LENS Initiative Newsletter - Sept 2022, Issue 5

For many years, Europe’s powerful ecosystem of neutron facilities has been the envy of the world. However, the European neutron ecosystem is experiencing a period of significant change and has been destabilised by the closure of several facilities.

In collaboration with BrightnESS2, LENS has published Neutron Science in Europe, addressing the challenges and opportunities for European neutron science to remain a key contributor in addressing societal challenges.

You can view the report below, or pick up a physical copy at the ESS-ILL User Meeting in October.

Through the LENS: foreword by Sindra Petersson Årsköld

As a key contributor to Neutron Science in Europe, Sindra Petersson Årsköld (Senior Advisor on Policy, Communication and Strategy at ESS) explains the motivation behind the new report.

It’s been three and a half years in the making, but this summer we could proudly present the LENS report, Neutron Science in Europe – Strengthening World-Class Research and Innovation; Delivering Economic and Societal Impact.

You might see this report as the response to a request. A request from the European Commission to the European neutron facilities to please speak with one voice and explain what we need in order to sustain our excellent facility landscape and world-leading scientific output in the long term. Or, in more formal terms: this report has been submitted to the European Commission as the BrightnESS2 deliverable 2.10 “Common roadmap and implementation strategy for future neutron capability”.

In order to speak with one voice, many voices have been involved. Since 2018 we have conducted six two-day writing workshops with representatives from the European neutron facilities as well as ENSA, 25 meetings of the editorial board, all supported by innumerable e-mails, phone calls, drafts and rewrites. The process had a few rough patches, as can be expected, but the result is a well-grounded report with wide buy-in.

So, what is in this report? A presentation of the world-leading facility landscape of Europe and of our achievements to date, naturally. A description of our huge potential, both for fundamental scientific breakthroughs and for successfully addressing the challenges of our times. Our role amongst universities and industry. Challenges going forward. Two potential scenarios for the future, following on the scenarios presented in the 2016 ENSA report. These scenarios show the consequences of different decisions and funding levels in terms of instrument days available for science.

While decision makers around Europe read and consider this booklet carefully, our work continues. Starting from this joint view of what we have and where we are going, we now continue to develop a more precise vision for the future and a plan of action.

Do flick it through at least – it’s a nice read!

Find out about Sindra's career in Meet the People

Video Science Highlight

Studying salty water under extreme conditions

Professor Philip Salmon from the University of Bath explains how neutron diffraction experiments at ILL have paved the way for further research into carbon storage deep beneath the seabed.

You can also read the science highlight by ILL.

Recent News

A European Laboratory for Neutron Science

Following the publication of Neutron Science in Europe, LENS has established a working group to develop the concept for a multi-institutional European Laboratory for Neutron Science (ELNS) that would ensure efficient delivery of science and innovation across the consortium. The initial focus of the organisation would be on optimising the use of scientific and technical expertise, accelerating technological progress in priority areas, and enabling wider participation in neutron facilities.

LENS Chair awarded MBE

In recognition of his outstanding contributions to science, LENS Chair, Professor Robert McGreevy, was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Jubilee Birthday Honours List 2022.


ESS Council appoints Giovanna Fragneto as new Science Director

Dr Fragneto brings more than 25 years of experience, acquired for the most part at ILL, both as lead scientist in the field of Soft Condensed Matter and in the management and leadership of several programmes and initiatives.


ILL researcher awarded prestigious European crystallography prize

The 11th Erwin Félix Lewy Bertaut Prize of the European Crystallographic Association and the European Neutron Scattering Association was awarded to Dr Lukáš Gajdos in recognition of his exceptional research on the characterisation of the interaction of lectins with sugars by neutron diffraction.

Find out more about Lukáš' research >>

Prizes for neutron research and instrumentation

At SNI2022, the German Committee Research with Neutrons (KFN) awarded the Wolfram-Prandl Prize 2022 to Dr Navid Qureshi (ILL) for enormous progress in the use of polarised neutrons, and the KFN Instrumentation Prize to Dr Artur Glavic (PSI) for the development of novel neutron reflectometers for studies of magnetic systems.


Collaboration agreement for PSI and IFE

The agreement formalises a joint project on Development and access to neutron scattering equipment and instruments, which includes dedicated beamtime for Norwegian scientists. Earlier this year, the collaboration produced its first publication, and IFE postdoc, Dr. Øystein Slagtern Fjellvåg, was seconded to SINQ to work on the DMC instrument.


ISIS and ILL renew their commitment to joint research activities

On 27 July, ISIS and ILL signed a new Memorandum of Understanding, formally extending their cooperative research activities for a further ten years.


ISIS and CSNS agree new partnership

The new Memorandum of Understanding between ISIS and the China Spallation Neutron Source (CSNS) formalises their collaboration on aspects of accelerator-based neutron source science and technology.

Read more>>

ECNS returns in 2023!

The eighth European Conference on Neutron Scattering will be hosted by MLZ as an in-person event in Garching, Germany.

Register now>>

Call for ICNS2025

The European Neutron Scattering Association (ENSA) invites applications from European institutions to host the next International Conference on Neutron Scattering in 2025. Candidate institutions are encouraged to submit their proposals to the ENSA Board by 15 January 2023.

View the call from ENSA >>

Call for beamtime for French users

The Fédération Française de Diffusion Neutronique (2FDN) has opened its latest call for beamtime. French users are invited to apply for beam time on four CRG instruments based at the ILL (D1B, D23, IN12 and IN22), with a deadline of 30 September.

Find out more and apply >>

French neutron networks join forces at materials science conference

From 24 - 28 October, the major neutron scattering networks in France (ILL, LLB, 2FDN and SFN) will be hosting a joint booth at the French “Matériaux” conference in Lille. If you're attending the conference, stop by the exhibition space to say hello to the team.

Visit the conference website >>

Project Updates

ReMade@ARI project launched

To meet the challenge of designing new materials for a circular economy, the potential of more than 50 analytical research infrastructures of the ARIE network will be harnessed through a new project, ReMade@ARI. Several LENS members will participating in the project, which launched on 1 September 2022 after receiving 13.8 million euros funding under the European Union’s Horizon Europe programme.


Upcoming Events

JCNS Laboratory Course: Neutron Scattering, 5 – 16 Sept, Jülich/Garching (Germany)

Each year, the Jülich Centre for Neutron Science, in cooperation with RWTH Aachen University, organises a laboratory course on neutron scattering. The course consists of lectures combined with neutron scattering experiments at MLZ. The next course will prospectively take place 4 – 15 September 2023.
Find out more >>

Workshop for the VISA platform, 16 Sept (online)

The Virtual Infrastructure for Scientific Analysis (VISA) platform provides remote data analysis services giving access to experimental data, analysis software, compute infrastructure and expert user support. The half-day workshop will demonstrate the possibilities offered by VISA for data analysis, and enable discussion on the development and further deployment of the platform.
Register for the workshop >>

MLZ Open Day, 3 Oct 2022, Garching (Germany)

MLZ are organizing an Open House at FRM II with guided tours, information booths and hands-on activities for children.
Find out more >>

Joint ESS-ILL User Meeting, 5 – 7 Oct 2022, Lund (Sweden)

Registration is open for the third ESS ILL User Meeting, which will provide an opportunity to review the achievements of the user community, present the current status of ILL and ESS, and look forward to the scientific opportunities ahead for neutron science. 
Find out more and register >>

Mag2Pol Workshops, 10, 17, 24 Oct 2022 (online)

This weekly introductory course for Mag2Pol, a program for the analysis of single-crystal and powder diffraction data, will cover (1) General use and powder data analysis; (2) Magnetic structures and single-crystal data analysis; (3) Polarised neutron techniques.
Find out more and register >>

JCNS Workshop 2022, 11 – 14 Oct 2022, Tutzing (Germany)

The JCNS workshop 2022 will bring together experts in neutron scattering methods with users and software experts to review techniques and discuss new capabilities, as well as future developments for the next digital transformation.
Find out more >>

ISIS Student Meeting 2022, 27 – 28 Oct 2022, Oxfordshire (UK)

Registration for the ISIS Student Meeting is open to PhD and Masters students, and is free to researchers at UK universities and ILL. The meeting will include student talks and poster sessions, as well as a careers panel session with representatives from ISIS, academia and industry.
Find out more and register >>

Journées de la Diffusion Neutronique, 14 – 17 Nov 2022, Biarritz (France)

This multidisciplinary conference, organised by the French Neutron Society (SFN), will include four sessions on magnetism, soft matter and biology, materials, and instrumentation.
Find out more and register >>

MLZ User Meeting, 8 – 9 Dec 2022, Munich (Germany)

The first day of the meeting will be dedicated to specialised workshops. On the second day, plenary talks and a poster session are planned.
Find out more and register >>

European Conference on Neutron Scattering, 20 – 23 Mar 2023, Garching (Germany)

The conference will take place at the TUM Department of Mechanical Engineering and the new Science Congress Center Munich – both located in the immediate vicinity of MLZ. After a warm welcome on 19 March, you can look forward to four days of talks, posters and discussions.
Find out more and register >>

Meet the People

Sindra Petersson Årsköld - Senior Advisor on Strategy, Policy and Communications at ESS

With an MSc in Physics and a PhD in Biochemistry, Sindra Petersson Årsköld has a broad interest in the natural sciences. She did most of her academic career at Lund University, but also spent a few years at the Australian National University. Scientifically she explored the role of biological membranes, membrane proteins and the chemistry and transport they enable, including work on the oxygen-evolving complex of Photosystem II and the M2 protein of the Influenza A virus. She has co-founded two companies: one in the lab tech sector and one catering to the retro culture and dance community.

When ESS came to Lund, she was ready for something new! She left the university in 2011 to join ESS, then an organization working on a conceptual design, with an empty green field at its disposal. Today the green field has been completely transformed, as has ESS, and she is Senior Advisor on Strategy, Policy and Communications in the ESS Science Directorate.

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