Director's Corner

10 January 2008


Ewan Paterson

Happy new (Gregorian) year 2008!

Today's issue features a corner from Ewan Paterson, EDR Integration Scientist and Member of the GDE Executive Committee.

As our year ends and we enter a new one, it is common practice to reflect on the past and dream of or plan the future. For the ILC, the year 2007 was a busy year. Some might say it was hectic, some would call it stressful or even a disaster, but certainly a lot happened.

High energy labs and experiments from around the world welcome the new year (top left: INFN, bottom left: ALICE, right: KEK).

With a great effort from many people in the ILC collaboration around the world, the four-volume Reference Design Report was completed and published. The RDR gives a snapshot of the great questions in physics to be explored in this new energy regime and the accelerator and detectors designed to make this exploration possible. Although all of these will evolve during the years to come, the RDR is an important reference milestone.

Also during 2007, the Global Design Effort organisation began the transition towards a more project-oriented management structure. Our new troika of Project Managers made progress in formalising the global R&D plans and design activities into a coherent picture for the next few years, with the goal of producing an Engineering Design Report. My personal definition of the EDR (a question which is frequently asked) is an updated design report that incorporates several more years of globally coordinated research and engineering studies, with an improved cost estimate. This EDR could then be the basis for taking the next step towards making the ILC a reality. Our 2007 voyage was not smooth sailing; there were periods of rough seas and some dangerous and severe storms which threatened the survival of the fleet! Towards the year's end, we had battened down the hatches, shortened sail and were steering a conservative course into 2008. Then suddenly, the wind dropped and we were left becalmed and in a dense fog. We now await a fresh breeze to clear away the fog. (Although this may not make sense in literal translation into other languages, I know that it will be understood by sailors worldwide.)

Another common practice at a year's end is the making of new year's resolutions. The GDE has already made many of these resolutions public, but under different titles. You can find them referred to as 'work packages', 'schedules' or 'deliverables'. In addition there are our private individual resolutions which I hope contain positive thoughts on the future of the ILC. However we should keep them private in taking heed of Yokoya's warning in the 29 November issue of NewsLine "If you talk about next year, devils will laugh at you."

I would like to end with a little fun, trivia and a smile. For those of us who are late with our private resolutions, I offer the following assistance and a path towards recovery. Today is 10 January 2008, in the commonly used Gregorian calendar. However, we can give ourselves some flexibility by looking at the Julian calendar, the predecessor of the Gregorian one. It was used in many countries well into the twentieth century. In the Julian calendar, today is 28 December, and we still have three days to prepare our positive forward-looking new year's resolutions... Go do it!

-- Ewan Paterson


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