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SSRLUO Executive Committee Meeting Minutes

Meeting Notes: October 12, 1999

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The SSRL Users' Organization held a meeting at SSRL on October 12, 1999. The following were in attendance: P. Allen, A. Archuleta, C. Booth, B. Clemens, P. Foster, K. Hodgson, B. Rupp, and T. Trainor. Action items are listed in bold and subsequent events are in italics.

Introduction of New Members

  • Newly elected members for FY00 are Paul Alivisatos, UC-Berkeley; Corwin Booth, LBNL; and Marilyn Olmstead, UC-Davis.
Selection of Vice Chair
  • As the current year's vice chair succeeds to chair the following year, Hodgson and Allen gave a brief description of the chair's responsibilities and the estimated time commitment involved. Allen outlined the special projects he particularly enjoyed participating in.
  • Hodgson mentioned that while there is no specific criteria for the position, it is important that the position does not stay within the same organization for multiple years (i.e., Stanford) and that it would be a benefit, although not a necessity, that the member have served on the committee previously. It is also easier for meeting attendance if they are somewhat local.
  • Several members will consider the position.
Paul Foster, UCSF, will serve in the Vice Chair position.

End of Run Summary Results to Overall Experience Question

  • Hodgson pointed out that there has been a decline by about 10 percent of the fraction of users responding that their overall experience is "excellent." The shift is towards "very good." Although it is not a large amount, he would like to identify if there are any negative trends so they can be addressed early on. The End of Run Summary is a tool SSRL takes seriously to identify issues and allocate resources. All returned Summaries are read, concerns flagged, and are distributed to the appropriate group to resolve or comment. In the past, each Summary received a response to any unsatisfactory comments, but this has stopped because the current workload does not allow the time. This will be addressed in the near future.
  • Archuleta mentioned that when the option of "very good" was added in FY97, it may be a large contributor to the shift.
  • With the new project to update the current databases at SSRL into one database management system, automation and streamlining of the End of Run Summary Forms can be included as well.
  • There is no follow-up to those that do not submit End of Run Summary Forms, although the return rate is currently quite good. A friendly reminder can be included in user check-in packages.
Computer Access
  • Hodgson mentioned the current concerns at SSRL and SLAC with computer coordination and networking issues, as well as security issues across the DOE complex. In order to effectively respond to these issues, the computer support staff at SSRL has been reorganized under three lead persons (George, Kuhn, and Wermelskirchen). This is to manage computational efforts within SSRL and to work closely to coordinate policies, procedures, and priorities for computer and networks both internally, with SLAC, and externally.
  • All FTP and Telnet access has been blocked by the SLAC firewall, except for the SSRL beam line computers. However, SSRL must develop some secure shell access as soon as possible and is currently testing several approaches.
General Discussion
  • Allen posed the question to Hodgson regarding the future of BL 4-2 and whether or not actinide experiments would only be done on BL 11-2. It is preferred that we run those experiments that require extensive radiation monitoring on BL 11-2 as it has been designed to handle these. The 11-2 hutch is not currently capable of handling diffraction. We will try to squeeze money out of the budget for a microfocusing system to enable this new class of experiments.
  • The plan is to increase the amount of small-angle scattering on BL 4-2 up to about 75% of the time. The balance (25%) will be used for those x-ray absorption experiments that can only be done on end stations (such as grazing incidence.)
  • There are problems with changeover time when it is necessary to remove the small angle camera. There are plans to work on the back of the BL 4-2 hutch to extend it so the SAXS camera can remain permanently installed.
Executive Session
  • Allen updated the UO-EC on the issues concerning BL 11-2 and 4-2 and how beam time assignments will be handled now. It will be important to keep an eye on the beam time demand statistics to see if the UO-EC needs to express any concern.
  • Clemens thanked Allen for successfully fulfilling his role as Chair for the past year.

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