Meetings and Minutes
Minutes of 9/15 Meeting of the UEC
The 2006-2007 UEC met for the first time on 9/15 with all 13 members
present. The returning members are:
Brendan Casey (Brown), Dzero
Maxwell Chertok (UC Davis), CDF/CMS
Tom Diehl (FNAL), Dzero/DES
George Gollin (University of Illinois), ILC
Sacha Kopp (University of Texas), MINOS/Tevatron/LARP
Wyatt Merritt (FNAL), Dzero/DES
Breese Quinn (Ole Miss), Dzero
The new members are:
Ela Barberis (Northeastern), Dzero/CMS
Greg Landsberg (Brown), Dzero/CMS
Kevin Pitts (University of Illinois), CDF
Chris Polly (Indiana), MiniBooNE
Jean Slaughter (FNAL), Tevatron/LARP/CDF
Peter Wittich (Cornell), CDF/CMS
The GSA will shortly elect new officers. Jim Degenhardt and Cristobal
Almenar (past GSA officers) were in attendance for this meeting.
The previous year's activities were reviewed for the benefit of the new
members, and some new initiatives were discussed. Mel Shochet gave a
report on HEPAP activities and Mark Messier discussed Nova. Committee
chairs and assignments for the upcoming year were established.
Quality of Life
Tom Diehl, past chair of QoL, gave examples of the previous year's
efforts, including a women's dorm wing in Aspen East, an updated Guide to
Life at Fermilab by the GSA, and establishing contacts between FNAL and
the proposers of the future STAR-link train system servicing the western
suburbs. Other items still in progress include Batavia library service for
Village residents, expanded recycling, and womens' sports league. The
possibility of a Career Night was briefly discussed.
Breese Quinn, past chair of GR, reviewed last year's activities in
letter writing and in planning the major trip to DC in conjunction with
the SLAC Users' Organization (SLUO). The Spring trip last year covered
approximately 140 offices of Senators and Representatives, as well as a
visit to Ray Orbach, Robin Staffin, NSF, and the OMB. A similar trip to
DC will be planned for the coming Spring.
Additionally a smaller-scale trip is being planned for October to visit
with the OMB/OSTP staff and discuss the FY08 budget. If time allows,
select visits will be made to Congressional staffers working for members
of the conference committees charged with finalizing the FY07 budget.
Brendan Casey, past UM committee chair, reviewed last year's planning
for the Users' Meeting. The new committee must begin planning soon for the
various keynote speakers that would need to be invited. The 2006 meeting
was ambitious in terms of the number of outside speakers invited leading
to the appearance of Rep. Biggert, Harold Shapiro, and Norm Augustine that
were considered important attractors for attendance at the meeting. There
was discussion of the value of the competition for the student talks,
which many regarded as among the best talks at the meeting.
Local Congressional Visits
UEC Chair Kopp reviewed an initiative he's begun in conjunction with
other UECs at other national labs. In March 2006 the Chairs of all the
UECs of the DOE labs (JLab, SLAC, SSRL, BNL AGS, BNL NSLS, ANL APS,
LBL-ALS, PNNL, LANL, ORNL-SNS, FNAL) met and discussed ways in which
we could better work together. The meeting discussed the rising awareness
of the need for supporting the physical sciences.
Subsequently, the UECs planned to initiate visits with their
Representatives and Senators shortly after this year's election. Both
Senators from a state, as well as all Representatives with a plausible
connection (campus or faculty residences in their districts, for example),
may be contacted. The goal is to have several faculty and students from
multiple departments within a single university working at different
national labs all march into the office of the same member of Congress
together and talk about user facilities run by the DOE Office of Science,
and about physical science support from DOE and NSF.
The visits would be fairly general, focused on some important themes we
feel are important for all members of Congress to appreciate:
- We thank the Congress for all its efforts to raise the priority
given to physical sciences, the DOE SC and the NSF.
- The DOE SC operates user facilities which, though not in the
member's district, are essential for university-based research.
- The DOE SC and NSF are the largest sources of support for
physical sciences in the US.
- Students on our campuses benefit strongly from these facilities
and the training offered using those resources.
These are issues on which we wish to educate our lawmakers, not only
for this budget cycle, but for future years which are all needed to
sustain a 10-year doubling.
We would like members of the Fermilab community to go on these visits.
It is important to convey the excitement for our own field of research,
and to show our unified support for the Office of Science, NSF, and
physical sciences. Already, approximately 40 Fermilab user groups have agreed
to participate. The Outreach Committee was charged with coordinating
Fermilab users in this project.
Visit with Mel Shochet
Mel Shochet, chair of HEPAP, joined the UEC by telephone to provide a
brief summary of the July 6-7 HEPAP meeting and a preview of the Oct 12-13
July meeting: HEPAP received reports from several subpanels, as well as
heard a report from Harold Shapiro, chair of the EPP2010 panel. The HEPAP
subpanel reports were delivered by Jay Marx on the need for maintaining
Advanced Accelerator R&D, Rocky Kolb on the Dark Energy Task Force, and
Gene Beier from NuSAG. Abe Seiden gave an interim report from P5. Of
interest to the Fermilab community, P5 made several recommendations in
connection with its initial charge of determining whether it is still useful
to run the SLAC B Factory in FY08: their recommendation to run the B
Factory was made along with a set of other priorities they articulated for
FY08. In particular, they recommended full support for LHC operations,
significant funding for ILC research, and construction starts for DES,
CDMS-II, Daya Bay, and NOvA. The second day of HEPAP consisted of reports
on the status of the ILC, including Barry Barish on international
coordination, Gerry Dugan on US ILC activities, Paul Grannis on the US bid
to host, and Jon Bagger on the formation of an ILC communications group.
Additionally, new charges were issued for two new HEPAP subpanels: Homer
Neal will chair a subpanel on the DOE and NSF university programs, and
HEPAP will coordinate with DOE on the evaluation of the HEP program's
success or failure to meet various Program Assessment Rating Tools (PARTs)
issued by OMB (an example -- measuring the top mass to 3 GeV). The UEC
discussed possible ways to give input to the subpanel on university programs.
October Meeting: HEPAP will hear from several subcommittees, including
Bill Molzen on the evaluation of HEP's performance against the OMB PART
program, Homer Neal giving an interim report on the university program,
Hank Sobel on the beginning of a Dark Matter SAG, Abe Seiden giving the
final P5 report with a roadmap for the next decade, and Guy Wormser will
report on the European HEP planning document approved by the CERN Council
this summer. Additionally, HEPAP will hear from NASA on their
For more information on HEPAP, visit their website at:
Update on NOvA Experiment
Mark Messier, co-spokesperson of the NOvA experiment, updated us on their
progress. The collaboration is about 140 physicists, mostly from the US,
with one French, Brazilian, Russian, German, and Greek institution. The
INFN is currently considering supporting 5 institutions and approximately
20 physicists in joining NOvA.
The experiment hopes to observe the transition of muon to electron
neutrino flavors, of importance for telling us the mass hierarchy of
neutrinos as well as possibly whether there is CP violation in the lepton
sector. The experiment requires a 20-25 kTon detector located off the
central axis of the NuMI beam, approximately 810km away (this is further
than the MINOS experiment, which is 735.4km and on-axis). The off-axis
location, Ash River (MN) results in a narrow neutrino energy distribution
at the detector, which facilitates the nu(mu)-->nu(e) search. The
detector cost is about $200M, and the experiment also benefits from
foreseen upgrades to the NuMI beam enabling operations at 700kW proton
power (and possibly 1.2MW) once the collider program terminates.
The experiment has undergone reviews from the DOE, the Neutrino
Scientific Advisory Group (NuSAG) (a subpanel of P5), EPP2010, and P5.
All reviews have been favorable and P5 recommended a 2008 start of
construction (see report from Mel Shochet above). The project was
recommended for DOE CD1 Feb. '06, and the expectation is to have the CD2
review in Feb. '07 and the CD3 (start construction) in Oct. '07. A
prototype detector to be operated in the NuMI beam on site at Fermilab is
to be completed in 2007.
Ad Hoc Committee Assignments
Chris Polly and Jean Slaughter agreed to serve on a Fermilab Information
Categorization Policy Committee as our UEC representatives. Tom Diehl
agreed to serve on a Fermilab Committee on Space Needs as our UEC
New UEC Office Position
UEC Chair Kopp proposed a new position of Vice Chair with a 1 year term.
The purpose of the position will be to share some of the work with the
chair. This motion was approved on a trial basis for this year.
UEC Officer Elections
The following individuals were elected for positions for the 2006-2007
Chair of Government Relations Subcommittee: Breese Quinn
Chair of Outreach Subcommittee: Brendan Casey
Chair of International Users Subcommittee: Ela Barberis
Chair of Quality of Life Subcommittee: Tom Diehl
Chair of Users Meeting Subcommittee: Greg Landsberg
Secretary: Chris Polly
Webmaster: Wyatt Merritt
UEC Vice Chair: Jean Slaughter
UEC Chair: Sacha Kopp
Following are the subcommittees for the coming year:
Outreach: CASEY, Wittich, Polly, Landsberg, Quinn, Slaughter, Pitts,
Government Relations: QUINN, Wittich, Merritt, Chertok, Gollin, Diehl,
International Users: BARBERIS, Chertok, (Kopp)
QoL: DIEHL, Barberis, Casey, Merritt, Slaughter (Kopp)
Users Meeting: LANDSBERG, Polly, Chertok, Pitts, Casey, Merritt, (Kopp)
Wyatt Merritt proposed that the UEC adopt some form of ranked or
preferential voting system, like those in use at D0 and CDF for
spokesperson election, for the UEC elections next spring. She will
bring more information on such systems to a future meeting.
Proposed Dates for Future UEC Meeting
October 6, 2006
November 3, 2006
December 8, 2006
Submitted by: Chris Polly, UEC Secretary