For two decades, scientific activities at the ALS were housed in two groups—the Scientific Support Group, led by Zahid Hussain, and the Experimental Systems Group, led by Howard Padmore. Hussain’s recent retirement brought a natural opportunity to re-organize.
The newly formed Photon Science Group will encompass science, operations, and development related to beamlines. Senior Scientists Mike Martin and Howard Padmore will co-lead the group, with Senior Scientist Elke Arenholz and Staff Scientist Alastair MacDowell serving as their deputies, respectively. Within the Photon Science Group are 14 programs—eight related to beamline techniques and overseen by Martin, and six related to development and overseen by Padmore. Each program has a lead who will manage activities in that area.
The new structure will promote a more cohesive framework for all photon science, while program groupings will more formally bring together similar scientific and development activities that, in some cases, were previously spread across the facility. The structure is also more readily responsive to evolving priorities. For instance, a computing program, led by Senior Scientist Alex Hexemer, was established in recognition of the increasing opportunities and impact associated with large-scale data analysis and management.
In addition to the new reporting structure, the ALS has also established groups organized around four cross-cutting science thrusts (materials discovery, multiscale structure and dynamics, operando chemistry, and earth/environmental and biological systems) as well as an instrumentation interest group and a Science Council. ALS scientific staff and collaborators from other Berkeley Lab divisions will be welcome to participate in science thrusts and the instrumentation interest group. These groups will be responsible for advising ALS management on science strategy, launching initiatives that may result in new programs and beamline projects, and seeking opportunities for collaboration with the user community and LBNL partners.
The new Science Council will be composed of elected representatives from each science thrust and the instrumentation interest group as well as the two Photon Science group leads, the Accelerator Physics group lead, and the ALS Deputy for Science. Beamline and endstation proposals initiated within the thrusts will be more formally reviewed by the Science Council, which will also oversee the selection of doctoral and postdoctoral fellowship recipients and budgets for seminars and workshops.
A complete staff listing and organizational chart can be found on the ALS website. More information on the Science Council and associated thrusts will be added to the website shortly.