May 14, 1999


Attendees: P. Allen, S. Barrett, B. Clemens, P. Foster, B. Rupp, D. Salt, S. Traina, T. Trainor, J. Wong

Absent: J. Bilello, D. McKay, R. Scott



New Faculty/Programs Structural Molecular Biology Beamline 11 The Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) Personnel Beamline 4-2  






S. Barrett reviewed the user demand for the first two-thirds of the FY99 user run which averaged 147% across all beamlines. Beamlines 6-2, 7-2, 9-1, and 10-2 exceed 300% user demand (note: a fully subscribed beamline is equal to 100% user demand). The user community remains relatively pleased with the quality of the beam (83% rating the beam Excellent or Very Good). Overall satisfaction with beamtime was rated Excellent or Very Good by 79% of respondents. When asked about any common themes in user complaints, it was pointed out that the difficult start up in November as well as the RF problem earlier this Spring was a consistent complaint.

The committee was informed that the excess housing that Stanford was trying to secure from Moffet Federal Airfield is no longer an option for inexpensive user accommodations. The housing will be used by Army personnel that have been forced to vacate the Presidio in San Francisco. It was asked whether SSRL could adopt a European-type mode of funding graduate student expenses through scholarships or travel grants. Barrett will look into this and get back to the committee on the feasibility of such a program.

The need to further define the criteria for the submission and evaluation of this year’s recipient of the annual Farrel W. Lytle Award was discussed. It was decided that all nominations should be accompanied by a 1-2 page letter outlining the nominee’s qualifications or contributions to synchrotron-based research at SSRL. It was agreed that both SSRL staff and the user community are eligible for the award. Specific criteria will be drafted by J. Wong and forwarded to the committee for review. The annual Lytle Award winner will be posted on the SSRL web page and in the annual Activity Report. The evaluation committee will consist of the SSRLUO-EC, Farrel Lytle, and a representative from SSRL.

J. Wong discussed the need to have more formal check-out procedures at the beamline. It often takes the x-ray experimental support group several hours to realign the beam and configure it for the next user group. The process could be simplified if the departing user group was required to document how the beamline was left. Barrett will discuss the proposal with H. Tompkins to determine how bad the problem is and how best to solve it without creating too much of a burden on the users or staff.

It was suggested the web version of the User Support Form be amended to include a text box to add setup details that aren’t necessarily called out in the standard form.

The committee felt it was important to improve communication between the Executive Committee and the general SSRL user community. It was agreed the Barrett would send out a brief email to the user community informing them that a SSRLUO-EC meeting had been held including the major topics of discussion and where to find the detailed minutes on the web.

There was some concern about the projected 6-month shutdown for SPEAR 3 and its effect on the user community. Most members felt that as long as users were given sufficient notice to plan their research and grant activities accordingly, as well as to investigate the experimental access procedures at other synchrotron laboratories, the impact could be minimized. The 6-month shutdown is projected to begin April 2002.

Problems encountered when trying to FTP files for the annual Activity Report submission will be looked into with L. Dunn and the computer group. Asked to include a summary computer update during the next meeting.

Questions: with the new SPEAR 3 capabilities will there also be improved experimental support facilities, including more storage space? Can we provide dry ice?

Previous SSRLUO Minutes

Last Updated: 09 MAR 2000
Content Owner: S. Barrett
Page Editor: L. Dunn