APS User News-at-a-Glance
Issue 16; September 6, 2002



Message from Murray: Updates on User Issues

Task Force Reports

APS Forms Scientific Advisory Committee

NE-CAT and LS-CATs sign MOUs

School on Neutron and X-ray Scattering: Great Success!

New Staff to Support Users

Operations Update


Message from Murray: Update on User Issues
(Contact: jmgibson@aps.anl.gov)

On August 2, representatives from the four U.S. Department of Energy/Basic Energy Sciences (DOE/BES) light sources met in Washington with DOE/BES officials to discuss several mandated operational changes, all of which are directed toward greater user accessibility and greater accountability by the facilities. The four light source directors were asked to develop a joint 10-year vision statement for facility development. In addition, they were asked to develop a joint set of principles on which to base policies and procedures for general user access at each facility. The goal is to make it easier for users by ensuring some uniformity in the access process. As a first step, the four facilities agreed to adopt the term "general user" to refer to individuals who obtain beam time through central submission, peer-review, and allocation systems (see further information under item 2, "Task Force Reports"). Both of these documents (vision statement and access principles) are currently being drafted. When drafts are finalized, they will be shared with the user communities at each facility before submission to DOE/BES

To address concerns raised in a recent Inspector General audit on beamline usage, the facilities were directed to implement central scheduling systems that enable each facility to account for beamline usage in real time. During the next few weeks, the APS will talk with CAT management about how to develop a mutually beneficial monitoring system to accomplish this objective.

Representing the APS at this meeting were Dennis Mills, Roger Klaffky, and Susan Strasser. The ALS was represented by Neville Smith and Gary Krebs, the NSLS by Steve Dierker and Chi-Chang Kao, and the SSRL by Keith Hodgson and Cathy Knotts. Representing DOE/BES were Pat Dehmer, Iran Thomas, Bill Oosterhuis, Pedro Montano, and Bob Astheimer.

In addition, DOE/BES has asked APS to work with several BES-funded sectors to provide needed operational support in return for an increase in beam time for general users, which BES has set as a goal for the sectors it supports. This is the first step in what we have been assured will be a slow transition, which will give both APS and the CATs involved the opportunity to develop good models for operation. In parallel with this transition, SRI-CAT will be making changes to open more time for general user proposals. The new environment presents challenges to the CATs and to the APS, but I believe that we can achieve a more flexible system that optimizes scientific output, allows successful CATs to flourish, encourages innovation, and enhances the accessibility of the facility for general users.

Task Force Reports
(contact: strasser@aps.anl.gov)

Several task forces were formed to address points raised during the first APS/User retreat, held in May 2002. The following is a brief report on task force progress.

General Users (Lisa Keefe, chair) -- The task force presented its draft of a new centralized access policy at the July meetings of the APS Research Directorate and APS Users Organization Steering Committee. Subcommittees are now working with the APS to finalize procedures for submitting and reviewing proposals. The new policy will be implemented for the first user run of calendar year 2003. Proposals for this run are due by November 1, 2002, and will be submitted via new web-based forms. Full details on the new policy and process will be provided in a separate announcement by October 1. If you have questions about this new program, contact Susan Strasser (telephone: 630.252.5981; e-mail: strasser@aps.anl.gov).

Web Issues (Jonathan Lang, chair) -- This task force is developing a new format for APS web pages and identifying ways to make it easier to find information and navigate through the site. The new format will debut in October.

Beamline Stability (Barry Lai, chair) -- The Beamline Stability Task Force conducted a survey of all APS resident beamline scientists. The majority of the respondents indicated some dissatisfaction with their beam stability for current or future experiments but have not determined the relative contributions of the source and beamline optics to the observed instability. Almost all would consider using APS services for diagnostics support. The Task Force is discussing these issues with individual resident beamline scientists to learn from their experience and see if there are areas where APS or other CATs can help.

Detector Pool (Petr Ilinski, chair) -- A detector pool will be organized to increase the quality and efficiency of experiments by providing a broad range (eventually) of detectors to APS users. The staff who administer the pool will acquire, maintain, and calibrate in-house detectors; evaluate commercially available detectors; and, in general, provide detector-related expertise to the APS community. The staff will also represent the APS community in interactions and information exchange with other U.S. and international facilities regarding detectors. The Task Force is conducting an extensive survey of user needs and setting up a laboratory to support the detector pool.

APS Forms Scientific Advisory Committee
(Contact: jmgibson@aps.anl.gov )

The APS has established a Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) to review research activity at the APS. Members of this committee will evaluate the scientific accomplishments of APS Collaborative Access Teams, review proposals for new beamlines or major programs, and advise the APS on policy issues. The SAC, which replaces the APS Program Evaluation Board, will hold its first general meeting in January or February 2003

Thirteen members, identified through nominations from the APS user community and staff, were appointed by Murray Gibson for two-year terms renewable by mutual consent. Another member may be added before the first meeting. In addition, Paul Zschack, Chair of the APS Users Organization, will serve as an ex-officio member. Current committee members are

+ William Bassett - Director, Mineral Physics Laboratory, Cornell University.
+ Paul Bertsch - Director, Savannah River Ecological Laboratory and Technical Director, Advanced Analytical Center for Environmental Sciences, University of Georgia.
+ Howard Birnbaum - Chair, former APS Program Evaluation Board and Director Emeritus, Materials Research Laboratory, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
+ John Helliwell - Professor of Structural Chemistry, University of Manchester
+ Wayne Hendrickson - Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.
+ Peter Ingram - Adjunct Professor of Pathology, Duke University Medical Center.
+ Denis McWhan - Retired Associate Laboratory Director for Brookhaven National Laboratory.
+ Gerhard Materlik - Director, Diamond Light Source.
+ James Norris - Chair, Chemistry Department, The University of Chicago.
+ Paul Peercy - Dean, College of Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison.
+ Michael Rowe - Director, Center for Neutron Research, National Institute of Standards and Technology.
+ Joachim Stoehr - Professor and Deputy Director, SSRL, Stanford University.
+ Pierre Wiltzius - Director, Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


(Contact: strasser@aps.anl.gov )

Two new Collaborative Access Teams, each with a primary focus on structural biology, have signed Memorandums of Understanding with the APS and have been assigned space on the APS experiment hall floor. Northeastern (NE)-CAT will occupy sector 24, and Life Sciences (LS)-CAT has been assigned to sector 21. These two CATs join SER-CAT (sector 22) and GM/CA-CAT (sector 21) as residents of the newly completed Laboratory Office Module 436, which was jointly funded by the NIH and DOE. All four CATs occupying this LOM will be conducting research in the general area of macromolecular crystallography.

NE-CAT consists of 27 research groups from Columbia University, Cornell University, Harvard University, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Rockefeller University, Yale University, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and M.I.T. The scientific program of NE-CAT focuses on applications of x-ray crystallography in a variety of biological systems. Particular emphasis is placed on signal transduction, initiation and regulation of DNA transcription, cell cycle regulation, virus structure and function, membrane proteins, protein folding, and enzyme structure and function. Much of the research focuses on how biological macromolecules interact to form large macromolecular complexes. NE-CAT members will initially use the bending-magnet beamline in sector 8, built by the Whitehead Institute/M.I.T., while the double undulator beamline in sector 24 is being built.

LS-CAT is a consortium of academic and research institutions consisting of Michigan State University, Northwestern University, the University of Michigan, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Wayne State University, and the Van Andel Institute. The investigators participating in the LS-CAT are involved in cutting-edge structural biology with special emphasis in four areas: (1) membrane proteins; (2) multi-component systems in cellular signaling and protein transport; (3) the protein/nucleic acid complexes involved in genome replication, regulation, and expression; and (4) enzymes that are novel targets for mechanistic studies and for biotechnology or drug design.


School on Neutron and X-ray Scattering: Great Success!
(Contact: heaffner@aps.anl.gov)

The fourth annual National School on Neutron and X-ray Scattering was held at Argonne on August 11-24. Sixty graduate students in a variety of fields were selected from universities across the United States. Lectures were given by distinguished scientists from universities, national laboratories, and industry on a wide range of neutron and x-ray subjects, including basic theory, synchrotron and neutron sources, synchrotron and neutron instrumentation, powder diffraction, reflectivity, small-angle scattering, inelastic scattering, magnetic scattering, EXAFS, and single-crystal diffraction. The students, working in groups of five, performed four experiments, two at the Intense Pulsed Neutron Source (IPNS) and two at the APS. At the IPNS, six different instruments were used by various groups, while at the APS, 12 experiments were carried out at 10 beamlines. The students' schedule was rather tight, but the group still found time for a trip to downtown Chicago and for other informal social activities. For information on next year's school, contact Dean Haeffner (haeffner@aps.anl.gov) or Ray Osborn (rosborn@anl.gov), the scientific directors of the school, or check the web site of Argonne's Division of Educational Programs (http://www.dep.anl.gov).


New Staff to Support Users
(Contact: strasser@aps.anl.gov)

Heidi Homerding, APS Operations Division, May 21, 2002 -- As the user budget administrator, Heidi manages all proprietary and non-proprietary user accounts, working closely with administrative and scientific personnel from Argonne, as well as the many user institutions involved at the APS. She replaces Deana Kinzler, who has moved to a higher-level position at Argonne. Heidi has a B.S. in business from the University of St. Francis and came to the APS from Argonne's Information and Publishing Division, where she was their budget and finance administrator.

Jane Andrew, User Office, September 2, 2002 -- Jane will assume many of the responsibilities of Connie Vanni, who has opted for the demanding profession of full-time motherhood. Connie will continue to contribute her talents to the User Office in a consultant capacity. Jane will serve as the primary administrative coordinator for the new general user program, edit "APS User-News-at-a-Glance," and work closely with the Vice-chair of the APS Users Organization to plan and coordinate the annual APS users meetings. Jane, who has a B.S. in physics from Illinois Wesleyan University and an M.Phil. in linguistics from the University of Cambridge, came to the APS from Argonne's Information and Publishing Division, where she was a senior writer/editor.

Amy Meyer, Experiment Floor Operations (EFO) Group, February 18, 2002 -- Amy is the Floor Coordinator for LOM 434. She has a B.S. in engineering science with a minor in chemical engineering and an M.S. in general engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology. Prior to joining the APS staff, Amy was a process engineer for Litton Electro-Optical in Tempe, Arizona.

Troy Lutz, EFO Group, May 20, 2002 -- Troy graduated from Indiana University with a B.S. in biochemistry and serves as a Floor Coordinator for LOM 435. He comes to the APS from Biomet Orthopedics, Inc. Troy spent three years with the Peace Corps in Paraguay and has just recently married.

Jeff Ullian, EFO Group, August 5, 2002 -- Jeff, who is currently in training as a Floor Coordinator, is located in LOM 432. He graduated from St. Francis University in Joliet with a B.S. in biology. He comes to the APS from Environmental Research Division of Argonne, where he had been a scientific assistant since 1999.


Operations Update
(Contact: avr@aps.anl.gov)

The final user run for FY2002 has just been completed, and preliminary numbers indicate that the run surpassed all of the records set by the previous run. Over 1950 hours of user beam time were scheduled, with over 1900 hours available, yielding an availability of 97.4% (a new run record). This run was also the longest run in the history of APS user operation. The mean time between faults (MTBF) set a new run record of 42.3 hours.

The excellent performance also influenced the fiscal year statistics, with availability for the year breaking the 97% barrier at 97.1%. For the year, the achieved MTBF reached a new record of 33 hours, and 469 ampere-hours were delivered to APS users. The successful implementation and reliability of top-up operation enabled the average current for the year to reach 96.6 mA.

During this fiscal year, we began routine operation using a magnetic lattice with a lower horizontal emittance (3.5 nm vs. the original design value of 8.2 nm). A significant amount of studies time has been used to further reduce the horizontal emittance to approximately 2.5 nm. The current plan is to incorporate the new lattice into operation during the first run of the next fiscal year.

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