XRM 2016 showcases research triumphs

Diamond-hosted event draws in leading experts from around the world

Late summer can be a quiet time in some industries, but for scientists this is one of the most important and exciting times of the year: conference season.
On a beautiful week in August, leading scientists from around the world flocked to Oxford’s Mathematical Institute to attend an important calendar event: XRM 2016.
The International Conference in X-Ray Microscopy series began in 1983 and 2016 saw the 13th edition. The event brings together experts in the development and use of X-ray microscopes, addressing the most recent advances in X-Ray microscopy and related techniques, exploring its applications through a stimulating program of talks and posters.
This year’s XRM was hosted by Diamond, and the programme, venue and scientists themselves did not disappoint.
Topics ranged from examining historic works of art with X-rays, to surveying the electronic bandstructure of smart materials, to studying the internal structure of ancient dinosaur teeth. And attendees included preeminent scientists in the field, such as Professors Janos Kirz and Günther Schmahl.


The event also saw the presentation of the Werner Meyer-Ilse Memorial Award , which is given to young scientists for exceptional contributions to the advancement of X-ray microscopy, to Junjing Deng (Northwestern University, USA) for his talk: “Simultaneous fly-scan Ptychography and XRF on frozen hydrated samples” and to Kagias, Matias (ETH Zurich / PSI, Switzerland) for his talk: “Oni-directional scattering contrast with novel optics”.

Early career researchers with posters on display were given the opportunity to present a brief overview of their research in a series of two-minute Flash Talks. Poster prizes were awarded to Simone Sala, University College London, Ottó Márkus, KIT/IMT, and Burcu Kepsutla, Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin. Whilst the honour of hosting XRM 2020 was conferred after a vote upon Taiwan.

Delegates also enjoyed the unique opportunity to explore the Diamond synchrotron through a series of guided tours. Whilst the City of Dreaming Spires provided a quintessentially British experience, including sensational architecture, a rich history, Harry Potter and CS Lewis, and even punting on the river Thames.
Prof Janos Kirz, from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, shared why he feels XRM 2016 was such a rewarding event:  “It was a fantastic conference. Progress in X-ray microscopy is rapid and affects every facet of the field. Applications in the life sciences, in the energy area, in cultural heritage, etc. are now attracting new communities and will further broaden the impact.”
Christoph Rau was one of Diamond’s XRM project chairs. He said: “I’m pleased to say that XRM was very successful. I’ve received a great deal of positive feedback for our efforts. I’d like to also thank the XRM community for their contribution, in some cases sponsorship, and for bringing so much fantastic science to the conference. The community is special because it is a phenomenally supportive group. I look forward to seeing everyone again in 2018.”
The next meeting, XRM 2018, will be held in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, in the heart of the Canadian prairies. To find out more, click here. In the meantime, a big thank you from Diamond to everyone who made this event such a great success.
Here’s to the illustrious past and bright future of X-ray microscopy.