current events\(\def\hfill{\hskip 5em}\def\hfil{\hskip 3em}\def\eqno#1{\hfil {#1}}\)

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ISSN: 1600-5775

Current events

(Received 19 May 2008; accepted 9 June 2008)

1. Josef Hormes becomes Executive Director of the Canadian Light Source

Josef Hormes has been appointed as an Executive Director of the Canadian Light Source (CLS). The appointment comes after an 18 month international search for the successor to CLS Executive Director Bill Thomlinson, who is retiring at the end of June. The Board of Directors of CLS and University of Saskatchewan President Peter MacKinnon announced the appointment, effective from 15 August 2008.

Hormes, currently a Professor of Physics at the University of Bonn, was Director of the Center for Advanced Microstructures and Devices (CAMD), a synchrotron at the Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, from 1999 to 2005, where he remains a Full Research Professor of Physics. Prior to that, he was Director of the Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory at the University of Bonn for more than ten years, where he was also responsible for technology transfer and university/industry collaborations. Josef Hormes started his career in synchrotron radiation at the Bonn synchrotron in the late 1970s.[link]

[Figure 1]
Figure 1
Josef Hormes.

``Professor Hormes' combination of research expertise and management experience is second to none'', notes University of Saskatchewan President Peter MacKinnon. ``He is ideally suited to guide Canada's national synchrotron as it embarks on the next phase of its life as a global leader in innovation and discovery.'' Josef Hormes will also be appointed as a Professor in the Department of Physics and Engineering Physics at the University of Saskatchewan. He has co-authored over 200 scientific publications and is named on seven patents. Much of his recent research has focused on the study, synthesis and characterization of magnetic particles for applications in cancer treatment and nanotechnology.

`The Canadian Light Source has already developed a reputation for excellence in the synchrotron world, both for the science it is generating and its outstanding service to users from academic institutions and industry', says Hormes. `I am looking forward to working with the outstanding staff and users from across Canada and around the globe. I am particularly excited about continuing to build strong ties and fruitful collaborations among the CLS, academic scientists and researchers from a variety of industrial sectors.'

The CLS is Canada's national centre for synchrotron research. Located at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, the CLS already has seven operating beamlines, with an additional seven beamlines to come into operation within the next 12 months. This third-generation synchrotron radiation facility is beginning to make a significant international impact which, with increasing number of beamlines and increasing science programme, is most likely to attract wider international recognition. We wish the new Director and CLS team success in their efforts.

2. UK launches New Light Source project

The UK's Science and Technology Facility Council (STFC) has launched a study to build up the case for a new light source following the international review of the UK's need for light sources. It is anticipated that the New Light Source (NLS), building on the very latest photon source technology, will allow the UK community to conduct unique studies of the microscopic motions that occur within matter of all kinds. The case for the NLS facility is to be based on advanced conventional and free-electron lasers, with unique and world-leading capabilities. The initial task is to review the underpinning science case for next-generation light sources of this kind via a consultation with a broad community of scientists and technologists. The key science drivers are expected to be defined first, along with the technical possibilities, before the detailed technical specifications of any facility are defined. From the evidence obtained via the consultation, NLS will examine the balance between objectives which can be achieved by exploiting the existing array of international next-generation light sources and those which will require a new UK capability. The first phase of the NLS project will determine, through wide consultation, the key long-term scientific objectives for the UK light source strategy and establish the light source capability that needs to be implemented. The process of forming the case will be carried out over the next 18 months, and will define the key science drivers and the broad specification for any facility that may be required (to be completed by October 2008). A review of the options will then take place. Subject to review, a detailed proposal including the science aims and the technical details of the facility are expected for submission in October 2009.

NLS will be a science-driven project; the broad science objectives will be defined in the light of technical possibilities before the detailed facility specifications are developed. It is anticipated that the facility would integrate advanced conventional lasers and a free-electron laser with an optimized temporal structure and a broad photon energy range. Through consultation with scientists in the UK and internationally, the project will refine challenges that define the science drivers and identify the key technologies that the facility will require. The necessary science consultation will be organized by science coordinators drawn from the leaders of the Photon Science Research Institute and the 4GLS project (see for more details).

3. Australian Synchrotron looks for a Head of Science

The Australian Synchrotron enters the exploitation phase with the announcement for a search for a Head of Science. The person, in partnership with the Head of Beamline Development and External Relations, is expected to be responsible for development of research programs, user management, beamline operations and development, and external relations.

4. LCLS shines in Lehman Review

The US Office of Science semi-annually conducts reviews of its large major projects. The Spallation Neutron Source, which exceeded baseline objectives and was ahead of schedule and under budget, for example, received 17 independent project reviews. In May 2008, the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) underwent the review. Daniel Lehman, Director of the Office of Project Assessment in the Office of Science, led the process and arrived at Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) with a team of some 23 expert scientists, engineers and management consultants to look over all aspects of the LCLS project.

The SLAC Director, Persis Drell, said that this week's Lehman review was the best she had seen for the LCLS. The committee was very impressed by the progress since their visit last July. Worrisome technical issues have been nailed; civil construction is nearing completion; and completed tunnels and vast experimental halls are beginning to fill with accelerator hardware. In addition, the commissioning of the electron beam has been very successful and the electron bunch at the end of the linac meets the specifications needed to achieve the production of X-ray free-electron laser radiation. As the committee noted in their closeout briefing, `John Galayda and his project team are to be commended for these achievements, especially in a climate of change and uncertainty.' Drell added, `The entire LCLS team deserves an enormous amount of credit for all the accomplishments of the past nine months, including our collaborators at our partner labs, Argonne and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories. I would particularly like to thank John Galayda for his dedication and hard work. I have to confess that I am more than a little jealous as the LCLS team now enters what I believe is one of the most exciting phases of the project. A little over a year from now, the project plans to deliver the first X-rays to the AMO experiment in the Near Hall and start the early science program for the first users. This next year will be thrilling for the entire lab!'

LCLS also has a new public face, and a new home on the web ( ). It is expected to serve as a one-stop location for news and information about all things LCLS. On the occasion of launch, John Galayda, Director of LCLS Construction, said `I can only hope that this site communicates a fraction of the excitement we at SLAC feel as we construct this huge scientific instrument and bring it to its full capability in 2009 and 2010'.

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