Meetings and Minutes
Minutes of the November 19th 2005 UEC Meeting
Present: Alton, Bertram (video), Casey, Chertok (video), Diehl, Finley,
Gollin (video), Hughes, Kopp, Merritt, Nguyen, Quinn (phone), Trischuk
(video). From the GSA: Aguilar-Arevalo, Degenhardt, Maki
The Chair called the meeting to order at 8:30 am.
As Director Oddone was unable to join the committee on this date, we heard
instead a report from our Chair, Sacha Kopp, on his conversation with the
Director on topics of interest to the Committee.
The first topic was the status of the URA bid process. The final request
for proposals (RFP) is not yet out, but is due by the end of 2005.
The second topic was news from the EPP2010 committee. Director Oddone has
answered many in-depth questions from the committee. He believes the
committee is very mindful of the impact their report could have on the
field as a whole, including the non-ILC portions of the high energy
The Director wanted to call the UEC's attention to the new report from the
National Academies, "Rising Above the Gathering Storm". This report is
available online at http://www.nap.edu/books/0309100399/html and
highlights the need for enhanced investment in research and education in
the sciences and technology in order to maintain the competitiveness
of the United States in the world marketplace.
Regarding the budget for the coming year, Director Oddone said that HEP
was given a cut relative to the 2005 budget, but an increase over the
President's request. There is still the possibility of Congress issuing a
2-3% across-the-board rescission to the already-passed budget. The FY07
budget to be submitted to Congress in Feb-March will be the first budget
put together by Energy Secretary Bodman.
UPDATE ON NEW ID BADGE PROTOCOL
In last month's minutes, we reported on a presentation from Associate
Director Bruce Chrisman, regarding a new badge ID protocol which
was to follow Presidential Directive #12. This month, we are pleased to
report that basic research facilities, including Fermilab, have been
exempted from this program. This information was already relayed to users
by a mailing to email@example.com. The UEC Chair has sent a letter to
Deputy Secretary of Energy Clay Sell thanking him for his clarification of
the Presidential Directive as it pertains to basic research facilities.
The Committee then heard reports from the Quality of Life, International
Users, Users Meeting, and Outreach subcommittees.
QUALITY OF LIFE (Diehl, Alton, Finley, Merritt, Kopp)
Subcommittee Chair Tom Diehl reported that the subcommittee met on Nov 4 to
clarify its plan for the year's activities, including a focus on womens
At this meeting, the committee heard about contact from Mayor Michael
Fortner of West Chicago, who is a physics professor at NIU
and a Fermilab User on the DZero experiment. Mayor Fortner has some ideas
for providing north-south train service along the east side of the lab with
a possible stop outside the Fermilab gate. The committee will follow up
this possibility, which potentially could be an energy- and time-saver for
some regular commuters, as well as improving access to the metropolitan
area for on-site residents.
A main focus of the subcommittee meeting was the discussion of topics for the
proposed survey, and specifically the issues raised so far in email to the
committee. One of the issues raised was the desirability and practicality of
a separate female-only dormitory or dormitory corridor that includes a women's
bathroom. Degenhardt and Welty-Rieger are almost finished with a proposal.
A second important issue was the effect of children on careers, and how it may
disproportionately affect women's careers. Information from previous surveys,
at Fermilab and elsewhere, will be used to help create this year's survey.
The isolation felt by women scientists was a third issue, and the subcommittee
has taken action to see that the existing firstname.lastname@example.org mailing
list is publicized to all new women users and employees. The full committee
asked about how to reach summer students as well, and this will be followed
More general user complaints received by subcommittee members so far have
concerned the quality and extent of taxi service, the relative lack
of recycling opportunities at the Lab, and the short season of the Fermilab
pool. A comment from the full committee was that in the previous year the
UEC had asked for an extension to the taxi service to 4:45 pm and this was
done by the lab, and attempts for further extensions to offsite destinations such
as grocery stores were not successful. There was some discussion of whether
the security force has a role in providing late hour rides around site,
particularly when there is a safety concern such as extreme weather.
Aguilar-Arevalo reported that there has been progress on the GSA Guide to Life
at Fermilab. It should be published soon and will contain ~70 pages.
INTERNATIONAL USERS (Bertram, Finley, Trischuk)
Subcommittee Chair Iain Bertram reported that the International
Users subcommittee has not met. A phone conference will be
arranged in the next month to discuss a possible survey. Kopp
suggested the committee look at the "Gathering Storm" report,
to see what it says about improving or maintaining the
environment for foreign scientists and students to come and
work in the US. It was observed that the visa situation has been
slowly improving. If the survey documents this, it should be added to the
list of items for which we thank the officials responsible.
USERS MEETING (Casey, Trischuk, Bertram, Alton, Nguyen, Kopp)
Subcommittee Chair Brendan Casey discussed their meeting on Oct 29.
A list of possible keynote speakers has been circulated, and the Public
Affairs Office has been extremely helpful with advice and offers to contact
people. Part of the advice was to invite several people on the list at once,
not serially. The subcommittee is on track to get letters of invitation out by
Dec. 1. They will also be working on lists of public lecture speakers, dignitaries
to invite as attendees, and HEP dignitaries to invite as speakers. They
will have another meeting this month to discuss these lists. Casey and Kopp
attended the GSA meeting to discuss the New Perspectives conference and how
it connects with the Users Meeting with a goal of integrating several NP
talks for students into the Users Meeting itself. Aguilar-Arevalo
commented that there would likely be interest in such talks but also
having the informal NP sessions available. It is under discussion how to
OUTREACH (Gollin, Quinn, Casey, Kopp)
Subcommittee Chair George Gollin reported that he has distributed to the UEC
a rough draft of a letter for universities to send their Congressperson. It
is proposed to rework the letter to have a firmer call for Fermilab support,
to revamp the phrasing so that it can be shared by other Users with their
universities. Also, it should be more aligned with the
"Gathering Storm" report. Having the draft is a very positive step and the
timescale is to have another draft for the December UEC meeting, and to take
it to universities by January or February.
NEW FERMILAB SAFETY REQUIREMENTS FOR USERS
The committee heard a report from Martha Heflin, Senior Safety Officer for
PPD, on the new requirements that users comply with Fermilab safety
regulations and training requirements. Heflin chaired an ad hoc committee to
look at issues of user safety. The origin of the committee was a general
feeling of discomfort, coupled with a DOE audit on fall protection which
exposed the issue of user training as a weak area. There have also been
serious incidents with users at other labs, and minor incidents at Fermilab.
The committee members were Martha Heflin (PPD, Chair), John Cassidy (ESH),
Dee Hahn (CDF), Jack Hawkins(LS), Maxine Hronek(PPD), Mary Logue (ESH),
and John Scott (DOE).
There was a comment that the committee did not include any non-FNAL users,
or any FNAL experimenters.
The committee identified gaps in the current user safety process, reported
to Jed Brown in the Directorate, and began implementation of an action plan.
Its recommendations were:
1) hold users to same ESH expectations as employees and give them the same
tools (i.e., access to training) to meet those expectations
2) require the experiments to assign point of contact to act as supervisor
for each user. The point of contact must
- be knowledgeable about the experiment and hazards associated with the
- complete an Individual Training Needs Assessment (ITNA) for the user
ensure compliance with the training plan which is produced from the ITNA
- follow up for incident investigations involving this user
3) require users to attend training as specified on the ITNA
4) make the process easy to follow
The process is tied to issuance of the ID card; only a temporary card is
provided until the user completes New Employee Orientation (NEO). The temporary
card is good for a week, and the NEO class will now be offered on both
Monday and Thursday each week.
Fermilab ESH chap 1080 describes new users safety program - available
online at http://www-esh.fnal.gov/FESHM/1000/1080.htm
Divisional and Section Senior Safety Officers will provide additional help
as needed. The Divisional SSO's are:
John Anderson, Accelerator Division
Amy Pavnica, Computing Division
Martha Heflin, Particle Physics Division
Richard Ruthe, Technical Division
The UEC raised some concerns about aspects of this process, including
- What happens to users who must, according to visa regulations, renew
their ID cards much more frequently than once a year? (Apparently, the NEO
need only be taken once, but it was not clear if an ITNA needed to be
completed again by the point of contact.)
- What happens for users who are only applying for an ID card in order
to receive a computing account, and will only visit for meetings but will
not be in residence for work at the lab? (It appears there will still need
to be an ITNA filled out, but one
of the questions will indicate no need for NEO. It was suggested that there
be a way to avoid the ITNA and the temporary ID card for this case.)
- There is some confusion in the presentation regarding the role of
the point of contact. Although some of the structure
which applies to Fermilab line management is being used here, the point of
contact will NOT be able to act as strongly as a Fermilab line management
chain (to give one trivial example, the POC is not backed up by others when
unavailable for vacation or other reasons). It should be clear throughout
the process that it is not a transition of users into a Fermilab line
management chain, and the use of the ITNA mechanism should not obscure this
point. This can be viewed as a tool to help university groups make use of
Fermilab training resources to increase the safety level of their personnel
- The logistics of providing safety documentation, access to the ITNA
web interface, and other ESH resources offsite, will require some attention.
The current access is thought from anecdotal experience of committee members
to be non-uniform. The UEC recommends that this be addressed, since
insuring that the bureaucratic load can be handled offsite as well as onsite
will minimize any loss of time during (expensive) user visits.
The UEC thanked Heflin for bringing this process to its attention and for
a full presentation and discussion.
ACCELERATOR DIVISION SHUTDOWN WORK
Dave McGinnis, Accelerator Division Associate Head, reported to the
committee on the planned work schedule for the March 2006 shutdown.
[Note added in proof: As many readers will already know, the plans
described below for the 2-week pbar study in December were altered
by events - the Tevatron went down for repairs on November 21, and
the pbar study was commenced, with a revised 3-shift schedule, and
was projected to run through the holiday weekend at least. Plans for
low luminosity stores were unclear at the time of this writing. The
UEC would like to thank the Pbar group for its dedication in assuming
a difficult job on short notice over a holiday.]
McGinnis first remarked on the purpose of the shutdown - to increase
luminosity and protons available for the neutrino program. He commented
that shutdowns in winter are problematic because
it limits some of the maintenance work, but otherwise his major concern
about the shutdown is not when it happens, but its length of interruption,
and the necessary recovery time.
The strategy for increasing luminosity is to increase the number
- increase pbar production rate (the Run II Upgrades)
- provide a third stage of cooling with the Recycler
- increase transfer efficiency
He listed the Run II upgrades and the work needed to move from the base
specification to the design.
They are currently operating at the base goals in the stacking rate
components. A key component to move forward is increasing the aperture of
the AP2 line and the Debuncher. When AD was asked what could best be
accomplished with study time prior to the shutdown, this component was
chosen as the item which would benefit most from focused study time. The
beam-based alignment which is needed for this increase is a procedure which
is not compatible with normal operations (it requires running with reversed
protons through the debuncher and the transfer line) and requires long setup
times. It does not progress well when done piecemeal. So there will be a 2
week study period Dec 5 - Dec 19 to complete this alignment.
The first week of studies will focus on the Debuncher, and there will be
little effect on the neutrino program. The second week will focus on the
AP2 line, and there will be a 50% reduction of the NUMI flux. Throughout
the two weeks, the pbar studies will occupy 2 shifts per day, with stacking
during the other shift. (The pbar group is not large enough to staff three
shifts of studies.)
During the first week, the Tevatron will provide low luminosity stores for
the collider experiments. The experiments will use these stores for their
diffractive programs. The Tevatron will do proton-only studies during the
second week, if the collider needs for low luminosity stores have been met.
He reported on the organization for this December study period, with
includes planning meetings to voice requests (done), to draft a schedule,
and to finalize a schedule. The pbar studies have 20% contingency, and if
they end early, the machines will return to normal operations. If the pbar
studies take longer, the study period will continue until they are finished.
McGinnis noted that a 2 week study period is long for the Tevatron and
restoring to normal operation may not be immediate. He was asked about how
soon the results of the December studies would be known. He said that the
increase in aperture which they achieve will be known at once, but whether
that translates into an immediate increase in luminosity depends on whether
other limitations kick in. He was asked how much the results of the
December studies would influence the work during the March shutdown, and he
answered "Not at all."
Next, McGinnis turned to the March shutdown. This will be 14 weeks in
length, followed by 2 weeks of startup. All the machines will be down for
the entire 14 weeks. The jobs to be done are limited by the available
human resources: the Accelerator Division has 33 technicians, and has
requested a loan of ~30 more. This allocation has not been made final yet.
Following previous practice, the jobs list for the shutdown will be frozen
The focus of the accelerator work during this shutdown is the work for the
neutrino program. There is a list of several major jobs which MUST be done.
The other focus is routine maintenance, and finally some collider jobs. The
shutdown worklist can be viewed from http://www-bd.fnal.gov/worklist (but requires a VPN from offsite).
He was asked, is electron cooling commissioned? Yes, it is completely
committed to operations. The goal was November 1, and they beat it by a month,
although it is not as smoothly operational as the specifications. There has
been no accumulator-only shot in last 40 stores. They keep the
accumulator-only capability only as a contingency, but using it would
require retuning the machine.
The committee thanked McGinnis for his detailed and informative report and
for the very professional efforts of those in the AD.
DC TRIP (Quinn, Chertok, Diehl, Finley, Hughes, Nguyen, Merritt)
Subcommittee Chair Breese Quinn reported that the subcommittee has
met three times in the previous month. They have decided the trip date is
March 8-10, 2006. They have contacted SLUO for date for joint planning
meeting, probably one of the last 2 Saturdays in January. The subcommittee
has made most of the assignments of jobs, and will go to weekly meetings
Wyatt Merritt, webmaster, showed the committee new template web pages
for the UEC, provided by the web consultants in the Public Affairs
Office. The new pages are more in keeping with other lab pages in
style. This effort was initiated by last year's committee at the end
of its lifetime, and will be followed up this year with a deployment
of the new pages anticipated within the next month.
James Degenhardt noted that the GSA had a successful Halloween party on
October 28. The GSA thanks all who helped, especially Dee Hahn.
Future meeting dates: December 10.