Contact: Alex Frañó, UEC Vice Chair
As vice chair of the Advanced Light Source Users’ Executive Committee (UEC), I am filling in for our chair, Fanny Rodolakis, who is unable to deliver this month’s message. The ALS UEC had a meeting on May 15.
Our most important topic of discussion was the result of our effort to round up support for the funding of light source user facilities. Over the last month, the ALS UEC led a joint initiative with the Advanced Photon Source and National Synchrotron Light Source II UECs to send a letter of support for light source-based research to the U.S. Congress appropriations subcommittees on energy and water development. These subcommittees in both the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate have purview over funding for the Department of Energy, including the Office of Science and its national user facilities. Being in the midst of the FY20 federal appropriations process, we thought it would be helpful for the leaders of the subcommittees to hear directly from companies who use the facilities about their support for U.S. light sources. The resulting letter, signed by about 60 companies, expresses strong support for optimal funding of the Office of Science light source facilities in recognition of the central role they and their expert staff play in fueling U.S. economic growth and helping sustain our international technological leadership. It was sent to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development in advance of their recent budget markup and will soon be sent to the Senate subcommittee as well. We are confident that a strong show of support will provide the impetus for the appropriations leaders and the Congress to fully fund optimal operations and upgrades at our light sources.
Also, we are excited to announce our new and redesigned ALS UEC website: http://alsuec.org. Please visit us there!
Finally, we are about to launch a new communication channel for users while at the ALS based on WhatsApp. Our goal is to provide ALS users with an online platform to communicate with each other while they are at the facility. This will be very useful when users need help from fellow users. For example, someone who needs tools at 3 a.m. to mount a sample would post a message on the group. Another example could involve someone requesting a ride down the hill. The guidelines for this group are described here. This tool will be rolled out in the next few weeks. Look out for fliers with the link to the group around the ring, coming soon.
Remember, the UEC represents your interests in many matters related to the ALS and the ALS-U Project. Please contact any of the UEC members if you have suggestions, comments, or questions!