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

Meetings and Minutes

Minutes of the 8 May. 2009 UEC Meeting

Users Executive Committee members attending:

Karen Gibson
Mike Hildreth
Dan Hooper
Matthew Jones
Ashutosh Kotwal
Ron Moore
Kevin Pitts
Heather Ray
Lee Sawyer
Jon Urheim
Tricia Vahle

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Discussion with Director Pier Oddone

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Director Oddone met with members of the UEC.

Oddone: How was the Washington, DC trip?
(UEC): Overall it was a positive experience. It was different from last year's trip. Most offices were supportive of science funding.

(UEC): What is the timescale for constructing a DUSEL detector?
Oddone: NSF and DOE are gradually coming together. We envision a decision to proceed in 2010, obtain CD-2 in 2011, and begin construction in 2012-13.

(UEC): How strongly will the new DOE management champion HEP among their other responsibilities?
Oddone: Secretary Steven Chu, Under Secretary for Science nominee Steve Koonin, and Under Secretary for Energy nominee Kristina Johnson would form a strong team. We will know more with the next budget (FY11). They are still building the energy portfolio within the Office of Science so competition is severe. Although FY10 & FY11 budgets are expected to be tight, HEP should ramp up again in FY12.

(UEC): How is the lab doing?
Oddone: The accelerator is running very well. Manpower is tight, and we are trying to bring in contract engineers to help.

(UEC): What about running the Tevatron in FY11?
Oddone: The lab and the experiments presented their case two weeks ago at DOE. Dennis Kovar supports the idea, but we need to find about $27M to do it if FY11 running is approved.

(UEC): Do you think the LHC will turn on in the fall?
Oddone: There is still some concern about the superconductor-copper splices at the magnet interfaces.

(UEC): If the Fermilab budget would double by 2014, as authorized in the America COMPETES Act, what would the lab be doing with it?
Oddone: If the budget doubles in ten years (not five) as expected now, and after adjusting for inflation, it would probably be a 40-50% increase in real terms. Assuming the number of lab staff would stay constant, we would have about $250M/year for construction, e.g., Project X.

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DC Trip Summary (Dan Hooper)

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(Director Oddone stayed for this discussion, too.)

Thanks to all who helped organize and conduct the visits. The trip went well logistically - 43 people (including SLUO and USLUO) visited about 195 Congressional offices, as well as OMB, NSF, and DOE.

Some thoughts from attendees: overall positive; educational aspects were received well, e.g., QUARKNET; DOE Office of Science needs to promote its support of education in general and university research programs in particular; although the House of Representatives has several "champions of science", the Senate does not seem to have any such obvious member advocating for the DOE Office of Science (while NSF and NASA do have some support).

A web-based form for entering individual trip reports will be available next week. In the meantime, there is a PDF file on the wiki that can be used to jot down the information.

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Requests from Barb Book

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Return your DC trip travel receipts and forms ASAP.

Barb handed out UEC nomination forms that will also be available at the Users' Meeting.

Barb asked if we can develop a more automated way to count the votes in the UEC elections. Although the votes are cast via the web, the counting is still done by hand.

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Users' Meeting Planning (Lee Sawyer)

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There are only a few empty slots in the agenda to fill. We will be deciding on the graduate student speakers within the next week.

Session chairs need to confirm their desire and availability.

Those who recruited speakers should pass on the speakers' email addresses to Lee.

Tom Katsouleas (Dean of Engineering at Duke, research in novel particle acceleration techniques) will be the speaker for the Public Lecture on Wednesday evening.

We will make sure that poster presenters get to eat early so the food doesn't disappear completely while they stand by their poster.

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Outreach Workshop (Tricia Vahle and Karen Gibson)

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June 4 - posters and demos in conjunction with the Users' Meeting.
June 5 - Colloquium and panel sessions

Michael Turner will give the colloquium from 12-1 in the auditorium. Three panel sessions: Public Outreach (Manfred Paulini, Don Lincoln, Elizabeth Clements, Rhianna Wisniewski); Educational Outreach (Roger Dixon, Erik Ramberg, Jeff Larson, Mats Selen); Government Outreach (Kevin Pitts, Herman White, Young Kee Kim)

We are planning to have a Tesla coil show at the Festa Italiana / Taste of India (Wednesday evening of the Users' Meeting).

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Quality of Life (Ron Moore)

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Per Jeanne Koester (Fermilab recreation coordinator), the tentative date for opening the pool in June 1.

Prices: Passes (family of 4) = $180 (additional members = $10 each), individual = $80. Daily entry = $7, twilight (5-7 pm Mon-Fri) = $5.

They are hoping to begin selling passes by May 18th, pending arrival date of the passes.