The CERN1 Council, where the representatives of the 20 Member States of the Organization decide on scientific programmes and financial resources, held its 126th session today under the chairmanship of Professor Maurice Bourquin. A review of the year's activities by outgoing Director General Luciano Maiani, a new structure for CERN, and the Globe of Innovation were among the items on the agenda.
LHC status report
Professor Maiani began his last presentation to CERN Council with a comprehensive review of the LHC project. The experiments, ATLAS, CMS, ALICE and LHCb, are all on schedule to be ready for LHC start up in 2007. Challenges continue to be encountered, as is inevitable with the most ambitious scientific undertaking on Earth, but the experimental collaborations are becoming adept at overcoming them. "Old concerns have been overcome, new ones have appeared", concluded Maiani, "but there are no show-stoppers on the horizon".
Turning to LHC computing, Professor Maiani congratulated the international team that successfully launched phase 1 of the LHC Computing Grid (LCG-1) in September. When the LHC starts up, Professor Maiani reminded delegates, the LCG will have to handle data equivalent to a 20km high pile of CD-ROMs each year. In 2003, the Enabling Grids for e-science in Europe (EGEE) initiative, funded by the European Union, was launched. The LCG team will be the first concrete example of an operational e-science Grid, and a test bed for EGEE.
The LHC machine itself passed a number of important milestones in 2003. The first octant of dipole magnets was completed, the first transfer line magnet was installed on 17 December, and the first magnet for the LHC itself is scheduled to be installed early in 2004. "It has been a good year for the LHC project," summed up Professor Maiani. Overall, the project's cost is stable and its schedule unchanged, foreseeing first beam in April 2007 with first collisions following in June.
Review of the year's activities
In reviewing the rest of the year's activities, Professor Maiani reminded Council that the LHC project now accounts for over 80% of the Laboratory's budget. Nevertheless, he described a full programme of fixed target experiments, the highlight of which was the observation by the NA49 experiment of a new exotic particle probably composed of four quarks and an antiquark (normal nuclear constituents, protons and neutrons, are made up of three quarks only and for a long time scientists believed that exotic states with more quarks could not exist). Accelerator R&D, although limited, has also made some remarkable achievements in 2003. CERN's compact linear collider study (CLIC), for example, demands extreme stability. Tests in 2003 achieved stability to just 0.5 of a nanometre, making it one of the most stable places on Earth.
New structure for CERN
Council formally approved the new structure for CERN presented by the incoming Director General, Robert Aymar. This structure will be implemented from 1 January 2004 for five years. The Laboratory's directorate will be composed of Dr Aymar (FR) as Chief Executive Officer, Dr Jos Engelen (NL) as Chief Scientific Officer, and Mr André Naudi (CH/GB) as Chief Financial Officer.
Dr Aymar's career to date has focused on fundamental research in plasma physics and its application in controlled thermonuclear fusion. In 1977, he was appointed Head of the Tore Supra fusion research project, which he directed from design in 1977 through to operation in 1988. In 1990, he was appointed Head of Fundamental Research at the French Atomic Energy Agency (CEA). In July 1994, he became Director of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) project, and ITER International Team Leader in July 2001. He is familiar with the challenges presented by the LHC project, as he chaired the international scientific committee that assessed and recommended the project for approval in 1996. He also chaired an External Review Committee set up by Council in December 2001 to review the CERN programme. Dr Engelen was formerly Director of the Dutch National Institute for Nuclear Physics and High Energy Physics, NIKHEF, and Mr Naudi is CERN's current Director of Finances.
"The new structure is well adapted to CERN's current objectives," said Dr Aymar. "It ensures continuity and builds on existing strengths." CERN's current 15 Divisions will be regrouped into a smaller number of Departments, while functions including safety, technology transfer and public communication will be moved into the Director General's Office.
The CERN Globe of Innovation
Following the delivery of the construction permit for CERN's new Globe of Innovation by the Geneva authorities on 12 December, Council agreed to negotiate contracts for the architectural services with the building's original architect, Groupe H (CH), for engineering services with the original contractor, Charpente Concept (CH), and for the reassembly work with Coopérative de l'Industrie du Bois (CH). The Globe of Innovation, originally a pavilion at the Swiss national exhibition in 2002, will play a key role in CERN's 50th anniversary celebrations next year. From 2005 onwards, it will house a new exhibition and networking centre for CERN.
EIROforum and the European Union
CERN has enjoyed a long and fruitful collaboration with the European Union. As long ago as 1985, the European Commission was granted Observer Status at CERN Council, and in 1994 an agreement 'to promote co-operation between the Commission of the European Communities and CERN in research and technological development' was signed. This year, that collaboration took a step forward when the seven members of EIROforum2 signed a Statement of Intent with the European Commission confirming their commitment to developing a European Research Area. "The EIROforum members are working together towards the EU's ambitious Lisbon goals," said Professor Maiani, "we are fully committed to developing Europe as a knowledge-based society with a powerful and sustainable economy".
In bidding farewell to Professor Maiani at the end of his mandate, many delegations from Member and Observer States congratulated him on steering CERN through a difficult period. The Director General, said one delegation, had shown remarkable calm in a storm, and the Laboratory's staff had demonstrated the true strength and cohesion of the Organization.
Senior Staff Appointments
Steve Myers (GB) was appointed as head of the Accelerators and Beams Department for two years from 1 January 2004 to 31 December 2005.
Philippe Lebrun (FR) was appointed as head of the Accelerator Technology Department for two years from 1 January 2004 to 31 December 2005.
Paolo Ciriani (IT) was appointed as head of the Technical Support Department for two years from 1 January 2004 to 31 December 2005.
Wolfgang von Rüden (DE) was appointed as head of the Information Technology Department for two years from 1 January 2004 to 31 December 2005.
Wolf-Dieter Schlatter (DE) was appointed as head of the Department of Physics for two years from 1 January 2004 to 31 December 2005.
Patrick Geeraert (BE) was appointed as head of the Finance Department for two years from 1 January 2004 to 31 December 2005.
Werner Zapf (DE) was re-appointed as head of the Human Resources Department ad interim from 1 January 2004.
Maximilian Metzger (DE) was appointed Secretary General to the Director General for a period of three years from 1 March 2004. Hans Hoffmann (DE) will fulfil the role ad interim from 1 January 2004.
Enzo Iarocci (IT) was elected as President of Council for a term of one year from 1 January 2004. Professor Iarocci is the author of numerous publications on experimental particle and astro-particle physics, and is best known for his development in the late 1970s of a new type of particle detector - the streamer tube. After having participated in the NUSEX experiment on proton decay in the Mont Blanc tunnel in the early 1980s, Iarocci was co-spokesman of the American-Italian MACRO experiment at the Italian Gran Sasso Laboratories. Director of the Frascati Laboratories near Rome from 1990 to 1996, Iarocci played an important role in the construction of DAPHNE, a very high intensity electron-positron storage ring designed for the study of the symmetry between matter and antimatter. He is currently president of the Italian National Institute for Research in Nuclear and Subnuclear Physics (INFN). He takes over from Professor Maurice Bourquin (CH).
Eivind Osnes (NO) was elected as a Vice-President of Council for a term of one year from 1 January 2004.
Janet Seed (GB) was elected as Chairman of the Finance Committee for a term of one year from 1 January 2004.
Martin Steinacher (CH) was elected as Vice-Chairman of the Finance Committee for a term of one year from 1 January 2004.
Joël Feltesse (FR) was re-elected as Chairman of the Scientific Policy Committee for a term of one year from 1 January 2004.
Alain Blondel (FR), Peter Dornan (GB), Rolf-Dieter Heuer (DE) and Agnieszka Zalewska (PO) were elected to the Scientific Policy Committee for a term of three years from 1 January 2004.
Paolo Strolin (IT) was re-elected to the Scientific Policy Committee for a term of three years from 1 January 2004.
Fernando Bello (PT) was elected as Chairman of the Tripartite Employment Conditions forum (TREF) for a term of one year from 1 January 2004.
Jeffrey Down (GB) was elected to the Audit Committee for a term of three years from 1 January 2004.