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

Journal logoJOURNAL OF
ISSN: 1600-5775

Current events

(Received 12 February 2014; accepted 12 February 2014; online 21 February 2014)

1. Note to the readers

Gene Ice has been the Current-Events Editor of the Journal of Synchrotron Radiation (JSR) for over the past year, and now wishes for a successor to be appointed. The IUCr thank Gene for his engagement over this period, communicating important events at synchrotron radiation sources worldwide to the readership. Starting with this issue of the journal, the Current-Events editorship of JSR will be in the hands of two persons: J. Friso van der Veen (Paul Scherrer Institut, Switzerland) and Paul Zschack (Brookhaven National Laboratory, USA). Although there is no strict work division between the two new editors, it is suggested that contributions from Europe, Russia, the Middle East and Africa be sent to Friso van der Veen, and contributions from the American and Asian continents to Paul Zschack.

2. PSI Summer School 2014 to focus on exploring time, energy and length scales in condensed matter

The PSI Summer School 2014 is dedicated to the topic `Exploring Time, Energy and Length Scales in Condensed Matter'. It will be held on 9–15 August 2014 at Institut Montana, Zug, Switzerland. The school is intended for career starters in condensed matter science (PhD students and postdocs) seeking to deepen their knowledge on the topic of the school.

At PSI, synchrotron radiation, neutron and muon sources are used to investigate the structural, electronic and magnetic properties of condensed matter. Using these facilities, the focus of the school is the study of dynamic processes in nature and technology, over the full range of time and length scales at which they actually occur. The principles of the underlying experimental methods will be explained. Evening lectures will address the importance of time, energy and length scales in other scientific fields. Following the school, from 16 to 18 August 2014, a practical training at PSI is offered to a limited number of participants. The training allows a hands-on experience at the beamlines of the facilities.[link]

[Figure 1]
Figure 1
The experimental hall of the Swiss Light Source at the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI).

Lecturers comprise the following: Peter Abbamonte, N. Peter Armitage, Michael Coey, Pierre Dalmas de Réotier, Peter Derlet, Christian Grünzweig, Steven Johnson, Florian Kronast, Tom Lancaster, M. Pavlik Lettinga, Gaetano Mileti, Rajmund Mokso, Bruce Patterson, Toby Perring, Cinthia Piamonteze, David A. Reis, Christian Rüegg, Gebhard F. X. Schertler, Joachim Stöhr, Andreas Suter, Jeroen van den Brink, J. Friso van der Veen, Martin Weinelt and Philippe Wernet.

To register for the school, please visit or contact The early registration deadline is 30 April 2014, and the regular registration deadline is 30 June 2014.

3. Russia signed membership agreement with ESRF

In December 2013, the Russian Prime Minister, Dmitry Medvedev, signed a governmental act authorizing the Russian Federation as a new Contracting Party of the ESRF Inter-governmental Convention. This is a key step for the Russian Federation to become a full member of the ESRF, and builds on the Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2011 between the National Research Centre Kurchatov Institute and the ESRF. Recognizing the importance of this agreement, Geneviève Fioraso, French Minister of Research and Universities, stated, ``This announcement is great news for the future of the ESRF, for France and for Europe's research and innovation. We need more than ever to consolidate the large research facilities such as ESRF, which advance science and progress and allow us to remain competitive on the scientific and industrial level, in areas of sovereignty to France and Europe.'' It is expected that the participation of the Russian Federation as a full member of the ESRF will be 6%.

4. New Executive Director appointed at the Canadian Light Source

Australian scientist Robert Lamb has been selected to lead Canada's national synchrotron, the Canadian Light Source (CLS) at the University of Saskatchewan, effective 1 August 2014. He will succeed CLS Executive Director Josef Hormes, who will be leaving the position to focus on leading-edge research projects. Robert Lamb will also hold a tenured full professorship in the University of Saskatchewan Department of Chemistry.[link]

[Figure 2]
Figure 2
Robert Lamb leads Canada's national synchrotron, the Canadian Light Source at the University of Saskatchewan, effective 1 August 2014.

Currently at the University of Melbourne, Lamb was the founding Director of the Australian Synchrotron, leading the successful transition from construction to operation as a national facility, as well as successfully securing the millions of dollars in advancing the facility's growth from an early 250 to 1500 users. In addition, having previously served as Chair of the CLS's Scientific Advisory Committee, whose mission is to ensure that scientific programs at the CLS are of the highest quality, Lamb is very familiar with the facility.

A recognized leader in synchrotron surface science, Lamb has PhDs in chemistry and physics, from the Universities of Melbourne and Cambridge, respectively, and more than 200 scientific publications and 39 patents.

Mark de Jong, currently Director of Accelerators, will ensure a smooth management transition as Interim Executive Director, until Lamb begins his appointment.

5. BESSY Innnovation Award on Synchrotron Radiation to Mikael Eriksson

The 2013 Innovation Award on Synchrotron Radiation granted by the Society of Friends of Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and sponsored by SPECS GmbH and BESTEC GmbH in Berlin has been bestowed upon Professor Mikael Eriksson, Machine Director at the MAX IV laboratory in Lund, Sweden, for his outstanding contributions on `realising the concept and developing the technology of the multi-bend achromat storage ring towards diffraction-limited synchrotron light sources'. The proof of principle for this future technology with high impact on the next generation of storage-ring-based light sources has already been demonstrated at the former and current MAX-Lab accelerators. It is now being realised at the MAX IV and SIRIUS facilities and has already strongly influenced the upgrade programs at other facilities.[link]

[Figure 3]
Figure 3
The awardee of the `Innovation Award on Synchrotron Radiation 2013' Professor Mikael Eriksson (centre), together with Professor Wolfgang Gudat from the Society of Friends of Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (right) and Professor Andreas Jankowiak (left) who gave the laudation during the award ceremony on 5 December 2013 in Berlin-Adlershof. Photograph: HZB/M. Setzpfand.

6. Severe weather conditions damaged roof of SESAME

In December 2013, Jordan was hit by unusually severe snow storms with intermittent rain and sleet. They intensified in the night of 13 December, and in the early morning the steel roof of the experimental hall caved in. This was caused by an unprecedented amount of snow mixed with sleet and water that accumulated on the roof. Fortunately, nobody was hurt and no equipment was damaged. The structure has been temporarily secured by the placement of supporting hydraulic posts in the experimental hall, allowing the SESAME staff to resume their work on site. Building experts from Jordan as well as from CERN, Elettra and PSI are currently evaluating the situation and providing advice on the renewal of the roof structure.[link]

[Figure 4]
Figure 4
The caved-in steel roof of SESAME after the snow storm.
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