MAX IV and nine Swedish universities launch joint effort to educate young scientists

PRISMAS, Ph.D. Research and Innovation in Synchrotron Methods and Applications in Sweden is launched. The programme includes hands-on training in cutting-edge synchrotron skills that is applicable in various research areas at MAX IV in Lund, Sweden. It combines practical experience with courses covering all aspects of synchrotron radiation to produce researchers who are experts in these methods and their fields. 

Students from diverse scientific backgrounds will be recruited through partner universities to learn to use and develop synchrotron methods in their research while acquiring the skills to tackle some of the most critical sustainability development goals and future societal challenges in their projects led by selected Principal Investigators from around Sweden. This 5-year intersectoral and interdisciplinary project will create a connected network of next generation X-ray experts, enabling a wider range of stakeholders to take full advantage of world-leading synchrotron facilities such as MAX IV, while tackling current societal challenges in the same breath.

Read more on the MAX IV website

New Diamond SESAME Rutherford training programme underway

First four fellows welcomed to new training programme

Diamond has welcomed the first four fellows on the newly created Diamond SESAME Rutherford Fellowship Training Programme. The result of a £1.5 million grant from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), Diamond will use the funding to expand its training and development support of SESAME, a unique Middle East project.

Up to 25 delegates will benefit from training in areas of science and engineering associated with the construction and operation of SESAME (Synchrotron light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East) in Jordan. The Middle East’s first major international research centre, the SESAME light source involves members from Cyprus, Egypt, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Israel, Jordan, Pakistan, the Palestinian Authority and Turkey.

Andrew Harrison, CEO of Diamond, explains, “SESAME represents a unique project for the Middle East region because of the excellent opportunity to stimulate and support scientific and technical activity, training and engagement in the region.  Because SESAME focuses on areas of local importance – such as water supply, energy, health and the environment – we are keen to nurture new talent and share our skills. This significant grant will enable us to build stronger links.”

>Read more on the Diamond Light Source website

Image: Fellows, Mentors and Programme Support
Credit: Diamond Light Source

Training to students from the Middle East

Students from SESAME members have been awarded to work in European light source laboratories in 2018.

OPEN SESAME is a Horizon 2020 project, which began on 1 January 2017 and runs until the end of 2019. It provides training opportunities for the SESAME light source in Jordan. An intergovernmental organisation, SESAME’s members are Cyprus, Egypt, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Pakistan, the Palestinian Authority and Turkey. This call for Fellowships was open to students working towards Masters or Doctoral degrees in the realm of light source science in any of these Members.

Some 49 applications were received. After scrutiny by an expert committee, nine places were offered, with six candidates in reserve. The successful applicants represent four SESAME Members, with two coming from Egypt and two from Iran, four are from Pakistan and one is from Turkey. Seven are women and two are men, and they will each be spending a minimum of eight weeks between February and June 2018 in European labs. Their fields of interest are all areas that will be addressed by SESAME’s phase-one beamlines, namely powder diffraction, X-ray absorption spectroscopy, infrared microspectroscopy, macromolecular crystallography and X-ray tomography. These techniques address questions ranging from life sciences where antibiotic resistance in bacteria and the interactions of essential oils and macromolecules will be investigated by single crystal diffraction, to geology where oil and gas flow properties in porous rock will be characterised by hard X-ray micro-tomography.

European synchrotron: melting pot for international students

Every year the ESRF welcomes around 100 students from all over the world.

From high-school level to post-doctoral fellows, these future professionals have chosen the ESRF to gain that practical experience so valued on a CV. Meet some of our students and find out how their experience at the ESRF is shaping their future.

Emily Galvin, Katie Mordecai and William Spencer are in various stages of a 4-year technical apprenticeship with the STFC in the UK. They have spent three weeks in the ESRF mechanical workshop on a shared project, machining prototype parts from drawings using a computer numeric tool (CNC). The parts, which have been designed in-house, will be used on a slit positioning assembly through which the light beam is concentrated on the beamline.

“The software I’m using is completely new to me and of course it’s all in French, so I’m learning fast!”, says Katie. “These CNC machines are really expensive and I’ve never been allowed to operate one before. My supervisor has been great in showing us how it works and trusting us to use it.”

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