2018 ALS User Meeting Highlights

Past, present, and future converged at the ALS User Meeting, held October 2–4, 2018. About 480 registrants helped celebrate the 25th anniversary of first light at the ALS and the announcement of CD-1 approval for the ALS Upgrade project (ALS-U), a major federal milestone. Users’ Executive Committee (UEC) Chair Will Chueh kicked things off by acknowledging the organizers—UEC members Jennifer Ciezak-Jenkins, Alex Frañó, and Michael Jacobs—and thanking the ALS for its support. He also explained the organizing principle behind the program: to engage student and young-scientist users and strengthen interactions between users in general. Jeff Neaton, Berkeley Lab’s Associate Laboratory Director for Energy Sciences, then extended an official welcome to attendees. He noted that it’s been an exciting year for the ALS, which gained a new director, Steve Kevan, in addition to CD-1 approval for ALS-U.

>Read more on the Advanced Light Source website

Image: Plenary session, Day 1.
Credit: Peter DaSilva/Berkeley Lab

Impressions from the 30th MAX IV user meeting

At the 30th MAX IV user meeting over 250 attendees met to discuss and learn for three days in Lund.

The impressions that we collected from the meeting are positive overall.
There was a very good atmosphere, good backup from the users, lively discussion, and full rooms for the parallel sessions. These are very important signs for for us going forward, says interim director Ian McNulty and science director Marjolein Thunnissen. We also talked to a few of the users who appreciated that the user meeting is a good place to meet with colleagues and collaborators to discuss and learn. The other comment that we got from several of them was that it was important that they now have a clear time plan and overview of the status so that they can plan for their experiments at MAX IV.

>Read more on the MAX IV Laboratory website

Record number of participants at User Meeting

Celebrating a year of glorious firsts and outlining future developments

“Welcome to the first European XFEL user meeting with actual users!” said Martin Meedom Nielsen, head of the European XFEL council as he opened the three day event on 24 January in front of a packed lecture hall on the DESY campus in Hamburg. With 1200 registered participants from ca. 100 institutions from 30 countries, this year’s joint European XFEL and DESY photon science users’ meeting, the first since operation began, was the biggest yet.

Meedom Nielsen and European XFEL Managing Director Robert Feidenhans’l started the meeting by summarizing the achievements and developments of the last year and thanking everyone who had contributed to the facility’s success. “It has been a fantastic year,” said Feidenhans’l looking back on his first year as director of the facility, “a tough year and we have worked really hard, but a fantastic year.” “2017 was a year of glorious firsts” said Meedom Nielsen, highlighting especially the facility’s inauguration in September and the beams of laser light that shone across the city to mark the occasion. “Hamburg was shining for European XFEL, and European XFEL was shining back” he said.

>Read more on the European XFEL website

 Photo Credit: European XFEL


1200 participants at annual users’ meeting

Record number of attendees at the joint DESY and European XFEL event

The joint meeting of users of DESY’s research light sources and the European XFEL X-ray laser once again drew a record number of attendees to Hamburg. Some 1200 participants from nearly 100 institutions from around 30 countries have registered for the three-day event (24-26 January) held at DESY, more than ever before. A particular highlight this year is the beginning of scientific user operation at the European XFEL, from which first results were presented.

“The users’ meeting in Hamburg is the largest in the world for research with X-ray light sources, and we are very proud of that,” emphasised DESY Director Helmut Dosch. “The tremendous interest reflects the importance of these unique research tools for all natural sciences and beyond.” DESY’s research director for photon science, Edgar Weckert, added: “With the X-ray lasers FLASH and European XFEL and the storage-ring-based X-ray source PETRA III, the metropolitan region offers a worldwide unique combination of high-intensity research light sources that serve a wide range of disciplines, from biology and medicine to energy, material and earth science to physics, chemistry and even art history.”

Image: DESY, Axel Heimken

BER II and BESSY II User Meeting at HZB

More than 600 scientists registered for the 9th annual BER II and BESSY II User Meeting in December.

The Friends of Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin recognised outstanding work in the field of synchrotron radiation with an Innovation Award, and the best doctoral dissertation with the Ernst-Eckard-Koch prize.

Research with synchrotron radiation was the focus on Wednesday. On Thursday, the „Science Day“, a broad overview on user research was given. The public talk entitled “Interfacing with the brain using organic electronics” found great appeal with the audience: George Malliaras from the University of Cambridge spoke about the potential of organic electronics as brain implants for treating neurological diseases such as epilepsy. New materials and their characterisation at synchrotron sources will play a crucial role in this development. A vendor exhibition by 56 companies on new technical and optical instruments for research was well visited by the scientists.

>Read more on the HZB website.

Image: The Innovation Award of Freundeskreis HZB was given to a team of DESY, Hamburg.
Credit: HZB