Dorfan Today: The Importance of Review and Policy Committees
And so it is that we at SLAC participate reciprocally in helping our worldwide sister institutions by serving on their peer review committees and institutional governance structures. Today I return to the Laboratory after a visit to Israel, where I attended the Board of Governor's Meeting at the Wiezmann Institute in Rehovot and, in a separate meeting in Jerusalem, chaired a committee that reviewed Israel's contribution to the CERN/LHC experiment ATLAS. Weizmann Institute faces management and academic challenges that are similar to SLAC's and shares many common areas of scientific exploration. So while helping them as a reviewer and advisor, I was able to gain insights and make connections that I believe can help strengthen us as an institution. For the ATLAS review, our Committee was charged by the Israel Academy of Sciences with assessing the Israel group's contributions to the construction phase of ATLAS, which is now essentially complete. During the past nine years, particle physics experimentalists and their technical support teams from the Technion in Haifa, Tel Aviv University and the Weizmann, have designed built and constructed a very large number of so-called thin gap chambers and associated readout and trigger electronics for the ATLAS muon system. This system plays an equivalent role to that of the Babar resistive plate chamber system that has just recently completed its upgrade (for more information, click here). Our Committee found that the Israeli group had done an outstanding job of delivering this complex system. We were further asked to judge the appropriateness and proposed cost of their future plans which have a very strong parallel with what we at SLAC are doing on ATLAS, namely that Israel provide and support a Tier II computing site for ATLAS With highly talented people on the Committee, including ATLAS Spokesman Peter Jenni, I gained new insights into ATLAS which I hope will help me better support the SLAC-based effort.
Jonathan Dorfan, November 20, 2006