology Graduate Student Poster Award). This proposal will be forwarded to SSRL management for review and discussion. (ACTION)
  • Uwe Bergmann discussed the desire to have fast scan capability at SSRL. He reported that he had talked with Martin George about this data acquisition software option; He encouraged users to support the idea and encouraged SSRL to make the development of fast scans a priority. This would enable the collection of forward and backward data, could be implemented through XAS Collect, and could support increased highthroughput capabilities, so that users could collect data in shorter amounts of beam time and more users could get be accommodated overall. (ACTION)
  • Glenn Waychunas, co-chair for SSRL31, discussed plans for the annual users' conference on October 20-26, 2004. The annual users' meeting on October 21-22, 2004 will feature presentations to help users incorporate new technology and make the most of SPEAR3 beam time as well as sessions on spectroscopy, scattering and diffraction, and reports from SSRL staff and young investigators. Users are encouraged to submit abstracts for oral presentations (due by Aug 27th) and for poster presentations (deadline for printed material is Oct 1st). Graduate students, in particular, are encouraged to participate in the meeting and in the graduate student poster competition; registration fees are significantly discounted for students, and the cost to attend the awards dinner is waived for students submitting posters. http://www-conf.slac.stanford.edu/ssrl/2004/reg/abs.asp

    Immediately preceeding the annual users' meeting, users can select from three concurrent workshop options. A post-workshop/pre-user meeting registration reception will also be held on Wednesday, Oct. 20th from 5-7 pm. Following the annual users' meeting, users are invited to participate in the Ultrafast Science and LCLS Experiments Workshop on Oct. 25-26, 2004 (reception on Sunday evening, Oct. 24 from 5-7 pm). For more information on the preliminary program and other plans for the 31st Annual SSRL Users' Meeting, visit the website at: http://www-conf.slac.stanford.edu/ssrl/2004/program.htm

    1. Modern Valence Band Photoemission Spectroscopy Workshop - A Legacy of W.E. Spicer and A Powerful Tool for Materials (a joint SSRL/ALS workshop organized by Ingolf Lindau, Piero Pianetta, Z.X. Shen, and Neville Smith) (SLAC Bldg. 48, Redwood Room A/B, 9 am-5pm) This workshop will combine a reflection on the history of modern valence band photoemission spectroscopy, and a survey of the latest developments in the field with emphasis on high resolution angle-resolved photoemission studies of novel materials. The latest advancements in both theory and experiment will be discussed (including the planned photoemission beamline at SSRL). Confirmed speakers include: Walter Kohn (Nobel Laureate), J.R. Schrieffer (Nobel Laureate), George Sawatsky, Ward Plummer.
    2. High Throughput Screening/Macromolecular Crystallography Workshop (Aina Cohen, Mike Soltis, Ana Gonzalez) (SLAC Bldg. 48, Redwood Room C/D, 1-5 pm) Participants will learn about the latest developments at SSRL including an overview of automated crystal screening, a capability that will be available at all the macromolecular crystallography beamlines. Topics will include robotic sample mounting, crystal screening software, and new options for data backup. Some time will be set aside for an open discussion. Learn how to take advantage of these new tools, hear about what is being developed, avoid common pitfalls, and let us know how to best meet your needs. Each new participant will be given a 'cassette loading kit' and will learn to use the kit contents to load pre-frozen samples into SSRL sample cassettes. Participants will also learn to successfully flash-cool samples while loading cassettes. They will find out how to best ship cassettes and learn how to upload crystal information into the blu-ice control system database. This workshop is good preparation for researchers inexperienced with the use of the SSRL automated screening system. Space is limited for this hands-on workshop.
    3. Experimental Methods of X-ray Scattering (Sean Brennan, Apurva Mehta, Mike Toney). This will be a hands-on practicum which will occur on BLs 7-2, 2-1 and 11-3. In addition to basic techniques of diffractometer alignment, there will be discussions of how to do specific measurements on each station such as grazing incidence scattering, specular reflectivity, powder diffraction and anomalous scattering. There will also be demonstrations of the recently acquired 900C furnace. The workshop is recommended for students of all ages who would like to be more efficient and effective in using the scattering stations at SSRL.
    4. Ultrafast Science and LCLS Experiments Workshop, Monday-Tuesday, Oct. 25-26, 2004: The workshop will begin with a joint session on Monday morning, Oct. 25th. On Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning, there will be breakout sessions for each of the five thrust areas of the LCLS. The workshop will end with a joint session on Tuesday afternoon, Oct. 26th. The workshop and breakout sessions will focus on the scientific goals and technical needs as well as experimental specifications. This workshop is open to all users (and potential future users interested in learning more about how to participate in LCLS and utilize this new technology):
      • Atomic, molecular and optical physics
      • High energy density states of matter
      • Optical pump-x-ray probe studies in chemistry, biology and materials science
      • Diffraction imaging of single objects approaching atomic scale resolution
      • Coherent x-ray scattering for the study of dynamics (X-ray photon correlation spectroscopy)
  • There was a discussion about possible themes for the users meeting dinner other than Oktoberfest which was very popular in the past. Linda Brinen subsequently recommended a harvest theme and requested that additional vegetarian options be incorporated into the menu selections. (ACTION)
  • In a Closed Session discussion at the end of the meeting, the SSRLUOEC identified a need to elect a replacement Vice Chair for 2004; this individual will also serve as Chair in 2005. Glenn Waychunas was nominated and subsequently elected to this position, effective immediately. (ACTION)
  • The meeting adjourned at 5 pm

May 10, 2004

Attendees:   Joy Andrews, Uwe Bergmann, Benjamin Bostick, Linda Brinen, Lisa Downward, Lisa Dunn, Britt Hedman, Keith Hodgson, Cathy Knotts, Richard Lee, Anneli Munkholm, Piero Pianetta, Tom Rabedeau, Deanne Jackson Rudd, Tim Stemmler

A meeting of the SSRL Users' Organization Executive Committee (SSRLUO-EC) was held on May 10, 2004. A summary of issues discussed follows. Follow up or action items are highlighted in bold.

  • Benjamin Bostick, SSRLUO-EC Chair, called the meeting to order shortly after 8:30 am.
  • Keith Hodgson gave a update on SSRL, SPPS, and LCLS activities. Keith summarized numerous SPEAR3 milestones from the first electrons circulating in SPEAR3 in early December 2003 to achieving 100mA stored current in January 2004 to resuming user operations in March 2004, all completed within 1 year of the shutdown as predicted. Benefits of the at-energy injection were immediately clear - typical fill times are 3-5 minutes compared to 20-30 minutes with SPEAR2. Systems are in place to implement top-off mode in the future once other goals (stable high current running) have been achieved and radiation safety issues have been worked out. In fully built out phase, SPEAR has capacity for 18 new bend and 14 ID beam lines. Two new beam lines will be added in 2006-2007: BL12 (hard x-ray in vacuum undulator beam line for macromolecular crystallography funded by Moore gift to Caltech) and BL13 (soft x-ray variable polarization undulator beam line for speckle, microscopy, and spectroscopy on nanoscale materials funded by DOE BES). Keith encouraged input from SSRLUOEC as to priority and planning for future SPEAR3 beam lines.
  • Keith summarized LCLS activities. Expected to become operational in 2008, LCLS will be the first Free Electron Laser (FEL) to produce hard x-rays spanning the wavelength range 1.5-15 Ã…. The LCLS construction project includes the complete accelerator systems to produce the radiation as well as experimental infrastructure such as experiment hutches and basic computing facilities. The project scope also includes a comprehensive suite of instrumentation for characterization of the x-ray beam and for early experiments in atomic, molecular, and optical physics. A broad call for proposals (letters of intent) was distributed in April as the first step in the process of defining the initial scientific program of the LCLS. Proposals, due by June 21, will be reviewed by the LCLS Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) and teams will be formed for the development of full proposals for the detailed R&D, engineering and construction of LCLS experimental stations and associated science programs. Keith encouraged the SSRLUOEC to support the LCLS project and to help in disseminating information on the call for proposals.
  • In response to questions about LCLS beyond its initial phase, Keith anticipates that large collaborations would initially work on very complex problems and later transition to general users.
  • Tom Rabedeau reviewed the changes to the radiation physics and radiation safety approval process that has led to some delays to bringing up the beam lines. To date, user operations have resumed on BL9-3, BL9-1,9-2,5-4,10-2,10-1,6-2,11-1,11-2, 11-3,7-2, 2-3 and 2-1. Estimates of other beam lines to open for 2004 user run, include: BL8-2 the week of May 14; BL8-1 the week of May 21; BL4-2 the week of May 28; and BL1-4, 1-5, 7-1, 3-1 later in June or July. Requirements for BL3-3 may make it difficult to open this beam line during the 2004 user run. As beam lines are opened over the next several weeks, brief periods of no beam will be required to access SPEAR and remove the locks from the injection stoppers as soon as operation of each beam line is approved by Radiation Physics. The beam lines may also require special SPEAR operating conditions, mainly in the form of lower currents (~25-50 mA) for initial vacuum outgassing which may last for a few hours. Tom also reported on progress towards the new beam lines being developed, BL12 and BL13.
  • Ben summarized his participation in the SLAC Science Policy Committee (SPC) Meeting, May 7-8. He noted the need for additional support staff and lab facilities, as well as help with user visa and site approval issues. He also suggested that users could benefit from expanded transportation options such as more frequent (every 30 minutes) and longer hours of operation (now stops at 5 pm) for the Stanford Marguerite shuttle. The SPC was overall very supportive of SSRL users' activities, particularly the joint activities with the SLUO such as the public lecture series.
  • Uwe Bergmann reported that he was working on the public lecture series along with SLUO and the SLAC Communications Office. A public lecture will be planned on the last Tuesday of even numbered months (earlier in December). Users are encouraged to participate in the practice sessions and offer suggestions to the speakers. Although the speaker will be required to put some effort into translating technical science into an entertaining talk for the public (eg., preparing engaging non-technical slides, committing to practice sessions, etc.), there is a big payoff in the community wide support that results. Also, the material developed to present at these lectures is the same type of material that can be used when discussing user activities with Congressional representatives, policymakers, reporters and other non-scientific audiences. The lectures to date have been well advertised externally and have been attracting capacity crowds. Future talks will feature Graham George (August 31, 2004) and Jo Stohr (December 14, 2004). Uwe encouraged users to suggest other topics for talks next year. Some suggestions made at the meeting included structural biology using crystallography as a tool and ultrafast science experiments.
  • The importance of user activism was discussed. Ben mentioned that a trip to Washington DC is planned for representatives from the various user facilities (probably in June) to raise awareness about the user science supported by synchrotrons, particularly discussions with policymakers as they are considering future budgets for physical sciences and for synchrotron facilities. Ben has developed and maintains an SSRL user activism website through his home institution: http://www.dartmouth.edu/~ssrluo/ It was suggested that users could assist the SSRLUOEC by sending letters to their representatives using the tools available through the American Physical Society. http://capwiz.com/chemical/issues/alert/?alertid=5818516&type=CO
  • Following up on the suggestion from the last meeting, Linda Brinen noted that the ability to prepare mailing lists by users' research areas would make targeted messages (such emails about user activism) more likely to reach the intended audience. Cathy Knotts and Piero Pianetta reported that changes to the current database are under development which may make this possible in the near future.
  • A user suggested establishing a young investigator award at SSRL, and the committee supported this idea to recognize exceptional achievements made by investigators within 5 years of receiving their Ph.D. It was noted that an SSRL user and Stanford student, Dr. Alexis Templeton, was the recipient of the 2004 Rosalind Franklin Award from the APS and this may serve as a potential model for an SSRL young investigator award: http://www.aps.anl.gov/aps/frame_user_info.html Additional details need to be worked out, including who the young investigator award would be named after and how it would be funded (would need to sustain an award of $1,000/year).
  • There was a lengthy discussion about the pros and cons of continuing to allow users to request an extension of the fill times (now scheduled 3 times a day at 6 am, 2 pm, and 10 pm). The SSRLUOEC recommends that SSRL discontinue the courtesy option of delaying fills up to 15 minutes that has been extended to users during this transition with SPEAR3. They felt that users could best and most efficiently plan their experiments if fills went on as scheduled. Also, they recommended that the Duty Operator announce the fill on a more regular time frame so they can plan accordingly (e.g., at 60 minutes, 30 minutes, 15 minutes, and as the fill occurs).
  • Users were encouraged users to share short, but specific information on beam time experiences; these anecdotal summaries will be shared with staff and other users through the newsletter, etc. Ben reported double signal to noise on BL10-1; Tim commented on good experiences with BL10-2 and the benefit of short top off fills; Uwe reported 10x more photons than before, factor of 20 increase due to brightness and new optics.
  • Some users are anxious to encourage the capability of continuous scans at SSRL, and they plan to discuss this further with management in the near future. There was also a discussion of modifying the proposal and beam time request forms to ask users to consider highthroughput capabilities, and that shorter amounts of scheduled beam time might be scheduled so that more users could get beam time.
  • In order to increase the general response rate on end-of-run summaries, the SSRLUOEC recommends that more reminders be given to users to complete these surveys. They suggested that user support staff remind users to complete this form when they are checking in or assisting users; that Duty Operators and/or program managers remind users during the 3 pm walkaround; that more signs be posted around the beam lines; and that User Administration investigate sending automated email reminders to everyone a few days before beam time ends.
  • Changes related to radiation safety training and procedures were discussed. SSRL buildings and beam line areas are being monitored for several months of regular user operations with SPEAR3. All of the experimental floor are considered a radiologically controlled area (RCA) while radiation surveys are underway. All users and unescorted visitors in the experimental area must have current GERT training (General Employee Radiation Training) and wear a dosimeter during this period. Users need to make advance arrangements to use 1 of the 4 dedicated terminals for computer based training (CBT) now available in the SSRL user offices. Alternatively, users can forward copies of valid GERT training documentation from other DOE facilities to transfer this training to SLAC.
  • 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 visits by users from 7 SST countries be pre-approved by the DOE and other government officials before they can be issued a user ID badge for unescorted access to the experimental area. All users must inform SSRL User Administration at least 30 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.
  • Cathy Knotts circulated an email from the White House Office of Science Technology and Policy requesting anecdotal information related to international travel - these need to be sent in by May 12th. These issues are making it increasing difficult for foreign users to travel to and participate in beam time. One former SSRL employee who accepted a faculty position outside of the US just received a visa - after 1-1/2 years of pursuing this. However, even though she now has a visa, her visit has not yet been approved by FACTS, so she remains uncertain about her ability to utilize scheduled beam time and participate in scientific meetings.
  • Users were reminded of the need to keep SSRL informed whenever SSRL related work is prepared for publication and to acknowledge SSRL and funding sources in publications and presentations.
  • It's time to start planning for the 31st Annual Users' Conference on October 21-22, 2004. Draft postcards featuring SPEAR3 photos were circulated for review by the committee; this first mailing post card will be finalized and distributed to users in early June. Users are encouraged to recommend session topics and speakers that are of interest to them. The committee offered several suggestions, including: session on 'changing times at SSRL', what's new with SPEAR3 (eg., new equipment, new optics, faster XAFS), perhaps talks pairing users with staff (Uwe Bergmann was suggested as a potential speaker); more nuts & bolts practical talks, incorporating new technology, helping users making the most of their SPEAR3 beam time (it was suggested that Martin George be asked to give a demonstration of quick scans/comparison with old scans); hands on training with crystallography robotics; and talks by new investigators (graduate students, postdocs).
  • The committee recommended that advisors be asked to encourage students to participate in the meeting - including the dinner. Cathy Knotts reported that there should be sufficient funds to subsidize or waive the cost of the dinner for graduate students who submit posters in order to encourage more students to present posters and so that these students can participate in the poster awards and dinner.
  • Dick Lee reported that VUV FEL should be operating next year at DESY and this could potentially lead to a good topic for a talk or workshop at the annual users' meeting. Also suggested the role of synchrotron radiation users in LCLS (ultrafast spectroscopy, etc.). More active user outreach could help to engage potential users early on, gauge the interest of the community, and generate ideas for new experiments with LCLS.
  • Users are encouraged to recommend session topics, speakers and topics for workshops on October 20th. 3 tentative workshop topics have been suggested so far:
    • Bioimaging (Hodgson)
    • Femtochemistry (Gaffney)
    • Microimaging/Spectroscopy with SPEAR3 (Pianetta/Hedman?)
  • Users were reminded to bring their own Ethernet cables in order to utilize the internet connections at the SLAC Guest House. Alternatively, Ethernet cables are available for purchase at the Guest House Gift Shop.
  • The meeting adjourned at 11:45 am

January 23, 2004

Attendees:   Joy Andrews, Uwe Bergmann, Benjamin Bostick, Richard Brennan, Linda Brinen, Lisa Downward, Lisa Dunn, Britt Hedman, Keith Hodgson, Cathy Knotts, Richard Lee, Piero Pianetta, Tom Rabedeau, Martina Ralle, Jackie Robleto, Deanne Jackson Rudd, Tim Stemmler, Mike Toney, Glenn Waychunas

A meeting of the SSRL Users' Organization Executive Committee (SSRLUO-EC) was held on January 23, 2004, immediately following the open session of the SSRL Proposal Review Panel meeting. A summary of issues discussed follows. Follow up or action items are highlighted in bold.

  • Benjamin Bostick, SSRLUO-EC Chair, called the meeting to order at 2 pm. The meeting began with introductions, as many of the newly elected members were in attendance.
  • Ben related from personal experience that user activism has the potential to have a huge impact to raise their awareness about the user science supported by synchrotrons, particularly discussions with policymakers as they are considering future budgets for physical sciences and for synchrotron facilities. Ben has developed and maintains an SSRL user activism website through his home institution: http://www.dartmouth.edu/~ssrluo/
  • There was a discussion and feedback related to the 30th Annual SSRL Users' meeting. It was suggested that advisors do more to encourage students to participate in the meeting - including the awards dinner. Several people suggested that more graduate students might be encouraged to participate in the meeting, submit posters and attend the awards dinner if the cost of the dinner could be subsidized or waived for those students submitting a poster.
  • Glenn Waychunas suggested that a session at the users' meeting might be devoted to new investigators (graduate students, postdocs).
  • It was suggested that it might be helpful to have something on the role of synchrotron radiation users in LCLS (ultrafast spectroscopy, etc.). More active user outreach would help to engage potential users early on, gauge the interest of the community, generate ideas for new experiments, solicit new proposals. Dick Lee noted the challenge of putting together a package for review by SLAC, DOE and others to aid in commissioning and initial transition to the general user phase of the project.
  • Keith Hodgson gave a update on SSRL, SPPS, and LCLS activities. User operations expected to resume with SPEAR3 in March 2004. Expansion capacity exists for 8-10 new beam lines (first 2 in final phases of design/funding - soft x-ray and hard x-ray undulators). SPPS builds on strong strong synergy between accelerator and photon sciences; experiment utilizes SLAC linac with added bunch compressor and undulator to produce 80 fsec x-ray pulses. SPPS provides the first opportunity to directly gain experience with high brightness, short pulse linac based x-ray light source - enabling new area of science and R&D directly relevant to LCLS. LCLS, world's first x-ray free electron laser entering 2nd year of PED funding. DOE Critical Decision 2a approval authorizes advance procurements ($30M ) to be made in FY2005. Construction expected to begin in FY2006 with first laser commissioning in early FY2008 and project completion by beginning of FY2009.
  • Changes related to radiation safety training and procedures were discussed. SSRL buildings and beam line areas will be monitored for several months of regular user operations with SPEAR3. During this time, all of the experimental floor will be considered a radiologic controlled area (RCA) while radiation surveys are underway. All users in the experimental 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.
  • 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 reported on a meeting on this topic that they attended along with other user organization representatives and user program mangers at BNL at the end of October. Deanne Jackson Rudd updated the committee on activities of the SLAC Security Committee. Users with questions or concerns can contact these individuals.
  • Uwe Bergmann updated the group on plans for a public lecture series at SLAC. The series is being coordinated with SLUO and the SLAC Communications Office and will include several presentations by SR scientists including Herman Winick, Graham George and Jo Stohr.
  • Given the short user run anticipated in 2004 and increased demand for the beam lines available, there was a suggestion to investigate shorter shifts (<8 hours) in order accommodate more users. With the increase in brightness, is it possible to schedule users for less than they requested or even half shifts for users such as crystallography so that can get baseline information?
  • Following up on the discussion at October 2003 SSRLUOEC meeting, the committee decided to change the names of two user discipline categories to (other categories remain the same):
    • Structural Molecular Biology = Biospectroscopy
    • LCLS = Ultrafast science
  • It was suggested that the mailing list database maintained by SSRL be updated to include users' research areas so that mailings can be targeted to those users in each category. Cathy reported that there are some limitations with the current database but that this could be incorporated into an updated database which is under development (new system will also offer more user friendly web interfaces for updating mailing list information, proposals, and scheduling information).
  • The meeting adjourned at 6 pm, followed by a group dinner with members of the SSRL Proposal Review Panel.

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