Major Observations of the Subpanel

The subpanel presents the following major observations.

  • The subpanel was impressed with the continued high performance of the reactor, cold source, and experimental facilities, which contributes to the excellent scientific research, high staff morale, and strong user satisfaction. The recent award of the Department of Commerce Gold Medal to the Reactor Operations and Engineering Group represents a deserved recognition of this high performance.

  • The subpanel was pleased by the elevation of the reactor organization to the status of a center. This change accords the director of the reactor a level of responsibility commensurate with the center's status as a major national resource.

  • The staff are to be commended for their vigilance in upgrading the reactor facilities. The subpanel encourages continued close attention to this aspect of the operation.

  • Good progress has been made on the three new high-resolution spectrometers in the guide hall, and the beginning of the upgrades for the thermal neutron instruments is also commendable. The subpanel supports the planning that has been started on a new subthermal triple-axis spectrometer and on a versatile biological structure instrument, which would provide support for new competence in biological science.

  • In view of the high oversubscription of the small-angle scattering and reflectivity instruments, it is appropriate to consider alternative review mechanisms while continuing to take the needs of individual users into account.

  • The subpanel was encouraged by the decision to add an in-house theorist and by the effort in place to attract a broad-based scientist with good connections to the condensed-matter theory community nationwide.

  • The subpanel recognized and supports the planning under way to ensure an orderly transition from the current leadership to the next generation.

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