Advanced Photon Source Scientific Advisory Committee Meeting
January 20-22, 2004
This meeting included a day and a half of facility information and updates, discussion of the eight sector reviews conducted during 2003, formulation of specific recommendations to the APS for these sectors, discussion of responses to the 2002 review reports, discussion of policy and procedure issues, and a review of partner user proposals. Also included was a full day crosscut review entitled “Science with Microbeams.” This summary covers everything but the crosscut review, which is described in a separate report.
Tuesday, January 20, 2004
The Tuesday session began with an overview by Associate Laboratory Director for the APS. Murray Gibson, who reviewed APS scientific and technical highlights for 2003, discussed the short- and long-term vision for the APS, explained the transition plan for DOE/BES-funded sectors, provided relevant user statistics, and highlighted comments from the University of Chicago review of the APS. Gibson concluded his presentation with thanks to the SAC members for their efforts on behalf of the APS.
CY 2003 Sector Reviews: Following Gibson's presentation, the SAC discussed the following 2003 sector reviews and responses to the three sector reviews conducted in 2002 (Sector 5, DND-CAT; Sector 6, MU-CAT; and Sector 9; CMC-CAT).
Sector 8-ID, XOR/IMM
Sector 10, MR-CAT
Sector 14, BioCARS
Sector 15, ChemMatCARS
Sector 17, IMCA-CAT
Sector 19, SBC-CAT
Sector 22, SER-CAT
Sector 20, PNC-CAT
Report on Optimal Beamline Staffing. The final items on the January 20 agenda were a report on optimal beamline staffing by Gabrielle Long, a discussion of policy issues, and a report on requests for new undulators and front ends. Long defined a beamline as an independently operating entity and indicated that her research to date (analysis of 12 out of 22 sectors) has shown that in general, 4-6 staff members are needed to maintain/enhance the beamline and provide adequate user support.
Proprietary Research and Industrial Metrics Policies and Guidelines. Discussion of the proposed proprietary research policy and guidelines for industrial metrics concluded with the recommendation that the APS ask the Partner User Council to convene an ad hoc committee to discuss appropriate metrics, as well as the method and timeline of communicating this information to industrial and/or proprietary users. Gibson noted that one issue was particularly important to him: the advance declaration of proprietary time. Also discussed was the need to better define the status of the researcher (CAT member, general user, student, etc.) The APS User Office/General User Program Administrator will handle this issue.
New Undulators and Front Ends. The issue of new undulators and front ends was discussed briefly. The SAC conclusion is that for existing sectors, the APS should issue a call for proposals for ID upgrades and judge the proposals on the basis of scientific payback. This means that the proposal should include a full scientific case, external review, and approval by the full SAC. The APS can decide on the timing for this type of call.
Disposition of CAT-owned Equipment. No conclusions were reached on the topic of disposition of CAT-owned equipment for transitioning CATs; this topic clearly requires further discussion. However, SAC agreed that this issue should be one of those discussed as soon as a CAT begins to accept support from the APS
Thursday, January 22, 2004
Future scientific directions for the APS. Thursday's session began with a short presentation by Gopal Shenoy, who reported on the study of future scientific directions for the APS. This study, co-chaired by Shenoy and Sunil Sinha, has been charged with exploring futures scientific directions for the APS that will expand the scientific leadership and push the boundaries of the scientific frontiers during the next decade. The process to date has involved discussions and surveys, culminating in a set of five intensive workshops to explore key topics. Several will be held in conjunction with the APS May users meeting. The others will be held in late August in conjunction with a two-day planning meeting of APS users and staff. Positive responses were made to comments to strengthen the biological component of the strategic planning process. As a result, John Helliwell and Wayne Hendrickson will chair a workshop on structural biology, and a new biophysics workshop will be planned.
Partner User Proposals. The current process for submission and review of partnership proposals of limited scope was described and ratified by the SAC members. At present, these proposals can only be submitted for unallocated time on XOR or transitioning sectors for up to 30% of the time. A SAC subcommittee screens these proposals, with a final decision made by the APS. Intermediate- and full-scope (up to the construction and operation of a full sector or beamline) proposals will be sent for external peer review then presented to the full SAC, which will make its recommendation to the APS.
Letter of Intent/preproposals from Gene Ice (“Multiplexed Microdiffraction/Microscopy” station) and Tai Chiang (“Development of a High-Resolution Inelastic X-ray Scattering Facility at the Advanced Photon Source for f -electron Materials Research) were discussed. Decisions on both were deferred for further review.
The meeting concluded with a brief discussion of the form and scope for the next crosscut review. The recommendation was that the APS present more complete overview materials to set the stage, and provide better instructions to presenters (e.g., compare this work to what is considered the best in the world and put this work and these capabilities in national and international context). The next crosscut review, which will focus on science that requires the time structure of the ring, may be only half a day rather than a full day.
The group concluded that summary minutes should be prepared for all SAC meetings.
The next meeting will be held on January 25-27, 2005, with the crosscut review on January 26, 2005.