August 2019

Dear SSURF Community:

Thank you for your support of SSURF and our shared commitment to representing the nation’s user facilities and users. The organization continues on its path towards sustainability – supported in part by the election last Fall of several new board members, in effort to expand our network of resources and expertise.

I would like to thank Paul Runci and Steve Wasserman for their outstanding service to SSURF during the first two critical years of the organization. I have taken over Paul’s role as chair and certainly have large shoes to fill! I also would like to thank Susan White-DePace, who has moved on to new opportunities after many years working with NUFO and SSURF. Crystal Schrof has graciously accepted the role as acting Chief Operations Officer, supporting the organization with her extensive breadth of legal experience.

SSURF has several upcoming events planned. First, SSURF is organizing congressional staff visits to several California Bay Area user facilities at LLNL, LBNL, and SLAC, to take place in late August. This activity has been a goal of SSURF since the organization’s inception. We look forward to this inaugural event and hope to expand efforts into other regions in the future. The Board will report on the visits in an upcoming newsletter. Second, as noted below, we are excited to announce our Annual Meeting to be held in College Park, Maryland during the week of November 11, 2019. Mark your calendars!

Lastly, SSURF is working with the Materials Research Society (MRS) to sponsor a User Facilities Row at the 2019 MRS Fall Meeting and Exhibit this December in Boston, Massachusetts. This is an excellent opportunity to introduce the user facility model – and individual facilities – to the extensive MRS membership during the conference exposition. There will be a dedicated exposition area set aside for user facilities so that prospective users can easily visit with facility staff.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. On behalf of the entire SSURF Board of Directors, thank you for your support.

Best Regards,

Adam J. Rondinone
Chair, SSURF Board of Directors

Annual Meeting

The SSURF Annual Meeting is an opportunity to gather with the SSURF community to discuss challenges, opportunities, and recent developments within the user facility system. Last year’s meeting was well attended and facilitated discussions about metrics tracking via ORCID’s global researcher identification program. This year we will add a focus on user facility administration based on the survey responses from last year’s meeting.

This year’s meeting will be held at the American Institute of Physics in College Park, Maryland, on November 12 and 13. Discussion topics include:

  1. Resolving administrative pain points for user facilities (heavily requested in the 2018 Annual Meeting questionnaire)
  2. Broadening the user base: SSURF outreach strategies
  3. SSURF strategic and organizational planning

Stay tuned for announcements with further information on logistics and complete Meeting agenda.

MRS User Facility Row

SSURF is partnering with the 2019 MRS Fall Meeting in Boston, December 1-6, 2019, to highlight user facilities. This partnership includes several aspects:

While preliminary plans are in development, we still need to finalize the topic for the Hub Stage and explore other opportunities to promote user facilities at the meeting. If you would like to participate in planning for this event, please contact Crystal Schrof at

SSURF strongly encourages you to consider showcasing your user facility and its unique capabilities at a booth on User Facilities Row.

More information about securing a booth is available at

If you have questions, please contact Crystal. We look forward to hearing from you and seeing you in Boston!

Volunteer Recruitment

SSURF has re-organized our single operations committee into seven dedicated committees, listed below:

We are currently soliciting volunteers from amongst our member facilities for the new committee structure. We are asking facility management to nominate interested staff and/or users of their facilities as volunteer candidates and forward those names to Adam Rondinone (

For current Operations Committee members, please contact the Board if you wish to continue service, and if so, which committee you prefer to join. We have high expectations of volunteers, but promise to be mindful of their time and other obligations. We are requesting responses by August 10th, 2019.