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Research Director's Report

Organising the post-2012 era

| 28 June 2012

Last week the International Committee for Future Accelerators (ICFA) announced that Lyn Evans has been selected as the next Linear Collider Director to lead the new Linear Collider Organisation being created to bring the two linear collider programmes under one governance. The end of the GDE and Research Director era, with the completion of the Technical Design Report (TDR) on the ILC and the Detailed Baseline Design (DBD) report on the ILC detectors, led ICFA and the ILCSC to plan the organisation for the next phase of the linear collider programme, the period leading up to a project start. With the TDR/DBD completed, along with the Conceptual Design Report (CDR) for CLIC, the ILCSC has proposed a new structure that ensures close interaction within the broader ILC and CLIC communities. We are pleased by the ICFA director announcement and welcome Lyn Evans into his new leadership role.

The new organisation foresees a director each for ILC and CLIC but only one for Physics & Detectors.

The org chart (see figure) presented by Jon Bagger in recent talks (Granada, Sendai, Daegu) show the entries “SCRF Accelerator” (ILC), “Two-Beam Accelerator” (CLIC) and the “Physics & Detectors” efforts all within a single directorate and each led by an Associate Director (AD). This proposed structure is designed to help guide progress over the next few years, from the TDR/CDR phase to project start.

An org chart is a useful starting point for learning about an organisation, but it leaves many details to the imagination. In this case, the content and role of the single box “Physics & Detectors” may not be broadly understood. The ILCSC certainly has a vision of what is meant. They have seen the excellent grounds-up cooperation within our community in work on the CDR and DBD. Many of us who have devoted many years of commitment to work on the ILC also contributed significantly to CLIC’s CDR. Now many CLIC-focused colleagues are making important contributions to the DBD process. The detectors adopted by CLIC for the CDR were based on the detectors developed over many years and validated for the ILC; CLIC leadership has acknowledged the value that these detector bases provided in enabling CLIC detectors to be rather quickly defined. There are many examples of this cooperation, and we expect it to continue.

Jon Bagger outlined the envisioned role of the Associate Director for Physics and Detectors (CLIC and ILC) in his KILC12 talk. The AD would be responsible for the worldwide effort advancing the physics and detectors of the future linear colliders, both ILC and CLIC. Specifically among the AD responsibilities foreseen by the ILCSC are articulation of the physics case for the linear collider, coordination of R&D on advanced detector technologies, development of detector concepts for both accelerator technologies, and preparing the way for collaboration formation and detector construction.

It is one thing to have grounds-up cooperation. It is another for a management team to set goals and priorities for the effort and participate in the grounds-up organisation. Our past successes have been built on both. The ILC Research Director coordinated our independent work, defining a framework with challenges to drive visible advances through the Common Tasks, LOI, DBD, etc. Our several R&D and concept groups have responded well to these challenges.

In some ways we find ourselves today at a similar period of transition to that which we experienced in 2006-2007. At that time, following the technology choice for the ILC, the GDE had been formed. The worldwide effort for the ILC machine was being organised and making progress toward a technical design backed by demonstrated technology. The World Wide Study Organizing Committee (WWSOC) continuing its stated broad interest in all possible future linear colliders, proposed to the ILCSC during its meeting at DESY in May 2007 that a Research Director be recruited to develop the ILC experimental programme, including the development of detectors, with an eventual production of detector design reports in parallel with progress reports on the machine side.  The Letter of Intent process was proposed to launch this, and the concept of an International Detector Advisory Group (IDAG) was also proposed. The ILCSC responded to the WWSOC proposal and recruited Sakue Yamada to serve as the ILC Research Director (RD); this started the RD phase for the ILC. Since then, led by Sakue, we have progressed through a structured process leading to the DBD later this year, guided by the advice of the IDAG. Progress is reported regularly to the ILCSC and monitored by the ILCSC’s Project Advisory Committee (PAC). This formal structure resulted in an expansion of the ILC common fund for the detectors, primarily to support the work of the IDAG. The framework has been crucial to our coordinated progress.

Now, we face a new set of challenges, having reached a higher level of readiness. How do we guide our progress over the next few years, following the success of the RD phase, preparing for the possible formation of an ILC laboratory, while continuing, in parallel, to develop the detector technologies for CLIC? There are a variety of views on how to proceed. We must begin by considering what we need to accomplish over the next few years. Foremost, we must maintain our momentum and improve the state of readiness that we have achieved. This is largely due to many independent efforts of interest groups in our community. They prioritise their specific goals, obtain funding, plan activities, and deliver results. This is the core of our effort and progress. While quite independent, their work is elevated and recognised as it fits into a broader mission, one that is defined towards realisation of the linear collider. To continue this successful model requires leadership appointed by ICFA and the ILCSC in the post-2012 era. Formally recognised, this leadership would guide our effort to define goals for the next phase and coordinate our progress.

However, while many of the activities of the ILC and CLIC efforts are common, a potential complication comes from their differing interests. Although combined within the next Linear Collider Organisation, the two accelerator efforts will maintain many separate activities, appropriately, as they have many different components, notably the main linac structure. Therefore, the ILCSC has proposed separate leaders for each machine technology in the organisation. However, the ILCSC has envisioned a closer relationship for the detector groups. While the two detector efforts have been working together very effectively based on many common interests, they also have important differences. For one, the ILC effort counts on an earlier start date. The accelerator technology is more mature and the focus of the ILC physics programme is limited to 1 TeV, while CLIC looks beyond that limit. And the technologies of the detectors have distinctive differences, such as the time structure that must be considered in the detector design. No less important is the interaction of the detector groups with the machine people, often working through the Machine-Detector Interface groups. With two machines having two designs this process is complicated. So there are differences in emphasis.

Can these differences be overcome with a management responsible for both? It is not clear at this time. From the ILC perspective we need a proactive management guiding our steps toward realisation of a collider as soon as possible. An Associate Director for Physics and Detectors in the new Linear Collider Organisation would help us sharpen our readiness and build on our momentum. We look forward to working with Director Lyn Evans to establish an effective management in support of our work.

Jim Brau

Jim Brau, co-chair of the Worldwide Study and regional contact for the Americas.
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