Since the last issue of Diamond News, a certain level of uncertainty has gathered around British science and research with the decision to leave the European Union. As the UK moves to establish new forms of funding links with Europe, Diamond continues to build on its existing strategic funding partnerships to enhance the facility’s capabilities, develop industrial links, and remain as a world-leading centre for synchrotron science.
Ensuring the long-term sustainability of the facility is one of the core goals of Diamond’s 10-Year Vision, released last year, and so collaboration will continue to play an important role in the coming years. Integration with neighbouring facilities is crucial for Diamond continuing to thrive. Hence, we summarise the existing collaborations where joint investment has enabled the development of facilities that supplement Diamond’s beamlines, and provide either experimental time, training, or support services for imaging, membrane protein crystallography, free electron laser or electron microscopy techniques.
We are publishing the autumn edition of Diamond News in time for the International Conference on X-ray Microscopy (XRM2016), and so this special issue comes with a comprehensive breakdown of the microscopy capabilities on offer across the facility. The summaries show the leading examples of microscopy work on Diamond’s operational beamlines and electron microscopy facilities for the life and physical sciences, as well as updates from those beamlines in optimisation or under construction.
The path of Diamond’s growth and development is also reflected in the updates to three of the Phase III beamlines, which will offer Long-wavelength MX (I23), Inelastic Soft X-ray Scattering (I21), and Pair Distribution Function (I15-1) techniques, and are currently undergoing optimisation prior to open calls for users. The Industrial Liaison Office report on their 100th client, the Oxfordshire-based imaging start-up 3Dmagination. Imaging software has also seen some great leaps over the past year with the Savu tomography pipeline on general release, and we get an update from the data acquisition and analysis groups on their latest projects.
Investment in the future generation of scientists and engineers is also very much part of Diamond’s vision, which is why we commit a great deal of support for students in the form of PhD projects and studentships, undergraduate workshops, engineering apprenticeships, and secondary school work experience. The education schemes outlined in our engagement feature, along with our regular public open days and outreach events, are there to guide students towards a career in this exciting field, and inspire a love of science in the younger generation.
We hear from Dr Phoebe Allan, Senior Support Scientist working across the Engineering and Environment beamlines, about her career story and current role as a specialist in sample environments. The autumn issue is wrapped up with a feature on the Research Complex at Harwell (RCaH), which picks up the theme of collaboration once again. Managed by the MRC on behalf of RCUK, in partnership with BBSRC, EPSRC, NERC, STFC, and Diamond, the RCaH is home to cohorts from the UK Catalysis Hub, the London Centre for Nanotechnology, the Manchester X-ray Imaging Facility, and University College London, Bath, Cardiff, and Leeds. A true example of collaboration right here on the Harwell Campus.
Head of Communications
Diamond Light Source is the UK's national synchrotron science facility, located at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire.
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