USLUEC meeting minutes from 28 Sept 2007

Minutes of meeting of US LHC Users Organization Executive Committee of September 28, 2007


Attended by:

Michael Barnett, Mike Albrow, Peter Jacobs, Peter Limon, Greg Landsberg, Jimmy Proudfoot, Joey Huston, Harvey Newman, Bob Clare, Sridhara Dasu, Dan Green (Tony Liss absent).

Sridhara Dasu was elected Secretary by acclamation.

A committee of Newman (chair), Clare and (third person??) will decide on the technical means of the committee’s future meetings, evaluating means such as EVO versus phone calls with slides on Indico.  Indico may be used independent of this choice.  Ability to use phone to connect is required.

The initial email newsletter will be sent to the US membership of the four LHC experiments plus the accelerator community (from a list to be made by Limon). Future newsletters and most communication between the Executive Committee and Users be limited to those who have registered as members of the USLUO. Emails may on occasion also be sent to the full US LHC User community, as warranted. Newsletters will also be posted on the USLUO website.

This first newsletter will describe who we are, what we do, and ask for suggestions for what we should do.  We will urge people to register on the website.  Among topics for the newsletter (possible areas of action for USLUO) are CERN facilities, contacts with Washington policy makers, the first annual meeting, simplifying life for CERN visitors, as well as long-term stays, an outreach committee, etc.

Landsberg and ??? volunteered to start writing a first draft of the newsletter and send the draft to Barnett and Dasu.

Proudfoot, Albrow? and ?? volunteered to look into the timing of the first annual meeting of USLUO to occur at Fermilab.  DOE and NSF will be solicited to contribute something like $2000 for the expenses of the meeting.

Dates discussed ranged from April-August 2008.

Two meetings will be held in the first half of October to get some immediate feedback from LHC physicists and engineers.  The first will be held at CERN probably on October 9 or 10 at lunch time.  This is ATLAS week but all Americans at CERN will be invited.  Non-Americans are welcome to attend if they wish.  Jeff Spalding will be contacted by Barnett to seek participation by CMS people.

Liss and Barnett will seek a day/time that minimizes conflicts in the ATLAS week activities.

The second meeting will be at Fermilab during the LPC workshop (LHC Physics Center) October 11-13.  Again all LHC people will be invited to attend.  Green will look for a convenient day/time for this meeting. [Now announced to the US-CMS community – Oct 11, 5pm, Wilson Hall, 1-West, 16:40-18:00, Co-chaired by Dasu and Proudfoot.]

The USLUO website should be kept up-to-date.  There should be a link to the new US-LHC website.  There should be links to the CERN users group and others users groups in the US.  Barnett will make contact with the CERN users group to have ongoing communication.  A committee of Peter Jacobs (?) agreed to look into the updates of the website. (Note: Peter Jacobs, Tony Liss and Sridhara Dasu have in practice become the committee by discussing and contributing to the website.)

News of the new USLUO should be placed in Fermilab Today, Interactions, Symmetry, and other labs newsletters as well as the LHC experiments’ newsletters.

USLUEC will meet approximately once a month.  Barnett will seek to find a day that is best for everyone.  If there is no day/time without an ongoing conflict, the day of the week will be alternated.

Photos of the USLUEC members will be collected and put together on the USLUO website.  Landsberg? volunteered to take charge of this.

USLUEC meeting minutes from 16 November 2007.

Meeting 16 November 2007

Attendees: Albrow, Barnett, Clare, Dasu, Huston, Green, Landsberg, Limon, Liss, Newman, Proudfoot, Jacobs

Joey Huston was confirmed as our chair of DC and local visits to policymakers.

The continuing resolutions and the lack of a budget provide an immediate concern for LHC users like all others in our field.  The solutions that may occur range from a long-term continuing resolution to a 3% across-the-board cut, to cuts to specific budget items.  Some solutions are much more to our liking, and would be impacted by visits to policymakers while they are at home during the holidays.  NUFO is organizing this currently (NUFO= National Users Facilities Organization).

Email exchange using gmail accounts for lobbying issues.  We can collect the gmail account names of all the USLUO staff and make a gmail group. There was talk about setting up gmail server with all USLUO membership.

Fermilab USLUO meeting summary.  20-30 participants (mostly senior people, some postdocs and few students).  People liked the idea of LHC users meeting.  Fermilab/Argnonne hosting the first meeting was well received.  We discussed funding for the meeting.  Asking NSF/DOE and possibly the projects was agreed as a reasonable way to proceed.  How would young people stationed at CERN be involved in this meeting.

Perhaps this could be attached to an LHC meeting at Fermilab (what date?).  Time is of essence.  (See action items) There was a discussion of lab vs university representation.  The consensus was that the issue is not lab vs university within LHC program.  We need to advocate for LHC vs other HEP program interests of the labs.  We need some advocacy at HEPAP etc.  We need to work with lab LUOs regarding visits to Washington.  There was lot of discussion about how to get funds for Washington trip — no easy answer yet.  Large amount of time was spent on support of US visitors (long and short term) to CERN.  This was also a major topic of discussion at CERN USLUO meeting.

There are currently staff in both ATLAS and CMS to assist people coming to CERN.  However, the existing help is often not sufficient.

There was discussion of using existing staff or adding new staff to help and/or provide advice to people coming to CERN for long-term stays with visas, housing, medical care, drivers licenses, buying a car, shipping, etc.  There was discussion about trying to combine ATLAS and CMS services into an LHC wide support staff. There was discussion about whether the help people need to be located at CERN or not. Some thought that the helper staff need not be in CERN, for instance to get better overlap of time with those planning long term moves to CERN, whereas others thought that the helper person needs to be at CERN.

There is a desire to collate information about the variety of forms/amounts of compensation for long-term visitors to CERN.  This would be put on the USLUO website to give people insight to the options.  There will not be any recommendations.  Way too difficult to decide a common procedure.  Argonne decided with HR to do it case-by-case.  There was also discussion about compensation for cost-of-living due to the falling dollar.

There was discussion of making the best use of the USLUO website including by linking to important resources (we don’t wish to duplicate).  Link to user experiences (blogs), existing stuff from CMS, ATLAS and beyond.  Links to English community in Geneva.

Funding for DC visit program (especially to cover travel costs of younger folks): Could inquire with URA, DPF, local universities, etc.

The trip is expected to be sometime around 2nd week of March.  There will be a January meeting (perhaps first week) to organize these DC visits (and to create a one-pager).

The next USLUEC meeting will be organized soon for early December.


Joey Huston to make contact with SLAC and Fermilab Users Organizations as well as NUFO.

Tony Liss will collate information and experiences about coming to CERN to be posted on (or linked from) the USLUO website.  Some information has come from Fred Olness and Joe Incandela.

Dan Green will collect information from ATLAS and CMS about the forms of and amounts of compensation for long-term visitors to CERN.  The webmaster will post this information.

A plea was made to visit congressmen locally during the Holiday season breaks. This is to mitigate potential losses in the conference committees.  Argue for support for physical sciences in general, specially mentioning support for physical sciences locally at the universities.

Addendum (P. Jacobs):

Please add to the minutes the item I raised again yesterday, namely fixing the date for the User’s Meeting soon. My recollection is that someone (Greg?) agreed on the phone conference to circulate candidate dates but I haven’t seen that. My email yesterday (sent after a brief discussion with Michael Barnett at lunch in the LBNL cafeteria) was an attempt to re-start that discussion.

USLUEC meeting minutes 17 January 2008

Participants: Barnett, Clare, Dasu, Jacobs, Albrow, Liss, Huston, Proudfoot

(There might be some participants missing  – it was difficult to follow on the telephone – we should probably have a roll call part way through the meeting, as there is too much confusion at the start.)

The discussion was primarily about the funding situation.  We discussed the Omnibus disaster and the community reaction.  In particular we talked about the supplement and potential for that succeeding.  APS will be lobbying for the supplement.  It was mentioned that letter from Intel chairman Craig Barrett should be used in support of support for physical sciences.  We also discussed Orbach’s interview with Science magazine.

We also discussed the Washington visit and its importance.  As for funding of people going to Washington, we decided to try with our own institutions first.  Barnett will ask APS/DPF if they would be willing to support some of our USLUO-EC visiting Washington.

Clare, Jacobs and I reported about the Washington visit preparation meeting at SLAC on January 9th.  We relayed the concerns expressed by the lab directors, and the negligible hope they see in getting a supplement passed.  SLAC sees that this budget correction may be more permanent than a one shot.  Therefore, the lab is preparing for reducing HEP staff level to prepare for future.  FNAL on the other hand is going for furlough scheme, hoping for mid-course correction either with a supplement or with early passage of next year’s budgets at higher America Competes Act / American Competitiveness Initiative levels.  The agreement between SLAC-SLUO, FNAL-UEC and USLUO at the SLAC meeting is to make the primary request be, early passage of the DOE Office of Science and NSF appropriations bills at the level envisioned in the America Competes Act (i.e., doubling of the physical sciences budget in 7 to 10 years).  April Burke (FRA lobbyist) and Stanford lobbyist both thought that this years Omnibus process was difficult to understand.  They did not think that we will be able to find out whether the reduction in funding for HEP this year was a consequence of general reduction or was somehow targeted by some one in Congress.  There is no point in dwelling on that — we need to move on to future budgets.  The SLAC meeting went over the one-pager, particle physics in pictures booklet and also logistics of the visit.

Those who are able to go to Washington should quickly find out about their funding needs, and make arrangements for travel. Joey Huston will be coordinating the visit with UEC/SLUO people.

USLUEC meeting minutes from 12 May 2008.

Minutes of the USLUO Executive Committee
Meeting on 12 May 2008

Present: Albrow, Barnett, Clare, Dasu,
Green, Landsberg, Liss, Newman

I. Annual meeting

We decided on the LHC Users Meeting day, Friday Oct 24, 2008.

Dan will check with Fermilab about availability
of room and make arrangements.


  1. Foster. Kovar. Probably not Orbach as he
    is not going to be there for long. 
    We should invite all.  Probably
    not ask them all to talk.  Perhaps, a panel discussion.  Saul Gonzalez should also be included.  Similarly NSF people.
  2. Someone to help with lobbying.  Steve Pearson, Mike Lubell –  APS lobbying people.
  3. CERN
    users organization representative.
  4. Status on each of the experiment —
    expectations from LHC data.  Theory talk?
  5. Graduate student / postdoc on their work
    on LHC and their life at CERN.  (Identify people who can serve on Washington trips next
  6. SLHC should be a topic.

Agenda committee: Mike B, Greg L, Sridhara

Local committee: Dan Green with other
locals.  Will work with local members of the committee. Some talks in the morning FNAL time can be
live-fed to CERN.

Contents of First Message to Members etc.

  1. Announce meeting
  2. Point to Website
  3. Introduction and our Role
  4. Please Join USLUO
  5. DC trip plans

Website update

Peter Jacobs worked with Jen Nahn to put
together the information.

See Peter’s email for details.

We should make CERN
Guide more prominent.  Perhaps, call it “Guide to Living @ CERN”. 
Michael B is debugging this as a user of that website.

IV. Mailing to LHC users

USLUO Meeting announcement & Welcome
people to register for USLUO

membership (at and the
meeting itself

Email to

Dasu: How do we get hold of theorists
interested in USLHC program?

Perhaps, we can send the message through

Michael B: Please check.

V. Washington visit

Communication about Washington visit should be better.  Many emails were missed. There should be a single
person sending information to all. We will try to do a better job next

Graduate student and postdoc participation
in Washington
visit is important. 
We need to identify people and find funds for them.

Funding for Washington trip:  Collect voluntary contributions from the membership. 
Legal issues in setting up a non-profit which can lobby the congress may be too complicated.  Michael will check if APS will be willing to collect contributions on our
behalf.  APS/DPF already gave us ~$5000 this year, mostly supporting
senior people.

VI. Elections to the Executive Committee
for next year

Nominating committee: Bob, Tony.

Since there is no requirement in the
constitution that people cannot run again, we can allow for those with
1-year expiring terms to run for exec committee again.  The election should be conducted in the Summer and new members will join as of the
Oct 24 meeting.

Minutes of the USLUEC meeting from 10/19/2009

Present: All members of the Committee were present for this call:

Harvey Newman
Robert Clare
Michael Barnett
Sheldon Stone
Sridhara Dasu
Peter Jacobs
Kevin Burkett
Greg Landsberg,
Sarah Demers
Sandor Feher 
Al Goshaw
Kevin Burkett
Greg Landsberg
Julia Thom

1) Funding:

Dues, meeting fees, contributions from FRA and BSA for the annual trip to Washington, etc.

Harvey mentioned that in order to raise funds from the FRA, and/or BSA and SLAC we need to establish that we are fully doing our part. Part of this is the collection of dues or donations. Since our need has been estimated at $ 20,000 per year we should aim to collect a significant part of that.

We discussed amounts, such as $ 20 or $ 30 per person. It was discussed if grad students should pay less. We will determine the suggested amount(s) after determining how we can collect fees.

Several proposals for membership fees were discussed:

  • asking for donations rather than dues
  • letting the members decide on the level of contribution
    (boxes to be checked for $10, $20, $30 and “other amount”)
  • asking for a low membership fee of $10 each

The discussion will continue offline, once the means of collecting dues or donations is set. [Note added: After the meeting Al Goshaw checked and the APS would help us collect dues or donations, for a nominal fee to offset their costs, but only if US LUO were a tax free organization. HN looked into setting up a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization and got some legal advice. The outlook is promising. Dan Green will contact the Fermilab lawyers to cross-check the advice.]

Enforcement: it was suggested to keep a list of “supporting members” rather than excluding people who do not pay the membership fee.

Also, HN will look into the possibility of USLUO becoming an APS unit.

[Note after the meeting: This was mentioned to Dennis Kovar in a conversation. He said he had experience with this, and felt  that an APS unit should have a very long lasting scientific purpose. We should discuss this further.]

The idea of a 2nd day conference full of young LUO members’ talks at the annual conference was discussed. A conference fee from participants could be collected, e.g. $50 per day. Concern was raised that the funding agencies may reject this as a mechanism to raise money for lobbying.

2) Annual Trip to Washington

Sridhara kindly agreed to form a working group to organize the trip.
The best time for the trip will have to be determined, it depends on when budget decisions will be made, etc.
[After the meeting we learned that this “most suitable time” is likely to be in late February or early March this year.]

A very positive report on the LUO Poster Competition was given.

3) April APS Meeting in February:

The idea of organizing an APS event for young people working at the LHC was discussed. The goal would be to facilitate a meeting between students and DOE/NSF.

A list of students going to the meeting will be available once the abstracts have been accepted. It was pointed out that supervisors will have to talk to their students to ensure good attendance. Sheldon agreed to help organize such a meeting.

Side trips to the Hill and to DOE Office of Science were discussed. Bob and Harvey will organize them.

4) Annual USLUO meeting

Co-Location/Co-Scheduling with the US CMS and US ATLAS annual collaboration meetings would be beneficial. Nick Hadley, [US Atlas Chair] will be contacted by Al and Harvey for co-scheduling.

5) Forming a Young US LHC or US LHC Students’ Organization

…similar to the FNAL grad student organization was discussed. Sarah offered to head this effort.

6) Officers:

Kevin will be the new secretary,

Harvey remains Chair of USLUO

7) AOB:

Tax and health insurance information for people at CERN has been collected. A document summarizing the information gathered on taxes is available here.

Health insurance information is very complex and not available yet. Need people based at CERN to continue with the work. Sarah agreed to be the contact person during Spring/Summer 2010.

Relocation Guide on the US LUO Website has to be kept up to date- Sheldon pointed out that some of the links are broken. Jen is very busy currently, so Kathy agreed to check the links and update information quarterly. Plenty of information can also be obtained from the CMS and Atlas guides for newcomers. Tamy, Alexa and Norma will be contacted to help keep the US LUO pages up to date.

The next meeting will take place in December, before the Holiday break.