2011 Executive Meeting Minutes

August 12, 2011

The SSRL Users Organization Executive Committee (UEC) met on Friday, August 12, 2011. Cathy Knotts met with Sarah Hayes in Building 120; Matthew Sazinsky, Joe Kline and Junko Yano participated by teleconference (Junko departed the meeting before the Klein award recipient was selected. Serena DeBeer and David Singer sent comments by email.

The committee reviewed nominations received for the Melvin P. Klein Scientific Development Award, and they selected Jonathan Rivnay (Stanford University) to receive the 2011 Klein Award. Jonathan will be notified and asked to present a talk on his research at the annual users' conference on October 24th.

The committee also requested that the Klein award description on the SSRL website be clarified to distinguish the Spicer Young Investigator Award (which recognizes senior graduate students and those within seven years of entry into their professional scientific field at the time of nomination) from the Klein Award which they felt should be limited to undergraduate or graduate students, or postdoctoral fellows within 3 years of receiving their Ph.D. The award description will be modified accordingly:

The Melvin P. Klein Scientific Development Award: https://www-conf.slac.stanford.edu/ssrl-lcls/2011/awards.asp

In 2006, the SSRL Users' Organization Executive Committee (SSRLUOEC) established a scientific development award in memory of Melvin P. Klein (1921-2000), a pioneer at the forefront of accomplishments in NMR, EPR, and x-ray absorption spectroscopy. The $1,000 award is intended to recognize outstanding research accomplishments and to promote dissemination of research results based on work performed at SSRL. Nominations for undergraduate or graduate students, or postdoctoral fellows within 3 years of receiving their Ph.D., can be submitted annually before August 1st.

Following up on previous discussion with SSRL Director Chi Chang Kao, Cathy briefly updated the UEC on SSRL's strategic plans which are being written. Chi Chang expects to have a draft of the SSRL strategic plan available by the annual users' conference (October 22-26, 2011). SSRL hopes to conduct the user survey, which was postponed to incorporate the latest ideas about scientific opportunities, in the fall in conjunction with the annual users' conference.

The committee also briefly discussed the opportunity for SLAC to build a new Science and User Support Building (SUSB). The new SUSB building would be located near the entrance to SLAC and would provide space for User Research Administration (URA) offices as well as SLAC Security, Communications, Director's Offices, cafeteria, visitor exhibits, auditorium, and a conference center. Users acknowledged that the majority of face-to-face interactions with URA staff were related to safety training and badging which are assumed to move to the new space. There was a suggestion that URA staff continue to engage and interact directly with users, perhaps by considering rotating a URA staff member to work in Bldg. 120 when user experiments are underway to 'maintain the magic of SSRL'.

The SSRL Users' Organization will meet next at the conclusion of the annual users' conference on October 26, 2011.

May 4, 2011

Attending: Beth Wurzburg, Aaron Lindenberg, Sam Webb, Serena DeBeer, Kelen Tuttle, Cindy Patty, Sarah Hayes, Chris Kim, Robert Szilagyi, Chi-Chang Kao, Cathy Knotts, Kelen Tuttle, Lisa Dunn

The Meeting started with a discussion on proposed SSRL/LCLS Users' Conference Workshop topics. The current list of workshop topics includes Chemistry, Catalysis, & Spectroscopy of Atoms and Surfaces, Short Pulse and Pump/Probe Capabilities, Materials for Photon Conversion and Energy Storage, Advanced Crystallography, LCLS II, and Demystifying the Light Source experience. Action item: Follow-up with individuals who were suggested to organize these workshops.

User Survey: Beth Wurzburg and Robert Szilagyi are working on the user survey. A decision was made to wait for more of the SSRL strategic planning effort to coalesce and then incorporate questions related to scientific opportunities in the survey. Discussion ensued on designing the survey to provide context to the questions about proposed scientific opportunities via more links to information about the topic. Action Item: Task staff scientists to draft questions and provide material on new science opportunities.

SSRL Strategic Plan: Chi-Chang Kao discussed the strategic planning effort. Staff scientists met May 2-3 to discuss opportunities and have been tasked with narrowing the list down to about 10. Division heads will be putting together a table to present these opportunities by technique and beamline. Information is being compiled on developments or upgrades that may be needed for the targeted capabilities or beamlines. Some of the opportunities were briefly discussed including correlated electrons, nanomaterials for catalysis and sustainable energy, and materials for information technology. Ideas will be presented at the SSRL Scientific Advisory Committee meeting June 2-3. Users are encouraged to provide input and a website may be created as a forum for staff and users to engage in dialog about these unique opportunities.

SNUG Update: Chris Kim, who represents the Synchrotron and Neutron Users' Group (SNUG), along with Hendrik Ohldag and other scientists participated in the congressional visits day (CVD) in Washington, DC in April as part of the Materials Research Society contingent. The CVD gives scientists an opportunity to meet in small groups to share their enthusiasm for science with their Congressional representatives. The next Congressional Visits Day program is being planned for April 24 and 25, 2012 (a Tuesday and a Wednesday).

NUFO Update:mThe National User Facility Organization (NUFO) put together a well-received poster exhibit and reception on Capitol Hill in early April. Michael Toney, Cathy Knotts, and Chris Kim represented SSRL. The exhibit was well attended, and despite the looming budget deadline over a dozen congressional representatives attended as did William Brinkman, Pat Dehmer, and many representatives from the DOE Office of Science, NSF and other organizations. In general there is an ongoing effort to keep congressional representatives/staffers informed of the impact of science enabled by national labs, user facilities and research groups within academic institutions and industry.

SLAC is hosting the annual NUFO meeting this year from June 27-29. Interested participants can view the agenda and register at: http://www-ssrl.slac.stanford.edu/conferences/nufo/

January 27, 2011

The Users' Executive Committee (UEC) met in SSRL Building 137, 3rd Floor Conference Room, with several members participating by teleconference. The following topics were discussed.

Welcome/Introductions: UEC Chair Beth Wurzburg announced the Vice Chair Election Results. The UEC welcomes Serena DeBeer as the next UEC Vice Chair; the Vice Chair will co-organize the next users' conference and serve as Chair next year.

Strategic planning: SSRL Director Chi Chang Kao discussed his plans to develop a long-range strategic plan for SSRL and to prepare a strategic plan document outlining opportunities for the next 3-5 years. Scientific opportunities could include materials by design, emerging phenomena from complexity, discovery to deployment. The planning process will also consider mapping beam lines to major scientific opportunities, considering uniqueness and competitive analysis, core competencies and enabling technologies as well as infrastructure and accelerator upgrades. Users are encouraged to think about strategic opportunities to build on SSRL's capabilities and expertise. User input will continue to be solicited as the strategic planning process unfolds over the next several months.

DOE BES Program Review: The triennial BES program review of SSRL will be held on February 9-11, 2011. The agenda and list of reviewers was provided to the UEC so they would know who they would be meeting with. In preparation for the UEC discussion at noon on Feb 9, Robert Szilagyi shared his recollection of the discussion topics from the 2008 BES review, including: -User communications with management and participation in facility planning -How does the facility obtain and respond to user feedback -User satisfaction with the facility and overall scientific experience -Adequacy of staff to support user experiments

SSRL Users Survey: Users were asked to consider what issues/questions should be included on an on-line survey. Currently users are asked to complete a survey after each scheduled experiment as a forum to 'rate' their experience at SSRL in a number of areas as well as to alert us if they had any problems that we need to address. SSRL developers incorporated the survey into the user portal for the FY2009 run, created reports to show the responses received, and recently developed an automated email to remind users to provide feedback. User feedback is reviewed by SSRL management and staff. We plan to develop programming for administrative tools needed to more easily notify, sort, track and reply to user feedback. We welcome user input as we think how best to compile and report this kind of information.

Feedback from the 2010 Users' Conference and Suggestions for Users' Conference, Oct. 24-26, 2011: - Keynote Policy Speaker Suggestion: Pat Dehmer, Role of DOE in the National Research Strategy? - Keynote Science Speaker Suggestion: Helmut Dosch, Future Photon Science Opportunities? - Workshop Suggestions: Opportunities for Timing Studies (Low Alpha Mode); Opportunities for Increased Throughput for Materials Characterization; Synchrotron for Dummies (What is XAFS? XES? RIXS? TXM? STXM?); Communicating Research Accomplishments for a lay audience; Discussion of SSRL Known Substances XAFS Database – Scott Calvin

Industrial User Representation. In an ongoing effort to engage industry users to SSRL, the UEC agreed to expand their membership to include a representative from industry. Please forward suggestions for industry candidates for UEC to Cathy Knotts to be included on the UEC ballot which will be distributed later in the year.

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