Review of the STFC Accelerator Programme 2014

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(Credit: STFC)

STFC conducted a review to provide information on the breadth and scope of the STFC’s current UK accelerator science programme and to underpin the development of STFC’s accelerator strategy. The review reported to Science Board (SB) in December 2014 for comment and development of a high-level accelerator strategy. The Accelerator Strategy Board (ASB) will now establish a more detailed accelerator strategy and prioritised roadmap based on the findings in the review report and high-level strategic guidance from Science Board. The terms of reference for the review are available below.

Accelerator Review Panel Report

The panel requested input to the review from the following:

Institutes and Centres

Projects and Themes

Facilities

Departments

The panel membership was as follows:

Professor Dan Tovey, Chair University of Sheffield
Dr Rob Appleby University of Manchester, CI
Dr Riccardo Bartolini JAI, Diamond Light Source
Dr Oliver Bruning Accelerators and Beam Physics Group, CERN
Professor Jim Clarke ASTeC
Mr Jonathan Flint Oxford Instruments, Chief Executive
Professor Sue Kilcoyne University of Huddersfield
Dr John Thomason STFC, ISIS Accelerator Group
Ms Charlotte Jamieson STFC, Accelerators Programme Manager

All panel members had been appointed ad personam and were not to act as advocates for any particular science area or facilities. The information gathering was conducted during the period 9th April to 2nd June 2014. The panel reported to Science Board in December 2014.

Meetings

The Panel met four times during the course of 2014 as set out in the Terms of Reference. The first meeting focused on outlining the report layout and methodology. By the second meeting the panel had received the submissions and the meeting was dedicated to evaluating this input and identifying gaps in the programme, highlighting areas that the panel might wish to include and comment upon in the final report. Each panel member reviewed the entirety of the information provided and all the supporting data before focusing effort on their given area. At the third meeting the rapporteurs presented their areas for discussion by the panel and following this produced their section. The final meeting brought all the components of the review together to finalise the report for consideration by SB at its meeting in December 2014.

If you have any queries regarding the review contact Anthony Davenport.

Terms of reference

1. Background, aim and outcome of the review

In 2010 the STFC recognised the strategic importance of accelerator technology as a key enabler across a large fraction of its research portfolio. As a result, the Accelerator Strategy Board (ASB) was established to understand the accelerator landscape and establish a strategy for future engagement.

Science Board (SB) endorsed a review of the accelerator programme to provide information on the breadth and scope of the STFC’s current UK accelerator science programme to underpin the development of STFC’s accelerator strategy. The review report will go to SB for comment and development of a high-level accelerator strategy, taking into account information from parallel reviews on neutron and photon activities. The ASB will then establish a more detailed accelerator strategy and prioritised roadmap based on the findings in the review report and high-level strategic direction from SB.

2. The review

This review seeks to provide a narrative and commentary on the following aspects of the accelerator programme:

  • The current organisation and delivery of the programme
     
  • Details of individual projects and programmes
     
  • Areas of intrinsic excellence and global recognition
     
  • Cost effectiveness and value for money
     
  • Cross-cutting areas, and any gaps or overlaps
     
  • Links with appropriate universities and facilities
     
  • Areas of synergy, including with laser-related activities
     
  • Leadership and the key positions in international collaborations
     
  • Areas of added value, including technologies and industry
     
  • Areas and opportunities for future engagement, providing the UK with access to national and international facilities and cutting edge technology

The review will not seek to construct a detailed, budgeted programme but will examine all accelerator R&D activities that receive STFC funding. These are:

  • The Accelerator Science and Technology Centre (ASTeC)
  • Advanced Wakefield Experiment (AWAKE)
  • The Cockcroft Institute (CI)
  • The Front End Test Stand (FETS)
  • The John Adams Institute for Accelerator Science (JAI)
  • Muon Ionisation Cooling Experiment (MICE)
  • Target Studies

The review will also consider experimental and R&D activities of the operating national laboratories:

  • Diamond Light Source
  • ISIS

In order to provide some context to the programme under review, input from accelerator-related areas that are not currently directly funded by STFC, such as laser-plasma acceleration and accelerators for medicine, will also be invited.

3. The review process

Professor Dan Tovey (University of Sheffield), a core member of SB, will chair the panel, which will comprise ~8 members, including at least one member from each of the following:

  • Science Board
  • UK accelerator community
  • International accelerator experts
  • STFC science community
  • Facility users
  • Industry
  • Research laboratories (e.g. Culham, NPL)

The review will take place in 2014, with the first meeting in February at which the following will be provided:

  • Review panel terms of reference
     
  • A draft of the pro-forma to be sent out to the accelerator groups and institutes under review for comment
     
  • A rough outline of areas that the report is expected to cover for comment
     
  • Background information on accelerator groups and institutes
     
  • Information on accelerator programme funding cycles, including past, current and future commitments
     
  • Background information on STFC’s photon and neutron facilities (based on input to the programmatic review)
     
  • Information on next steps and how data will be gathered

Figure 1 provides a flow diagram illustrating the review process.

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