Largest attendance yet for DUNE meeting

DUNE co-spokesperson Mark Thomson led the January collaboration meeting off with the long list of accomplishments in 2017 and beautiful pictures of the ProtoDUNE cryostats and detector components. He congratulated the CERN and ProtoDUNE team on their progress, while in the same breath reminding the audience of the work still ahead to install the detectors and prepare for data taking. He also recognized the “vast amount of progress” made by the Far Detector consortia in only five months of existence.

The collaboration has added about 150 new members and over a dozen institutions in the past year to reach the current count of 1076 and 175, respectively, and steady progress continues.

The DUNE Collaboration meeting at CERN, January 2018. Credit: CERN

Many leadership positions within the collaboration have changed hands since the previous collaboration meeting in August, but Ryan Patterson (Caltech) and Elizabeth Worcester (BNL) still lead the physics coordination and are expected to provide continuity through the TDR phase of the experiment. Tim Bolton (KSU) and Sam Zeller (Fermilab) will be the overall editors of the TDR,

The spokespersons presented a new draft structure for the DUNE Executive Board (EB) to allow for greater representation in decision making as the collaboration moves into the TDR and construction phases. The Institutional Board will have a chance to provide feedback before the spokespersons bring a formal proposal back to them.

“Mark and I are convinced that this change is necessary,” said co-spokesperson Ed Blucher. “Almost a year ago, we agreed that the structure of the EC should change to become a management board including leaders of different collaboration efforts.”

Thomson offered motivation for this change.

“We will have some difficult decisions ahead of the TDR, and leaders from the consortia, physics and computing need to be part of the process,” he said. “It’s important to get all the main activities ‘in the same room’ on a regular basis. The structure that we are considering also implies more formal reporting from the Technical and Resource Boards to the EB, which will help us as we execute this $100M+ construction project with multiple international partners.”

The Near Detector Concept Study is extended to May 2018. The team has agreed on a baseline aim for a LArTPC with a magnetized multi-purpose tracker, but a few important decisions require some more study. Plans are in place to address each of the questions.

Blucher closed the meeting noting that it had the largest attendance of any DUNE collaboration meeting so far: 275 attendees and 200 talks.  And 40kg of cheese.