Meetings and Minutes
Minutes of the 3 November 2006 UEC Meeting
Attending UEC reps: Barberis, Chertok, Diehl,
Kopp, Merritt, Pitts, Polly,
Attending GSA reps: Jason Koskinen (University College London),
Kendall Mahn (Columbia), MiniBooNE;
Mandy Rominsky (University of Oklahoma), D0;
Jennifer Gimmell (University of Rochester), CDF
Homer Neal discussed the status of a HEPAP subpanel charged with studying
University programs. The subpanel is in the information gathering stage
and will be holding a meeting at Fermilab Nov30-Dec01 with a Town Hall
component to gather input from the community. Boris Kayser summarized
the recent P5 report. Ralph Pasquinelli described the Bardeen Fellowship,
an engineering fellowship designed to attract top notch engineers to the
lab. Status reports from the UEC subcommittees were given. The Annual
Users Meeting will be June 6-7, 2007.
Introduction to the University Subpanel to HEPAP -- Homer Neal
A HEPAP University subpanel has been impaneled to broadly assess the
state of university HEP groups. In addition to establishing goals and
objectives for the university grants program, they seek to understand
the scientific and technical quality of the work performed at univer-
sities, the relevance to HEP worldwide, the adequacy of the manpower and
resources available to these programs, how the programs are managed, and
the broader impacts on the general community and technological workforce.
Some of the specific questions given as examples of the challenges faced
- Should we be concerned about the health of the university programs?
- Is the current model of the university HEP research group outdated?
- Is the division of support between accelerator and non-accelerator
based research appropriate? What about theory versus experiment?
- Should accelerator or detector design be lab- or university-based,
- How does the traditional pattern of support apply in the LHC era?
- How do we interest undergraduates, attract graduate students, and
keep the US HEP pipeline open as facilities are closing?
- What is the state of theory and phenomenology, and how do universities
meet the demand for computing resources?
- What drives the size of university groups and grants, and do they
provide an effective use of resources?
The subpanel intends to accumulate information from now through Feb
2007. After interpreting the data, forming perspectives, and posing
solutions, the final report to HEPAP is expected to be delivered by
The subpanel is meeting at FNAL Nov 30-Dec 1 where they plan
to have a Town Hall forum for university groups to provide inputs.
The Town Hall meeting is scheduled for the afternoon of Nov 30
starting sometime between 3 and 4 PM CST. Future meetings of the
University subpanel will be held at SLAC Jan 8-9 and MIT Feb 8-9.
Summary of October 13 P5 Report -- Boris Kayser
The Particle Physics Project Prioritization Panel (P5) is a subpanel to
HEPAP charged most recently with proposing an up-to-date 10-year roadmap
for elementary particle physics with an emphasis on prioritizing projects
over the next five years. After taking inputs from the HEP community,
EPP2010, the Neutrino Scientific Assessment Group (NuSAG), and the Dark
Energy Task Force (DETF), P5 made their final report back to HEPAP on
For the purpose of planning continued operations and construction starts,
P5 was given two budget scenarios by DOE. The first is a more
conservative outlook that was part of the FY07 DOE budget submission,
while the second assumes a 7% annual increase. The program recommended
by P5 falls within the more conservative budget scenario, with occasional
references to additional projects that would be possible under the more
optimistic budget. Also of importance to budget projections are the
assumed closings of PEP-II at the end of 2008 and of the Tevatron at
around the end of 2009. The guidance from NSF was less specific, but
emphasized their objective of funding individual investigator grants
(>50% of budget) and advancing the case for a Deep Underground Science
and Engineering Laboratory (DUSEL).
To prioritize the physics, P5 formed a list of the most pressing
questions facing elementary particle physics today, and the possible
experimental avenues to resolve those questions. Topics included
studying physics at the TeV scale (Higgs mechanism, supersymmetry,
extra spatial dimensions, etc.), puzzles in astrophysics (dark matter
and dark energy), properties of the neutrino (theta13, Majorana/Dirac,
CP violation, sterile neutrinos, etc.), and indirect probes of new
physics (muon g-2, CP violation in B decays, heavy flavor physics,
lepton flavor violation, and EDMs). The final prioritized
recommendations from P5 are as follows:
- Research at the energy frontier supporting a full range of activities
for the LHC program and R&D for the ILC.
- A near-term program in dark matter and dark energy, as well as a
measurement of the third neutrino mixing angle. Experiments in this
category inclued CDMS, DES, and Daya Bay. This category also places a
prioriy on developing Stage IV dark energy experiments like LSST and
SNAP, and R&D funding for DUSEL, along with R&D support for both a large
dark matter and a neutrino-less double beta decay experiment.
- Construction of the NOVA experiment along with the modest associated
machine improvements at Fermilab.
- Construction of an improved muon g-2 experiment at BNL.
All but the last item in the above list fit in the conservative budget
scenario. With an increased budget the panel would recommend more
vigorous pursuit of ILC R&D, more timely completion of the developmental
work on the Stage IV dark energy experiments, and consider a construction
start for muon g-2. With the rapid developments taking place in the
field, the panel recommends another P5 review towards the end of the
decade to reassess future possibilities. For more details, download
the final report at:
The Bardeen Fellowship at FNAL -- Ralph Pasquinelli
Ralph Pasquinelli, head of the RF engineering department, talked to
the UEC about a unique opportunity for incoming engineers at Fermilab.
The Bardeen Engineering fellowship is intended to attract top notch
engineering graduates with a Ph.D. or Master's degree in engineering.
Candidates are expected be within one year of graduation, rank in the
top quarter of their graduating class, and must have performed some
sort of independent research resulting in a thesis. Fermilab provides
opportunities in the fields of electrical, electronics, radio frequency
systems, power distribution, super-conducting magnets, super-conducting
RF cavities, mechanical, materials science, cryogenic, and civil
engineering. Engineering jobs at Fermilab can be very rewarding with
entry-level engineers becoming responsible for entire systems much more
quickly than what is typical in industry. This fellowship is a full-
time permanent position at Fermilab. Please pass this information
along to your colleagues in engineering. For more information, including
a very nice video put together by Visual Media Services under the
Advertisement link, see:
Government Relations (Breese Quinn)
Members from the Fermilab, SLAC, and the new US-LHC users organizations
went to DC October 12-13 to meet with several Congressional offices as
well as staff from OMB & OSTP. Fermilab UEC Chair Kopp and Gov't
Relations sub-chair Quinn represented the UEC. Visits with Congressional
offices included several appropriations and science committee staff, most
of whom were fairly positive about the prospects for FY07 appropriations
to proceed, even with the possible (and eventual) changes in the House.
It was an important message that the House Appropriations bill, which
matched the President's request, was consistent with the advice coming
from the HEP community and its advisory panels, while the Senate version
adds new constraints. This was something we agreed should be followed as
the House and Senate bills go to conference this Fall. There was wide
recognition that basic research (especially HEP) is at a crossroads in
the US and wide support is needed to ensure the US retains the ability to
train excellent students.
At the OMB, several questions were posed regarding the recent P5 report,
which was released at HEPAP the same morning as the meeting. They
wanted more information on the unique science program of NOvA (seen
within the world context), more information on the recent Marx subpanel
report on the need for more accelerator R&D, and how users feel about the
balance of present (astro/LHC/neutrino/TeV) program in relation to the
ILC R&D effort. They explained some of the constraints they are working
with. They recognized the strong year that HEP has had with the recent
MINOS result, CDF/D0 results and luminosity, and the prospects for LHC
Quality of Life (Tom Diehl)
The subcommittee met with the GSA and discussed the efforts and
unfinished business from last year. The GSA also emphasized the
value of having a Career night with an emphasis on professional
development in the field. It was also noted that there is not a
GSA equivalent for postdocs at Fermilab. The QoL subcommittee has
assembled a list of roughly 40 female users who would be interested
in participating in on-site sports, and will continue to look into
determining the demand for female leagues. Other issues concerning
the availability of bikes, public transportation, and health care
for visitors are being explored.
Outreach (Brendan Casey)
The outreach subcommittee continues to assemble materials in preparation
for local congressional visits.
Users Meeting (Greg Landsberg)
A tentative date for the Users Meeting of June 6-7 has been decided. The
Users Meeting will be followed by a New Perspectives Conference organized
by the Graduate Student Association. The possibility of a workshop
on Outreach was also discussed. Invitations for talks from various
dignitaries have been extended, and a list of additional possibilities
is being compiled. A competition for graduate talks will be held again
this year with a solicitation letter coming in January and a deadline
for nomination in March. We again envision a public lecture and poster
International Users (Ela Barberis)
The International Users subcommittee had a meeting focused on becoming
informed on issues specific to non-US users. The Visa office was
contacted to discuss potential Visa delays, and what might be done to
expedite the process. They are also exploring an older effort to
establish a special scientist Visa. Future initiatives like establishing
surveys to discover other overlooked outstanding issues and creating a
Wiki page to share information among international users were discussed.
The subcommittee is looking into how last year's donation of $1000 was
used to improve dorm life for international users, and what might be done
with future funds.
Proposed Dates for Future UEC Meetings
- December 8, 2006
- January 5, 2007
Submitted by: Chris Polly, UEC Secretary