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TUEC Minutes for meeting of Feb. 16, 2011



Present: A. MacFarlane (AM), T. Meyer (TM), A. Garnsworthy (AG), C. Ruiz (CR), U. Hager (tele)

Absent: D. Melconian, K. Starosta, O. Stelzer-Chilton



Reiner Kruecken's idea for TUG AGM

  • summer meeting in conjunction w/ Ariel workshop and SAP EEC
  • to increase attendance
  • general support: provided 1 day meeting + budget for food
  • date July 5?
  • more student talks ok
  • less new results, more polished results since it has been shutdown
  • AM will email Kruecken, set up next TUEC meeting with him in early March
  • need to act now if this is going ahead - e.g. advertising AGM as part of meeting package
  • similar format: try the open forum at the end, perhaps with more staging, more formal - it may take several tries to get it to work
  • AGM would then be held regularly summertime

Challenges keeping TRIUMF Science Program productive during ARIEL

  • TRIUMF ``headcount'' now 350 + 15 hires in process, but needs to aim for 340 soon and 320 by 2012! this will place enormous stress on TRIUMF personnel - to maintain current cyclotron based science program (and others e.g. CERN) while also building ARIEL! We can anticipate the science program will inevitably suffer some compromises. The intent is to make things work. TUEC should advocate for the users on this point, and also help
  • CR recently found that availability of key technical personnel is an issue
  • CR suggests cross trained super techs might be a good solution: to share human resources to be effective and flexible - avoiding the single qualified highly overburdened person bottleneck
  • TM: any increase in TRIUMF headcount will not fly, focus on finding efficiencies and pointing them out to the management
  • AM - design office bottleneck may be lessened if non-pro designers (e.g. summer students) could effectively make designs (simple components) consistent with TRIUMF archiving standards. This would require some training and simplifying of procedures, e.g. making a howto document.
  • CR - physicists (users) may tune beams with appropriate (not full operator) training
  • This is a small anecdotal sample from TUEC. We should poll the wider TUG community for input on fiunding such efficiencies
  • We plan to do a simple surveymonkey poll with a single question about this. We will discuss the details of this survey next meeting. We need a draft preamble, survey question and email.



TUG Website

  • needs work
  • CR will move mandate up to top, make sentence(s) defining TUEC
  • AG will put current TUEC membership near top
  • TM - looking into technology to implement a web forum for users, suggestion box
  • TM - will get us access to edit the website
  • CR - likes the computing services help desk(!)
  • What about security for the forum (against spam)?


TUG Publication

  • CR has spoken to M. Pavan about it
  • function: to increase visibility and relevance of TUG/TUEC
  • not high production value - but electronic newsletter (AM: is the ``market'' for this kind of thing saturated?)
  • could be a summary of AGM talks, based on slides presented, i.e. science highlights
  • TM: could be based on quarterly all hands meeting (N.Lockyer slides) What about the useful information that comes from the monthly division meetings
  • not a make-work project (more writing) what is the appetite for doing it? reading it?
  • We will shelve this for the time-being if the AGM is in July.
  • TM says R. Krücken favors a preprint database to follow what publications are coming out of TRIUMF experiments, possibly resurrecting the old annual report in some form.
  • TM: what about annual thesis awards or other good TRIUMF science prizes at the AGM? an idea N. Lockyer likes
  • What about a user satisfaction questionnaire to be filled out after each experiment takes beam? How to implement? What would be done with the data? What would TUEC's role be?


Formalizing user input on ``larger scale" management issues

  • Website will play some role (suggestion box, email TUEC link, see 2.3 above)
  • Distinguish between minor suggestions and major ``complaints''
  • Need to convince TUG that the complaints will be: taken seriously - submitting them is not just sending them into the ether; dealt with promptly (how?); kept in confidence if that is appropriate and/or desired.
  • Complaints should go to TUEC chair, automatically be included on next TUEC meeting agenda, and complainant invited to discuss the problem with TUEC at that meeting.
  • TUEC should then decide what actions to take - is this a wider problem of interest to many users? If so, consult with users, then come to management with clearly articulated problem and backing of multiple ``activated'' users to get changes.
  • TUEC would have discretion about how to handle, who to talk to.
  • CR: This is a top down way to change things at TRIUMF rather than the bottom up way. It is a shortcut for the users to get the ear of management, instead of compliants bubbling up from the floor through the organization.


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Minutes of TUEC meeting of 16 Feb, 2011

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Andrew MacFarlane 2011-03-14
Feb. 16, 2011