FESAC Strategic Planning Activity Update

June 8, 2020

Troy Carter, chair of the FESAC Long Range Strategic Planning Activity has issued the following update announcement:

I am writing to give you an update on the status of Phase 2 of the DOE FES Long Range Planning process and point out some new opportunities to provide input. More detail can be found below, but four things I want to make sure to convey are:

(1) There is a new public website for the FESAC Subcommittee work. This site includes a set of "Frequently Asked Questions" about the CPP report:

(2) We would like additional input from the community and will utilize small focus groups to gather information. The first of these groups will occur this week, Thurs June 11 and Friday June 12. Please sign up to provide your input here (link also provided on the website):
The focus of this information gathering is on how to bring the diverse FES portfolio together under one strategic plan: we'll be looking for new ideas on scientific cross-cuts between FST and DPS (not captured in the four CPP cross cutting themes) and for thoughts on how the plan can embrace opportunities across the entire portfolio.

(3) I will be making a presentation on the status of the subcommittee work during the next FESAC meeting, which is scheduled for June 23 and 24; my presentation will likely be on the 23rd. During and after the FESAC presentation, we will open up a Google form for submission of comments/responses from the community (will be linked to the website mentioned in (1)). More details on the FESAC meeting (and how to listen in on Zoom) can be found here:

(4) I would like this message to reach everyone whose research is connected to the DOE FES portfolio; please feel free to forward. I would encourage anyone who would like to hear further communication from the FESAC subcommittee to sign up for the mailing list here:


Ok, now for some more detail for those who want it. First, thanks to all of you for the incredibly hard work that went into the Phase 1 Community Planning Process (CPP) that resulted in the consensus CPP report. This report will be the foundation of the final strategic plan that the FESAC subcommittee will put together. The subcommittee has been working hard over the last two months on this task; part of this work has been reaching out to members of the CPP co-chairs, program committee, expert groups, and to initiative authors to gather additional information. We are working with two projects experts (Dr. Jeff Hoy (DOE, retired) and Dr. Carl Strawbridge (ORNL, retired)) to develop costing information in order to allow us to respond to the budget scenarios called out in the FESAC charge; this process will create additional information requests to the community. As we do this, we have as our top priority maintaining (and building on) the consensus associated with the CPP report; consistent with this we will make sure to give everyone appropriate opportunity to provide input. I have made public comments about wanting the PC, expert groups, and others to continue to assist; responding to these email requests for clarification and potentially help with the costing effort is the full extent of the assistance we are hoping for.

As we move forward, there are some important tasks that the CPP did not have time for and as a result the Phase 2 subcommittee would like to gather new input from the community. The FES portfolio, and plasma/fusion science and engineering as a field, is incredibly diverse. There was not sufficient time during the CPP to have discussion between all communities supported by the portfolio, in particular between the Fusion Science and Technology and the Discovery Plasma Sciences communities. The four cross-cutting areas provided some opportunity for discussion and resulted in important recommendations, but we feel that there may be missed synergies between the areas that fall outside of those four themes. In addition, we want the final strategic plan to embrace opportunities across the entire portfolio. The FST and DPS communities individually produced extremely compelling plans. We now need to come together and talk about how the strategic plan can best accommodate the goals of both communities. We are kicking off the focus groups, mentioned above, to gather input on these topics. Our goal is to have a plan that garners wide support from this diverse community. We would sincerely appreciate it if all of you would consider signing up to participate in the focus groups mentioned in (#2) above.

The FESAC subcommittee is subject to rules associated with federal advisory committees, and as such, our interaction with the community is limited -- for this reason, we are unable to offer the same opportunity to vet draft work from the subcommittee that was offered by the CPP leadership. However, we do want to engage the community and gather input as much as we can during the process. The focus groups mentioned above are one part of that strategy; additional focus groups and workshops could follow these. We will also use two FESAC meetings to report on the status of the subcommittee work and gather input from the community in response. The first of these meetings is scheduled for June 23/24 and the second will likely happen in late August/early September. We will take the opportunity during these presentations to convey to the community the challenges the subcommittee is trying to tackle. We can't state where the subcommittee might fall on the answer to these challenges, but we will enumerate the challenges with the hope that the community will weigh in with their own thoughts and recommendations. So I strongly encourage you to listen in to the FESAC meetings and make use of the opportunity to give us feedback via Google forms that will be published on the subcommittee public website (#1 above).


Troy Carter (on behalf of the FESAC LRP Subcommittee) Troy Carter

The charge for the preparation of the strategic plan is as follows: