18 January 2007
EuroTeV and MAC Meeting at Daresbury
Today's issue features a Director's Corner from Brian Foster, GDE European Regional Director.
The holiday period has been a busy time for the GDE. Shortly before Christmas many of us gathered at SLAC to have a first look at the RDR and its costings with some distinguished external reviewers. Hardly had the New Year arrived when we met again, congregating from around the world to present this information, informed by many useful comments at SLAC, to the Machine Advisory Committee, chaired by Ferdinand Willeke of DESY. The meeting took place at the impressive new building at Daresbury Laboratory near Warrington, UK that houses two separate but intimately related organisations. One is ASTeC, the accelerator R&D arm of the Central Laboratory for the Research Councils in the UK; the other is the Cockroft Institute, one of two accelerator institutes founded somewhat over two years ago by PPARC, the UK funding authority for particle physics and astronomy. The other PPARC foundation is the John Adams Institute at Oxford and Royal Holloway University of London. The facilities at Daresbury are excellent, and were greatly conducive to a very productive week for the ILC project.
The MAC was far from being the only meeting at Daresbury last week. On Monday and Tuesday the EuroTeV Collaboration gathered for its annual meeting, to review progress on this project sponsored by the European Union. The EuroTeV Collaboration is funded under the 6th Framework Programme for European R&D and has as its purpose the development of a variety of techniques essential for the ILC across the whole gamut of accelerator physics. These activities had parallel session discussions and gave plenary reports on their progress. In general, progress is excellent with most milestones being met and many interesting results being presented. The EuroTeV Governing Board met and decided to request an extension of the project by an extra year (until end 2008), which is now awaiting approval from the European Commission. An informal evening meeting discussed the options for ILC-related bids under the next EU programme, Framework VII, in which the ILC has been identified as an important part of the European Road Map for future large infrastructure projects. As such it is eligible for funding to assist in the development of governance procedures, site preparation, documentation etc. as well as limited resources for crucial prototyping and technical development. This proposal must be finalised by 2 May.
The MAC meeting began bright and extremely early on Wednesday morning with the daily ritual of boarding the coach from the Holiday Inn to the Laboratory at 7:30 a.m. Fortunately the remaining days began at the slightly more civilised time of 8:00 a.m. The meeting was very intensive, particularly for the committee members, who had to digest an enormous amount of information and listen to a series of complex presentations. The presentations firstly concentrated on the overview and methodology of the costing before going on to discuss the RDR design of the major area systems. An excellent buffet meal at the Holiday Inn on Thursday night was a welcome break in the gruelling schedule and provided the opportunity for more relaxed discussion among the GDE, ILCSC and MAC members. On Friday morning, when the ILCSC members were also in attendance, I outlined the GDE Executive Committee's current thoughts on the next phase of the ILC project -- the Engineering Design. There was a lively discussion, as there had been at the first EDR discussion among the GDE in Valencia. We are planning further feedback and discussion inside the GDE at the Beijing meeting, when there will be a session dedicated to the development of our ideas on the EDR phase. A busy week ended with an ILCSC meeting on Friday afternoon, although the GDE EC continued deliberating until a late Saturday lunch.
Since the final report of the MAC is not yet available, it will be discussed in detail by our Director in next week's issue of ILC NewsLine. However, Ferdi Willeke's close-out presentation made it clear that the MAC had been in general extremely impressed by the work done and considered it a sound base for further progress. This is an excellent basis on which the GDE travelling show can move to our next major milestone – the presentation of the RDR and costing to the full ILC family at the BICW07 meeting in Beijing on 4-7 February. It promises to be a very interesting and exciting meeting. I conclude with a pithy summary of the MAC meeting from Nick Walker: "They gave us an A-!"
-- Brian Foster