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 24 April 2014)

1. First stored beam in NSLS-II storage ring

Scientists and engineers at the US Department of Energy's Brook­haven National Laboratory achieved a major milestone in the commissioning of the National Synchrotron Light Source II (NSLS-II) on 5 April 2014. For the first time, the NSLS-II project team was able to store electron beam in the NSLS-II storage ring with an initial beam lifetime of about three hours. After injection was optimized, the beam could be stored within a few hours, during which the sextupole magnets and the RF system were put into service. Brookhaven National Laboratory Director Doon Gibbs called it a `significant advance' and said `Achieving stored beam means the team can now accelerate further optimization of the storage ring'. This achievement is the result of more than seven years of planning, design, construction and commissioning by the Photon Sciences staff. The team is now commissioning the diagnostic system with beam, and plans to efficiently commission all storage ring systems.[link]

[Figure 1]
Figure 1
The NSLS-II storage ring at Brookhaven National Laboratory, where stored beam was recently achieved.

2. Canadian Synchrotron Summer School to focus on medical imaging

The focus of the 2014 Canadian Synchrotron Summer School (CS3) will be synchrotron medical imaging. The school, to be held on 20–25 July 2014 at the Canadian Light Source (CLS), Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, will provide theory and practical experience for researchers interested in improving their imaging capabilities. Background theory and practical experience from proposal writing to sample preparation through data collection, reconstruction and visualization will be featured. Scientists with some experience in synchrotron-based imaging are invited to apply. Participation is limited at 20 in order to ensure everyone is able to gain hands-on experience.

Sessions will include: an insider's view of the CLS peer review process with hints and tips on writing a proposal, sample preparation, computed tomography (reconstruction and visualization), diffraction-enhanced imaging, K-edge subtraction imaging, chase-contrast image retrieval, and an introduction to and practical experience with various software packages. There will be a full day workshop on the use of Paraview, a visualization software package, and an introduction to other CLS techniques and beamlines that may be useful. Confirmed speakers include: L. Dean Chapman, David Cooper, Tomasz Wysokinski and George Belev. The early application deadline is 15 May 2014. Further information, including details on how to apply may be found at

3. Brian Stephenson to step down as APS Director

Brian Stephenson recently announced to the Advanced Photon Source staff and user community his plan to step down as the APS Director, effective 1 May 2014. For the past three and a half years he has been the Associate Laboratory Director (ALD) for Photon Sciences and Director of the APS, and has now elected to return to the Argonne Materials Science Division as a member of the scientific management team to campaign for Argonne initiatives in materials synthesis and design. Stephen Streiffer has agreed to serve as interim APS Director during the search for a new ALD for Photon Sciences at Argonne.

4. Rolf Wideröe Prize awarded to Mikael Eriksson

Mikael Eriksson, recipient of the 2013 BESSY Innovation Award, has now been awarded with the 2014 Rolf Wideröe Prize for outstanding work in the accelerator field. This award, granted by the European Physical Society Accelerator Group, will be given to him in June 2014 during the IPAC'14 conference in Dresden, Germany. In the citation it was mentioned that “Professor Eriksson's work has had a substantial impact in the field of synchrotron radiation sources worldwide. The MAX IV 3 GeV storage ring design and technological implementation is paving the way for a new generation of extreme low-emittance ultimate storage rings for the achievement of diffraction-limited radiation sources. Many synchrotron radiation facilities worldwide are being built or upgraded using this scheme.”

5. IUCr Journals open to SESAME

As part of the celebrations of the International Year of Crystallography 2014, the International Union of Crystallography (IUCr) is pleased to support the SESAME project by providing SESAME staff with free online access to IUCr Journals for the period 2014–2016 inclusive. As well as the Journal of Synchrotron Radiation, this will allow access to Acta Crystallographica Sections A, B, C, D, E and F; the new open-access high-influence journal, IUCrJ, launched at the beginning of 2014; and the Journal of Applied Crystallography. Full details of the journals can be found at //

On receiving the news from the IUCr, SESAME Scientific Director, Professor Giorgio Paolucci, commented `On behalf of the SESAME community, I am very grateful to the International Union of Crystallography for providing access to these journals. I am sure that at this point in time scientific programs at SESAME will benefit greatly from this generous opportunity.' Professor Samar Hasnain, Editor-in-Chief of IUCr Journals, added `The availability of these nine journals to the SESAME staff as part of the International Year of Crystallography activities is a positive contribution from the Union to this very special project'. Professor Sir Chris Llewellyn Smith, President of the SESAME Council, said `SESAME greatly appreciates and needs the goodwill and support the project is receiving from round the world, at a time when political turbulence in the Middle East is making scientific collaboration across borders harder but even more desirable'.

SESAME ( is currently under construction in Allan, Jordan, and is scheduled to come into full operation in late-2015/early-2016. Being developed under the auspices of UNESCO, SESAME will be the Middle East's first major international research centre. As an intergovernmental scientific and technological centre of excellence open to all scientists from the Middle East and elsewhere, SESAME will serve as a propeller for the scientific, technical and economic development of the region, and will strengthen collaboration in science.[link]

[Figure 2]
Figure 2
The SESAME building.

6. Andrew Thompson appointed Scientific Director of Life Sciences at SOLEIL

Andrew Thompson, in charge of the PROXIMA1 beamline, one of the two beamlines dedicated to the crystallography of biomolecules at SOLEIL, was appointed Scientific Director of Life Sciences at SOLEIL on 3 April 2014. A physicist and bio-crystallographer, trained in Manchester and Keele, Andrew joined the world of synchrotrons at the end of the 1970s at Daresbury Laboratory, operating both the storage ring and the beamlines. In particular, he designed one of the X-ray diffraction beamlines at Daresbury for crystallography of macromolecules. Later, he was responsible for the design and construction of two bio-crystallography beamlines at the ESRF in Grenoble (BM14 and ID29). Andrew joined SOLEIL in 2002 to handle the creation of PROXIMA1. He also closely monitored the set-up of PROXIMA2, the second bio-crystallography beamline at SOLEIL, as a technical advisor, and was the director of the biology scientific section at SOLEIL for two years.

Jean Daillant, Director General of SOLEIL, said `Andy is an internationally recognized expert in structural biology who has built extremely successful beamlines and instruments. His experience will be most valuable when developing macromolecular crystallography methods where exciting possibilities are appearing, and in best exploiting complementarity with other methods and with FELs. I am sure Andy will be as successful as Science Director for life sciences at SOLEIL as he was in his previous positions.'

On his appointment, Andrew said `I hope to use my experience of synchrotron radiation beamlines and their operation to establish close links with the user community in the scientific areas under my responsibility. I intend to encourage the development of the life sciences at SOLEIL through in-house research, both wet lab and methodological; and favour synergies between the different synchrotron-based techniques which are the trademark of SOLEIL: diffraction, spectroscopy and imaging tools for present and future integrative structural biology.'[link]

[Figure 3]
Figure 3
Andrew Thompson, the new Scientific Director of Life Sciences at SOLEIL.

Paul Dumas, Head of SMIS beamline, said `As a beamline scientist at SOLEIL, I feel very pleased to have Andrew as the new science director at SOLEIL. Andy has been a very close colleague of mine since I joined SOLEIL in 2003. His role at SOLEIL as beamline manager and head of the biology sector were key components for the recognition of the biology activity of SOLEIL at national and international levels. His vision and interest of structural and integrated biology will, without doubt, contribute to the growing recognition and international visibility at SOLEIL.'

SOLEIL Scientific Advisory Committee Member Dino Moras added `As Scientific Director for the Life Sciences, Andy will be an asset for SOLEIL. He brings a comprehensive knowledge of synchrotron radiation use in structural biology, international recognition and natural leadership. His scientific curiosity and drive for cutting-edge technologies will be crucial for the development of integrative approaches, necessary to sustain the international competitiveness of the synchrotron source.'[link]

Follow J. Synchrotron Rad.
Sign up for e-alerts
Follow J. Synchrotron Rad. on Twitter
Follow us on facebook
Sign up for RSS feeds