27 June 2008
The new Diamond Light Source synchrotron was the star of the show at the prestigious Royal Academy of Engineering Soirée in Didcot last night (26 June). More than 150 distinguished guests including His Royal Highness the Duke of Kent, the Academy’s Royal Fellow, attended the dinner at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory.
The Diamond Light Source is the largest UK-funded scientific facility to be built for over 40 years and the brightest medium-energy source in the world. The synchrotron has applications in virtually all fields of science. Recent users have studied problems as diverse as the structure of crucial protein in tuberculosis, to the effects of sunlight on pigments used in Turner's watercolours. Diamond has a wide range of engineering applications; from corrosion mapping to studying large components in incredible detail. Precision engineering to incredibly high specifications played a vital role in Diamond's construction, from ensuring the stability of the synchrotron and monitoring the position and alignment of the beam itself, to the challenges of powering and safely operating such a complex facility.
The exhibit also showcased the work of one of Diamond's artists in residence, Paula Groves, who has been working closely with engineers on site to develop sculptural pieces created with metal taken from the Diamond site.
Also on show was the ISIS neutron scattering facility, recently doubled in size with a second neutron source. The £140 million Second Target Station generated its first neutrons this month.
"To successfully transfer innovative technology from conception through to commercial application is notoriously difficult. This exhibition demonstrates how our extensive range of engineering activities in Oxfordshire and the UK have contributed to innovation and wealth creation, through the use of technology transfer to develop novel, commercially successful products and processes."
Professor Keith Mason, STFC Chief Executive
Senior Vice President of the Royal Academy of Engineering Wendy Hall said "The Academy’s partnership with the Science and Facilities Council will, I hope, go from strength to strength in future as we pursue a shared vision to promote a greater awareness of the role of science and engineering in today’s society and in shaping our daily lives. One of the key aims of the Academy is to move engineering from the periphery to the centre of society and to show the importance of engineering and science skills to the economy and for the long term well-being of society."
Diamond will bring benefits to:
For more information please contact: Jane Sutton at The Royal Academy of Engineering, Tel. 020 7766 0636, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or Sarah Bucknall at Diamond Light Source Tel. 01235 778639, email email@example.com.
Or Natalie Bealing at STFC Tel. 01235 445484, email firstname.lastname@example.org
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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