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

Meetings and Minutes

Minutes of the 10 October 2006 UEC Meeting

Attending UEC reps: Barberis, Casey, Chertok, Diehl, Gollin, Kopp, Landsberg, Merritt, Pitts, Polly, Quinn, Slaughter, Wittich
Attending GSA reps: Kendall Mann (Columbia), MiniBooNE Jason Koskinen (University College London), MINOS


Chairs from each of the UEC subcommittees gave status reports from their working groups. A question and answer session was held with Director Oddone. Jon Bagger came to discuss the ideas behind the Particle Physics Envoys program. Young-Kee Kim presented a draft report from a task force charged with exploring methods of promoting collaboration between university and laboratory physicists on ILC-related projects. The recent record-breaking performance of the accelerator complex was reviewed by Ron Moore.


Government Relations (Breese Quinn)
The GR subcommittee has its first meeting scheduled for the middle of October. They have been planning a short trip by two UEC representatives to Washington, D.C., the second week of October along with the SLAC Users Organization (SLUO) and members of ATLAS/CMS. Visits will be conducted with OMB/OSTP as well as several Congressional offices. After this trip, the planning of the March Washington trip will commence. There will be a joint meeting with members of SLUO and the new US LHC users organization in January.

Quality of Life (Tom Diehl)
The QoL subcommittee met earlier in the month. At that meeting: Jean Slaughter summarized the contents of a short report that she presented to a URA visiting committee on Administrative and Operations support. There she noted administrative services at FNAL which are important to users.

The QoL subcommittee will consider what issues of relevance to women users it could assist with. To learn about other efforts in this area, they heard a report from Cathy Newman-Holmes on a laboratory committee she chairs, charged by the Directorate with studying the hiring and retention of female and minority scientists at the lab.

Kurt Riesselmann has been working over the summer to stay in contact with the Dupage County Transit Authority. It is hoped that there would be a Fermilab bus stop on the "Circulator" route in 2007. Long-range plans include the "Star Line" train. Kurt reported the Circulator is starting small, with 3 in-town bus routes to be chosen as the first step.

The QoL learned of a new service available to Fermilab employees with school-age children (ages 5-12) that is being implemented on a trial basis. The Children's Center at the lab will provide daycare on certain working holidays where the children are out of school, yet the parents are still working. The service will be available on Veteran's Day (November 10) from 7:30-5:00 PM. The cost is $35.00 per day. Call x3762 for registration.

The committee also discussed Fermilab visitor's health care. According to email distributed to UsersOrg by the Fermilab Users Office, "effective immediately, we will no longer have available the CIGNA Health Care Open Access Plus (OAP) medical coverage for purchase by non-Fermilab employees." The Users Office has information about alternate coverage plans.

Outreach (Brendan Casey)
The first outreach meeting was held the last week of September and focused on planning for the upcoming local congressional visits. The Fermilab UEC (in cooperation with other UECs) is putting together a list of colleagues at various universities who are willing to make a visit to their local Representatives and Senators this November and December. The goal is to present information on the impact our national labs have on the research programs and communities in their district.

The committee also discussed possibilities for a traveling museum exhibit on particle physics and other outreach ideas, including organizing a workshop at FNAL to bring together various individuals to discuss outreach programs in place at their universities. A member of the committee will initiate contact with Visual Media Services to see what it would take to get newer FNAL promotional material (video, DVD) developed.

Users Meeting (Greg Landsberg)
The planning for the Annual Users Meeting is in its infancy, but efforts to organize the meeting and getting invitations to key speakers should be ramping up over the next month.

International Users (Ela Barberis)
The international users sub-committee has not met yet. The two items on its list are to discuss health insurance and visa procedures.

Visit with Director Oddone

What is the likely impact of the July CERN Council report on the future directions for European particle physics? Are there good indications for collaborations with Europe on the ILC?

In a July 2006 meeting, the CERN Council met to discuss the direction of particle physics in Europe. The Council agreed to adopt the, "European strategy for particle physics", a report that was recently drafted by a broad scientific advisory group within Europe. The European strategy has quite a bit of overlap with the recommendations established for the US by the EPP2010 committee. In particular, exploiting the physics opportunities at the LHC is the top priority followed by R&D necessary to establish an electron-positron collider. Both reports agree that a machine like the ILC with collision energies in the 0.5-1.0 TeV range is crucial to complement measurements made at the LHC. Looking toward a future lepton collider beyond the ILC, the emphasis in Europe is on establishing the technology for an e+/e- collider in the 2-4 TeV range (CLIC), while the R&D at Fermilab leans toward building a muon collider. Director Oddone also mentioned that the European report is particularly effective because funding agencies from the respective member nations are involved and have agreed that this program is a cornerstone of basic research. For more information on the European strategy, see the Sep 2006 issue of CERN Courier or the strategy group's website at: http://council-strategygroup.web.cern.ch/council-strategygroup/

What can you can tell us about the URA/Chicago contract bid? What changes may Fermilab users expect to see? What is the new entity which replaces the URA Board of Overseers?

The URA, a consortium of 90 universities, has overseen the construction and operation of the lab since 1965. A new partnership between the URA and University of Chicago has presented a contract bid to the DOE to begin management of the laboratory in January 2007. As was required by the Request for Proposal (RFP), the partnership will establish a limited liability corporation (LLC) named Fermilab Research Alliance (FRA) as the governing entity, with 50% ownership by both University of Chicago and the URA. The RFP also requires a framework of accountability to the DOE in which the parent corporations provide performance guarantees for the contract undertaken by the LLC. The management scheme will be similar to any US corporation with the Lab Director acting as the president of the LLC and reporting directly to the Chairman of the Board of Directors. The Board provides oversight, is chaired by the President of the University of Chicago, and consists of 24 members. The seven regional representatives of URA, the Presidents of Northwestern, NIU, IIT and University of Illinois, as well as members from industry, the University of Chicago and other national laboratories are members of the Board.

As part of the bid for lab management, Director Oddone and the management team were required to demonstrate to the DOE how they would respond under certain scenarios. In these mock simulations they were given a problem and had less than two hours to respond to the problem and prepare an hour presentation. Overall, Director Oddone was extremely pleased by the performance of the management team, and he felt that the whole exercise was very useful in improving their effectiveness for the future. A DOE decision on whether to award the contract is due in November.

What are your thoughts for incorporation of the CMS/LPC into the Lab's organization?

From the home page of the LPC (http://www.uscms.org/LPC/LPC.htm): "The LHC Physics Center (LPC) at FNAL was created so the USCMS community can provide the maximum possible service to the CMS experiment. Our goal is to ensure that those physicists who must reside inside the United States can still contribute optimally to the many tasks required for the CMS experiment to produce physics and be full members of the CMS team."

Director Oddone envisions the coherent management of CMS by creating a Center with a single person responsible to direct all the activities that Fermilab carries for the CMS collaboration. The LPC will reside within this CMS center and will have leadership from both the laboratory and the university community. He emphasized that the goal of the LPC is to enhance the participation and effectiveness of US universities, and as such, the lab is committed to taking the necessary steps toward forming it into a useful environment where graduate students and postdocs can find help and be quickly brought up to speed on CMS physics and software tools.

In addition to the LPC, Director Oddone mentioned the need to provide centers for ILC research and astrophysics with similar management structures. These centers are important to provide a tangible, intellectual center for projects that do not have a natural facility at the Fermilab site.

Particle Physics Envoys Program -- Jonathan Bagger

Jonathan Bagger (Johns Hopkins) came to discuss the ideas behind the Particle Physics Envoy Program. This program seeks to establish a stronger relationship between the particle physics community and our representatives. A physicist would be paired with a particular representative and would then work to establish a rapport by making visits 3-4 times per year. The visits would not always be motivated by a request for funding, but could be to say thank you for recent legislation or just let the representative know how past decisions are shaping science. The point is that the representative develops an ongoing, comfortable relationship with a member of the particle physics community. The envoys should do their best to represent a coherent view of the field. Envoys could also be used as a resource for all members of the particle physics community to learn how to impart the excitement in the field when speaking with others. A broadly representative steering committee has been assembled and will be working to establish the envoys this fall. A member of the Fermilab UEC is on the steering committee. For questions, comments, or more information on the program contact bagger@jhu.edu.

FNAL Task force on University/Lab ILC Collaborations -- Young-Kee Kim

A task force at FNAL has been charged with considering ways in which university groups and laboratory particle physicists can collaborate with accelerator physicists on ILC-related projects. The goal of the task force is to develop a set of recommendations to the Directorate that will establish an effective program in which university groups can use their local resources to work with the FNAL accelerator physicists. The initial focus is on developing collaboration at the interface of the machine and the experiment. Recommendations include, but are not limited to: developing training and education classes needed to learn instrumentation, encouraging collaboration in beam instrumentation at the detector/beam interface, creating resources for a detector simulation and reconstruction framework, detector R&D, and establishing tenure-track positions for ILC research. It is hoped that the program is general enough to allow university and lab physicists to build on the strengths of their departments. Universities should be able to build items for the ILC and then bring them to the test beam at the New Muon Lab or possibly other beamlines constructed for accelerator research. The report from the task force is nearing its final draft and should be made available to the Director within the next month. When the report is finished, a two hour session is planned for the task force to present their findings and recommendations to the FNAL staff and users with a discussion afterwards.

Tevatron Luminosity Performance -- Ron Moore

Ron Moore (AD-Tevatron) gave a talk on the recent record-breaking luminosities attained at the Tevatron. A few quantitative records:

Weekly Integrated Lum          33.3 pb-1
pbar Stacking Rate            20.5 10^10/hr
Peak Luminosity                229*10^30 cm-2 s-1
pbars at HEP Start             2870*10^9 pbars

Gains in luminosity have come from higher intensities of both protons and pbars. Prior to the shutdown, up to 25% of the protons were being lost during pbar injections. Those losses were dominated by beam-beam interactions, especially from one particularly bad parasitic crossing that became worse with higher pbar intensities. The losses were greatly reduced by increasing separation between the beams using new voltage settings on the separators. The luminosity lifetime increased by 15-20% as a result of installing additional separators that allowed the beam separation to be increased at the parasitic crossing points nearest to the interaction points. Another contributor to the recent performance improvement comes from a new tune working point in the Recycler. The new tune allows for a smaller emittance of pbars delivered to the Tevatron. In addition, the pbar stacking rate has been steadily improving. Beyond that, the records can really be attributed to hard work on the part of everybody in AD to increase the reliable operation of the accelerator complex. For a more detailed look at Ron's talk, see: http://beamdocs.fnal.gov/AD-public/DocDB/ShowDocument?docid=2522

Proposed Dates for Future UEC Meetings

  • November 3, 2006
  • December 8, 2006

Submitted by: Chris Polly, UEC Secretary