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

Journal logoJOURNAL OF
ISSN: 1600-5775

Current events

(Received 11 October 2010; accepted 12 October 2010; online 14 October 2010)

1. Chi-Chang Kao joins SLAC as Director of SSRL

Chi-Chang Kao became the fifth permanent director of SSRL (renamed recently from Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory to Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource). As Director of the SSRL, Kao will manage the day-to-day operations of the SSRL user facility and program, and provide the leadership and vision for the future of the SSRL science and user program. Kao will also have an appointment on SLAC's faculty as a professor of photon science. Kao follows in the footsteps of previous directors Sebastian Doniach (1973–1978), Arthur Bienenstock (1978–1997), Keith Hodgson (1997–2005) and Joachim Stohr (2005–2009).

SSRL began in 1973 as SSRP, the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Project. It made use of the SPEAR colliding-beam storage ring in `parasitic mode', which was built for a high-energy physics program in 1972. In 1990 the SPEAR storage ring became dedicated to synchrotron radiation, operating with single beams. SPEAR went through a total transformation in the 2003 upgrade project SPEAR3 leading to a modern third-generation light source of circumference 234 m with an emittance of 10 nm rad and beam currents of up to 500 mA.

Kao gained his PhD in chemical engineering from Cornell University in 1988. Shortly after, he joined Brookhaven National Laboratory as a postdoctoral research assistant at the National Synchrotron Light Source (NSLS) where he received tenure as a Brookhaven physicist in 1997. He was promoted to senior physicist in 2001 and was named NSLS Deputy Chairman in 2005. He became Chairman of NSLS in 2006.

Keith Hodgson, Associate Laboratory Director for Photon Science and one of the former directors of SSRL, said “we've not only recruited an outstanding individual in management and leadership, but also a person who really excels in X-ray science and techniques. As chairperson of Brookhaven National Laboratory's National Synchrotron Light Source, Chi-Chang demonstrated that he can undertake his new role very effectively. He's also an extremely accomplished physicist in the area of X-ray physics and scattering. Both of these elements – strong leadership skills and scientific research expertise – will serve him well at SLAC.”

`The unique combination of SSRL and the Linac Coherent Light Source makes SLAC the most exciting place for photon science in the world,' Kao said. `SSRL has a long and impressive history of leading the development of synchrotron science since the advent of synchrotron radiation, and the SSRL staff members are talented and dedicated. I am excited to join SLAC at this important juncture of its history and hope to contribute to and build on the outstanding tradition of SSRL.'

“Chi-Chang has the mandate and the challenge to lead SSRL into the future, helping make SLAC the world's leading photon science laboratory by the end of this decade,'' said SLAC Director Persis Drell, `and I have no doubt he is up to the task. We are very pleased to welcome him to SLAC.'

2. Diamond prepares for phase III beamlines

As we go to press, on 13–14 October Diamond Science Advisory Committee (SAC) will prioritize the 11 outline proposals that have been submitted for inclusion amongst the final five beamlines of the Diamond project. At this meeting the SAC will recommend those proposals that should proceed to the preparation of full cases for support. Diamond working parties will be formed to prepare the full proposals taking into consideration the Expressions of Interest (EOI) from users. Diamond began the process in May 2010 when it issued a call for ideas for new beamlines as part of the prioritization procedure for phase III of the Diamond project. Fourteen EOIs were received which, via a consolidation exercise, have resulted in 11 submissions to be considered. Details of these submissions are given at .

3. Brookhaven announces new Photon Sciences Directorate and calls for NSLS-II beamlines

Brookhaven has announced the new Photon Sciences Directorate taking effect from 1 October and replacing the Light Sources Directorate. The new management structure integrates all staff and activities of the separate NSLS department organization and NSLS-II project organization, both of which no longer exist ( ). It had earlier announced the 2010 Call for Beamline Development Proposals for experimental facilities to be implemented at NSLS-II.

NSLS-II is a highly optimized third-generation synchrotron facility that will provide excellent brightness and flux as well as exceptional beam stability over a broad range of photon energies from infrared to hard X-rays. NSLS-II will accommodate at least 58 beamlines using 27 straight sections for insertion-device sources and 31 bending-magnet or three-pole-wiggler sources, with additional beamlines possible through canted insertion devices and multiple branches. The 2010 call for beamline proposals is open to all areas of science, independent of the funding source and the type of beamline. The Light Sources Directorate Science Advisory Committee (SAC), chaired by Keith Hodgson, reviewed the 54 beamline development proposals when it had its full meeting in August. It was recognized that effective peer review of such a large number of proposals required a process that augmented the expertise of the SAC members and hence a series of seven study panels were formed, each having two SAC members (one who also served as chairperson). The assessments and rankings from these study panels were made available to SAC in advance of its 12–13 August meeting and informed its deliberations and recommendations. We expect the results of these deliberations to result in an announcement of an initial set of beamlines in the coming months.

4. NSRRC appoints Shih-Lin Chang as its new Director

The Board of Directors of the National Synchrotron Radiation Research Center (NSRRC) have appointed Professor Shih-Lin Chang as the new Director of NSRRC, effective 1 August 2010. He had been elected as the 2010 Academicians of Academia Sinica in July. In addition, he was the Distinguished Chair Professor as well as the Vice President of Academic Affairs of National Tsing Hua University. Shih-Lin Chang has been closely associated with NSRRC for a long time and served as the Deputy Director from 1995 to 1996. His international recognition, both as a synchrotron light researcher and as a science leader, provided a bridge that linked the academic community and NSRRC during the early operation of the light source. He has been engaged in X-ray diffraction physics and crystallography research for over 30 years. During the handover ceremony, Shih-Lin Chang encouraged NSRRC's staff to exert all their effort to accomplish the Taiwan Photon Source construction project. The Taiwan Photon Source is a national project to construct a cutting-edge synchrotron light source with a 3 GeV energy, 518 m circumference and an emittance of 1.6 nmrad, making it one of the brightest synchrotron radiation sources in the world [J. Synchrotron Rad. (2010). 17, 295–297 ].

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