2005 Executive Meeting Minutes

July 11, 2005

Attendees: Juana Acrivos, Zaven Altounian, Joy Andrews, Linda Brinen, Michael Brzustowicz, Lisa Downward, Lisa Dunn, Jesse Guzman, Britt Hedman, Bob Hettel, Cathy Knotts, Piero Pianetta, Bill Schlotter, Jo Stöhr, Glenn Waychunas.

Safety Update

Ian Evans gave a presentation on safety, including suggestions for both work and home. In reply to a question about the machine shop at SSRL, users were discouraged from using this shop without specific authorization. They can, however, contact SSRL staff or the Duty Operator to find out if someone can help them to get parts machined. Users are encouraged to stay informed and follow policies as they relate to safety and to ask if they have any questions.


SSRL Director's Update

SSRL Director Keith Hodgson reviewed recent organizational changes at SLAC, which now has 2 main scientific programs: Photon Sciences (Keith Hodgson heads this group) and Particle & Particle Astrophysics (Persis Drell heads this group). Photon Sciences encompasses SSRL and ultrafast science which includes the LCLS science program and a program to develop ultrafast scientific instruments. Keith noted that the report from the DOE program review of SSRL which was held in late January had been received; the report was overall very positive and the panel made a few suggestions including the addition of a separate scientific advisory committee, the need for more beam line support staff, and further development of career paths for beam line scientists.

Keith also reported that SPEAR3 achieved a major milestone in June when 500mA was reached for the first time; things are moving along smoothly and as designed. Additional high current tests are planned for the remaining AP days this run (July 18-19), including tests at BL6-2. Further reviews and approvals are needed by Radiation Protection for 500mA operations in SPEAR and later to deliver to beam lines. We anticipate periods of high current running sometime next year.

Top-Off Injection

Bob Hettel summarized the status of SPEAR, including some diurnal changes, movement and noise that has been noted. A medium orbit feedback system now addresses the trestle movement which was distorting signal at 100mA. A group (including Sean Brennan and Andrei Terebilo) has been assembled to investigate stability issues. Users are encouraged to notify the program managers during their 3 pm walk through whenever noise is experienced at the beam lines.

Bob stated the goal as low noise, thermally stable beam to users, working towards the maximum potential which is 500mA. Higher brightness will be advantageous for some experiments, but some beamlines would need to shut down until they are fully upgraded for 500mA operations. We may try to question users in the next call for beam time requests about their preference (or not) for high current (beam time requests will be due in September for the run which resumes Nov. 28th). It is difficult to predict now how this information will be incorporated into the schedule for the next run until more information is known; there will be internal meetings to help flush this out, and we hope to be able to give users a better idea of the next run schedule before the Fall. We want to be capable of reaching 500mA, and it would be easy to reduce intensity if warranted. Results from early high current tests were promising, and the various approvals are ongoing.

Questions were raised about shortening beam time allocations to accommodate more users. Others noted that this was not very likely at SSRL given resources limitations (experiment changeovers are still staff dependent). Also, longer periods of beam time allow more difficult experiments or allow data to be collected at lower concentrations. Group blocks of beam time may be investigated, particularly among crystallographers, where groups running the same type of experiment with the same equipment set up share beam time to maximize available beam time (e.g., over a long weekend).

Bob discussed several fill scenarios for SPEAR3 at 500 mA as well as top-offs at other labs. There are several reasons for pursuing this option, including the potential improvement in the beam stability owing to the more constant power loading on ring and BL optics as well as the performance boost associated with top off. Without top off, there is some concern that 500mA power loading on the BL optics will result in beam focus and monochromator tune drifts. The issue will not likely be decided immediately (other labs took several years to implement), and radiation protection approvals will need to be obtained for both the ring and the individual beam lines. This topic will be discussed again at the users' meeting with a brief presentation during the SSRL reports session on Tuesday, October 18th and an opportunity to discuss in more depth at a workshop on Wednesday, October 19th. SSRL beam line scientists and other users with experience with top off are asked to be liaisons and encouraged to share their experiences with the entire user community; this will help users get a better idea of how and which types of experiments will be impacted with top off.

SPEAR3- A Look into the Future (Including Pulsed Beam for Time Structure)

Jo Stohr presented several slides outlining the present status, vision for the future, and goals for SSRL. Jo described 3 pillars of photon science at SLAC; SPEAR3, LCLS, and Stanford Centers. This model is unique from other labs; the overlap of faculty between Stanford and SLAC/SSRL and interplay of disciplines represents a strong connection and asset. Jo briefly discussed opportunities to use 50-100 ps systems (magnetism, surfaces, etc.). Currently electrons travel in the ring in bunches or buckets. A pulsed beam would allow time resolved studies. User input is requested to consider user interest for pulsed beam and the impact on user experiments of this mode of operation; specifically, what would be the desirable properties for a pulsed beam, how often, what types of experiments would benefit, what is the impact on other types of experiments.

Jo also highlighted the unique role of X-rays over other technologies to better understand structures and how they change with time - the future opportunities are in the world of small and fast.

Piero Pianetta summarized the beam line upgrades and construction activities planned over the summer shutdown which begins on August 1st, including upgrades to BL10, BL9 and BL7. These beam lines will be available for users after upgrades and commissioning are completed. For BL10-1, BL10-2 and BL9-3, this is expected by mid December; BL9-1 and BL9-2 by January 2006. BL7-3 is expected to be available for users by February 2006, with BL7-1 and 7-2 a bit later in early 2006. A preliminary copy of 2006 user operations schedule, which is expected to resume around November 28, 2005 and continue through July 31, 2006, can be found at:

Update of User Activities and Activism

SSLRUOEC Chair Glenn Waychunas shared material prepared and presented by the UEC chairs during the meetings in Washington in April.

3-3:30 pm SSRLUOEC Update

  • UEC chairs/vice chairs trip to DC in April; another meeting potentially in the Fall
  • UEC chairs to meet at SSRL Oct. 17th
  • User activism (encourage visits to representatives; write letters) http://www.dartmouth.edu/~ssrluo/

3:30-4 pm 32nd Annual SSRL Users' Meeting


  • Feedback requested from the 2004 Annual Users' Conference
  • Preliminary Plans for the 32nd Annual Meeting on Oct. 17-18, 2005; 1st mailing postcard to be distributed shortly; website under development:
  • Possible workshops to date:
    • Biological Small Angle X-Ray Scattering Workshop (H. Tsuruta), Oct. 15-16th (Sat-Sun)
    • Soft X-Ray Science at LCLS Workshop (J. Lüning, A. Nilsson), Oct. 18-19th
    • Top off injection (B. Hettel) - half day? Pulsed beam?
    • Tentative - Environmental Science Workshop (J. Bargar)
    • Tentative - Materials Small Angle X-Ray Scattering Workshop (M. Toney, J. Pople)
    • Any other suggestions for workshop topics?

4-4:30 pm SSRL/SSRLUOEC Awards (C. Knotts/L. Dunn)


4:30-5 pm Outreach, Communications, User Administration (C. Knotts/L. Dunn)

5-5:30 pm Walk-in Items

The meeting adjourned around 5:30 pm.

Cathy Knotts
SSRL Liaison to SSRL Users' Organization Executive Committee

March 18, 2005

Attendees:   Juana Acrivos, Joy Andrews, Alex Bell, Ben Bostick, Michael Brzustowicz, Lisa Downward, Lisa Dunn, Britt Hedman, Keith Hodgson, Cathy Knotts, Richard Lee, Piero Pianetta, Bill Schlotter, Clyde Smith, Tim Stemmler, Glenn Waychunas


SSRL Director's Update

SSRL Director Keith Hodgson discussed integrated safety management system (ISMS) at SSRL and recent activities to review and strengthen safety awareness at SSRL and SLAC. A task force that included two SSRLUOEC representatives was convened in November to comprehensively review the SSRL user safety program, to ensure that it continues to be an effective mechanism to control hazards, provide a safe environment for users and to meet ISMS goals. A few enhancements were identified and implemented. Users are encouraged to continue to focus on safety, to provide suggestions and feedback, and to review the safety page on the SSRL website which includes the restart validation documentation, area hazard analyses, safety guidelines, emergency preparedness plans, area contacts, and other important information related to safety at SSRL.

Keith discussed the FY2006 President's budget, which shows a 7% ($2.3 M) decrease for SSRL (targeting capital equipment and BL upgrade program). The SSRL Directorate considered multiple ways of dealing with this budget shortfall, and they concluded that a reduction in staffing was the most prudent and principal course of action. This budget reduction will impact operations and resources; this may mean with fewer resources for staff and spare equipment, there may be less maintenance or accelerator physics, reduced reliability of equipment, fewer user operating hours, fewer experiment changeovers; equipment set up and checkouts between experiments may take longer to complete. At least one existing beam line will be closed (BL2-2) and the schedule for one new beam line may also be affected (new soft X-ray BL13 may be delayed). The good news is that the FY2006 President's budget fully funds LCLS construction.

Keith summarized future plans for SSRL and SLAC, which include completion of the SPEAR3 beam line upgrade project in FY2006. He also stressed the importance of building and supporting new forefront beam lines and instrumentation, and developing unique science opportunities. By 2009, Keith noted that in the current planning, SSRL will be responsible for both operation of the SPEAR3 and the LCLS science program (as currently envisioned, the linac/undulator will be operated by an 'Accelerator Systems Division' or a 'Photon Science Division' at SLAC). In addition, we anticipate that we will see growing synergy in instrumentation and science developments with Stanford University integrated initiatives, such as GLAM-XLAM (materials), the Ultrafast Science Center, and Bio-X (structural biology). The SSRL operational model will continue to engage the outside user community and make new capabilities rapidly available on a general user basis. This model will be extended to encompass operation of the LCLS experimental program.

Update of User Activities, Activism and DC Meetings

SSLRUOEC Chair Glenn Waychunas shared a presentation which he gave to the SSRL Proposal Review Panel meeting in February 2005. He reported that the users executive committee chairpersons and vice chairs of the four DOE light source were working together to plan a trip to Washington DC on April 8th to meet with representatives from Congress, DOE, Office of Science & Technology and members of their staffs. 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 correspondence and well organized meetings should be continued. Glenn and Ben Bostick (past SSRLUOEC Chair) recommended that users write letters to their representatives in Congress over the next few weeks and that users try to meet with their local representatives to encourage support for basic sciences and for science facilities. A convenient link to addresses and sample letters can be found on the American Physical Society website: http://www.congressweb.com/cweb4/index.cfm?orgcode=APSPA. Ben Bostick will also work on updating this information on the user activism website at Dartmouth College: http://www.dartmouth.edu/~ssrluo/

Plans for the 32nd Annual SSRL Users' Meeting, October 17-18, 2005

The Co-Chairs for the next users' meeting, Joy Andrews (Univ. California East Bay) and Clyde Smith (SSRL), encourage users to provide suggestions for session topics, speakers, or in-depth workshops. Joy reported that the Young Investigators' Session was well received at prior meetings, and they plan to continue to have this session. It was suggested that the recipient of the first W.E. Spicer Young Investigator Award (Peter Armitage) be invited to give a presentation at the next meeting and that this tradition continue for subsequent years. Other suggested topics for this meeting included small angle scattering, inelastic scattering, macromolecular crystallography, environmental sciences, nanotechnology, ultrafast science to encourage users to think about experiments that can be done with the LCLS and experiments that may utilize the new BL13. Britt Hedman reported that a small angle scattering workshop is being organized. The possibility of a nanotechnology workshop was also suggested.


Cathy Knotts reported that the Farrel Lytle Award and the W.E. Spicer Young Investigator Award would be announced shortly and nominations would be due in early August. Users are encouraged to begin to think about candidates that they would like to nominate. Although nominations are accepted in any format, in the past it was noted that thorough packages including curriculum vitae, publication lists, and/or letters of support make a much stronger case for the candidate being considered.

The award selection committee includes two members of the SSRLUOEC (Linda Brinen and Lisa Downward). Lisa Downward requested that the newest graduate student on the SSRLUOEC replace her, and Bill Schlotter agreed to serve on the award selection committee.

In July 2004, Juana Acrivos suggested that the SSRLUOEC consider recognizing the contributions of Mel Klein, an SSRL user and mentor who passed away a few years ago. She noted that she was interested in making a donation to such an award, and suggested that many of Mel's other colleagues might be interested in donating towards this proposed award as well. The idea was discussed further at this meeting, and a subcommittee (consisting of Juana Acrivos, Mike Brzustowicz, Lisa Downward, and Bill Schlotter) was formed to develop a proposal to be presented to SSRL management. Since Mel's greatest interest was in students, the subcommittee proposes to establish a 'Melvin P. Klein Professional Development Award' to be given to an undergraduate/graduate student who will be presenting work done at SSRL during the next academic year. The committee suggests that the award be announced in the summer, with the application deadline set before the annual users' meeting in October so that the awardee could be announced at the annual meeting. The application package should include a letter of recommendation from the Principal Investigator or Proposal Spokesperson as well as an abstract (<200 words) written by the student describing the experiment and details on the scientific meeting where their research is to be presented. A small committee (including the SSRLUOEC graduate student representatives) would review the applications and serve as the award selection committee. The student selected would be notified and the expenses associated with their presentation at this meeting (registration fees, AV fees, travel expenses) would be reimbursed up to $1,000 from the award fund which would need to be established. This proposal was forwarded to management, and the administrative and logistic details are being investigated.

User Research Administration Update

Cathy Knotts gave a presentation that included an update on user safety issues; communications and user outreach; managing foreign visits and assignments; and user operations. A consortium of lightsource communications collaborated and sponsored a joint website which was launched in February, http://www.lightsources.org. The SLAC Public Lecture Series (Tuesday evening, every other month in Panofsky Auditorium) continues to be very popular - drawing capacity crowds for most presentations. The next public lecture will be given by Clyde Smith (SSRL) on Smarter Drugs: How Protein Crystallography Revolutionizes Drug Design, Tuesday, April 26th 7:30 pm. On Tuesday, June 28th at 7:30 pm, Philip Bucksbaum will give a presentation on LCLS/Ultrafast Science.

The X-ray/VUV schedule for the next scheduling period (May-July 2005) has been finalized and posted to the web. MC beam time requests for the next scheduling period (June-July 2005) are due in mid April. A call for new proposals is being distributed to everyone on the SSRL mailing list (X-ray/VUV due May 1, 2005; MC due July 1, 2005; proposals submitted by these dates will be eligible for beam time beginning ~November 28, 2005).

User feedback is essential to maintaining and continuing to improve user operations. Users are encouraged to complete an end of run summary form after each experiment on each beam line.

The next SSRLUOEC meeting will be arranged for June/July 2005.

The meeting adjourned around 3:30 pm.

Cathy Knotts
SSRL Liaison to SSRL Users' Organization Executive Committee

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