Users' Executive Committee
Users' Executive Committee
Fermi Research Alliance, LLC

Meetings and Minutes

Minutes of the December 10, 2005 UEC Meeting

Present: Alton, Casey, Chertok (video), Diehl, Finley, Gollin (phone), Kopp, Merritt, Nguyen, Quinn, Trischuk
Apologies: Bertram, Hughes
From the GSA: Degenhardt, Maki, Welty-Rieger

The Chair called the meeting to order at 9:05 am.


Sacha Kopp noted that the new users safety requirements which were presented at the November UEC meeting (see http://www.fnal.gov/orgs/fermilab_users_org/minutes/minutes_11192005.txt ) are already being implemented. There is a web site for the points of contact to use for signing up for the accounts needed to execute the Individual Training Needs Assessments (ITNAs); UEC members have tested the site but not from offsite, so it will be important to test it from home institutions as well. The ES&H web site is located at the URL below: http://www-esh.fnal.gov/pls/default/esh_home_page.page?this_page=22009

He reported that URA has approved the trip for UEC members to go to SLAC for a joint meeting with their Users Organization (SLUO) for planning the joint trip to Washington DC in March. The DC Trip chair will work with the DC subcommittee on that SLUO meeting.

He reported that Roy Rubinstein has indicated that there are some private funds available for a purchase to benefit international students. The international subcommittee needs to provide suggestions within a week; the money needs to be disbursed before the end of the year.

The Committee then heard reports from the DC Trip, Users Meeting, Quality of Life, and Outreach subcommittees.

DC TRIP (Quinn, Chertok, Diehl, Finley, Hughes, Merritt, Nguyen)

Breese Quinn, subcommittee Chair, reported that the subcommittee is now meeting weekly. The schedules for the DC trip and for the joint planning with the SLAC Users Organization (SLUO) are now definite, and the agenda and guest list for the planning meeting are under discussion. The choice of dates for the DC Trip has been endorsed as a good choice by the Fermilab and SLAC lobbying firms. The schedule for work on the set of talking points, for discussion at the planning meeting, was presented. Another action item for the subcommittee is to plan home office visits to Congressional representatives on the relevant committees, to thank them for last year's efforts on behalf of science and high energy physics. Quinn has a list of legislators to target for the March visits. Committee members can now make reservations for the DC Trip. The web site for the DC Trip is up and running.

It was suggested that the planning meeting with SLUO be video- conferenced, since not all on the UEC can attend in person.

USERS MEETING (Casey, Trischuk, Bertram, Alton, Nguyen, Kopp)

Brendon Casey, subcommittee Chair, requested that the email on the possible invited speakers should be commented on soon. He indicated that the subcommittee will go to weekly meetings after the holiday break. The GSA officers reported on their plans for the New Perspectives meeting. There will be a call for posters and abstracts, and a separate call for nominations for the proposed competition to select graduate student talks for the general Users Meeting. These nominations would be guaranteed a slot at the New Perspectives meeting. The nominees should be within a year of graduation, should be good speakers, and should submit a three page paper on their research to accompany the nominations. The call for nominations will go out February 1, with applications returned by April 1 and the selection made by May 1.

QUALITY OF LIFE (Diehl, Alton, Finley, Merritt, Kopp)

Tom Diehl, subcommittee Chair, provided a report on the activities this month. Pursuing the investigation of possible women-only accommodations in the Fermilab Village, the subcommittee met with Jack Hawkins, head of the Accommodations Office. He presented his thoughts on this proposal, including the current procedures and how the staff currently attempt to address user preferences, including women's privacy issues and personal preferences.

The subcommittee conveyed its sense that there is significant interest in a women-only area of at least 3-6 rooms. This would not be an entire dorm (the smallest dorms are 8 rooms.) The proposal of a 6-room area in Aspen East was reviewed. Practically speaking, the procedure for assigning rooms in this proposal would not be very different from the current procedure, since there is already an effort to assign women without a specific preference to areas near women's bathrooms. The suggested new procedure is:

  • Women who express an explicit preference will be assigned their preferred dorm or room.
  • Women who don't express a preference will be assigned in the women-only area, as long as it has open rooms.
  • Men would not be assigned rooms in the women-only area, starting from the initiation of this procedure.

The timeline proposed is to implement the women-only area as soon as the current occupancy can be turned over without undue disruption. The further actions will include discussions with Bruce Chrisman and Roy Rubinstein.

There have been some further discussions with the West Chicago mayor and with the Public Affairs office regarding the possibility of train service adjacent to the site.

The Guide to Life is expected from Aguilar-Arevalo in late January.

OUTREACH (Gollin, Quinn, Casey, Kopp)

George Gollin, subcommittee Chair, reported that the revision of the template letter to representatives is still in progress.


Director Oddone first discussed the recent discovery of a small tritium release into Indian Creek. He indicated the measures taken to communicate with surrounding communities, and indicated that he is happy with the cooperation of DOE and the results of the Lab policy of complete openness. He said that it is a credit to his predecessors that the Lab has a very good relationship and good credibility with its neighbors. He thinks that the local coverage to date is fair and reasonable. The release measured in the cooling ponds and Indian Creek is small and there are steps being taken in the NuMI tunnel (believed to be the source) to mitigate these levels further. The Laboratory welcomes comments and questions from the community, and has placed a web site with some of the details surrounding this incident for their information:


He discussed the current budget picture, which is very uncertain because of the possibility of rescission. The numbers floated for a rescission have fluctuated significantly, and are still not known.

The UEC had provided a list of questions.

- What were some of the issues considered by the PAC at its December meeting? Are there any conclusions at this time?

The PAC is considering the move of the SciBar detector to the lab and will be giving advice on this. It will also advise on the relative priorities of the smaller projects, in the event that the final budget does not cover all needs. The Director's priority is to protect the ILC development.

- Can you update us on the progress in TeV repairs and the Pbar source studies?

The repairs are coming along very well. First beam was put in the TeV Friday evening. The Director is encouraged that the alignment procedure which the PBar group has executed, taking advantage of the unscheduled shutdown (see last month's minutes) found some problems which can be corrected. They will be scheduling some very long stores in the future, to allow this alignment work to finish up.

There may be a need for another 1-2 week shutdown of NuMI for a permanent fix to the tritium issue.

MINOS will have results relatively soon with more data than K2K. Once public results are available, that will help make the point that we have a formidable neutrino facility. Director Oddone continues to make the case to the agencies that the Lab needs a program which is resilient to delays in the ILC.

The committee asked whether the EPP2010 report will be out in time for use as supporting material in the DC trip? The Director thought not. The review process for such reports usually takes more time than that, so the estimate is late spring for a public release.

- Recently, DOE announced "mission need statements" for several projects. What does this mean for Fermilab?

It allows us to go ahead with planning and R&D spending. The agencies are launching multiple paths, but this does not guarantee that all the initiatives will survive.


Following the inquiry of several users, the UEC sought advice on how users living on site at Fermilab could gain access to the library facilities at one or more local libraries. George Scheetz, Director of Batavia Public Library, joined the committee to discuss possible arrangements for use of the library by Fermilab users. He showed maps of the Batavia library district, which does include a small portion of the Fermilab site for historical reasons (but not the village, which is in a different county), and of the library districts in DuPage County. He stated that now Fermilab users can use an interlibrary loan mechanism through the Fermilab library. However, he and his library board are receptive to finding a way to provide full library service to Fermilab residents, with issuance of library cards. This service would include reciprocal borrowing privileges at other area libraries. He doesn't feel that such an arrangement would be a large impact on the library, given the relatively small number of resident users. The UEC will approach the Directorate with the matter to see if some arrangement between the Lab and the Batavia Library's Board can be worked out.


Erik Ramberg, PPD, gave the committee a talk on the M-Test test beams, and opportunities for users to get beam time there. He has been working to publicize this facility, which he thinks will be supported by the Directorate for the foreseeable future. This talk has also been given at the All Experimenters Meeting. He gave an overview of the MTBF. There is a web site at


on which the schedule, parameters, and request forms can be found. The westernmost beam line in the Meson Area is the test beam. The area has been further shielded, in order to take the Main Injector beam. There have also been upgrades to facilities and ease of use. There are 6 user stations, with a 7th downstream of the beam dump, and 2 control rooms. An experiment can use more than one of the stations.

Ramberg described the extraction process and the operational beam characteristics. The beam can be operated to provide 120 GeV protons, or secondary beam from 3 to 66 GeV. Particle ID in the beam is provided with Cherenkov counters. User requests for beam conditions are negotiable. It can deliver 100KHz of 120 Gev protons, during a 4 second spill every 2 minutes. It can also deliver about 100 Hz of electrons between 4 and 16 GeV. A multiple station tracking system and DAQ have been developed and used to good effect by several users.

The facility has been operating for about two years, and in that time has had MOU's with 14 groups. Three are taking data now. There are modest requests for the foreseeable future. A possible long term occupation by ILC calorimetry has been postponed, at least until the end of 2006; this effort will go to the CERN test beam. CERN is the largest competing test beam, and required running time, proximity to the university groups, and visa issues were cited as reasons that the ILC calorimetry effort will go to CERN.

Ramberg stated that a modest user request can get through the MOU process in a couple of weeks.


GSA is organizing a Winter Ball in conjunction with the University of Chicago, on Feb 25, at the University.


Future meeting dates in 2006: Jan 28; Feb 25; Apr 1; May 6
Note added in proof: The Jan 28 meeting has been moved to Feb 4.
Other dates in 2006: DC Trip - March 8-10
Users Meeting - May 31-Jun 1