To cement its position as a world-leading research facility, Diamond Light Source recently revealed plans for a large upgrade called Diamond-II and that is set to strengthen the UK’s global scientific leadership. This will be a transformational upgrade that will enable a huge expansion of UK science capabilities as it involves a coordinated programme of development combining state-of-the-art technology in a new machine, five new flagship beamlines and a comprehensive series of upgrades to its Instruments.
To lead this programme, Diamond has appointed Rob Walden, a Chartered Engineer with over 20 years’ experience in delivering business and process improvement programmes in the aerospace manufacturing engineering industry. This was followed by several years as a senior projects advisor in central government where he was involved in, and delivered, nationwide policy projects as well as helping to develop the programme delivery framework for government. Rob was also part of the Cabinet Office’s Gateway Assurance review team and conducted a number of forensic assurance delivery reviews for programmes of national interest. Additionally, he helped to set up the national programme office structure for Highways England and ran two busy Project Management Offices.
Rob joined Diamond Light Source from Sellafield Ltd where he focused on raising the standards of the programme delivery framework, which included the appointment and development of the SRO (Senior Responsible Officer) function for major projects of national interest. Rob comments:
For over 15 years Diamond has been a leading centre for synchrotron science on the world stage, supporting UK business and academia to undertake cutting-edge research in a diverse set of areas and sectors. I am delighted to join a team of such esteemed colleagues as we move into the next chapter in Diamond’s life, the detailed planning of the delivery of Diamond-II to secure long-term funding, pushing the boundaries of scientific research even further and keeping the UK at the forefront of scientific research.
The Diamond-II programme is to transform Diamond and has six principal strategic objectives:
Prof. Andrew Harrison, CEO of Diamond says that Diamond’s success owes a great debt of gratitude to the trust and commitment of its funding agencies the UK Research and Innovation’s STFC (Science Technology and Facilities Council) and the Wellcome Trust who have provided ongoing support, are fully behind Diamond-II and have enabled its preliminary funding.
This year marks 15 years of Diamond Light Source delivering science and innovation to the worldwide science community and 20 years since it was set up in 2002. Prof. Harrison, adds:
We are entering a new era of opportunity with the advent of fourth generation synchrotrons. So, we are delighted that Rob will be leading what will be a massive transformation in our capabilities. Progress in accelerator technology means Diamond-II will offer the scientific community in academia and industry the opportunity to exploit much brighter beams and an increased coherence over a large energy range on all our beamlines and additional beamlines. It will help inspire the next generation of STEM professionals and create new opportunities for researchers in universities, research institutes and industry, ultimately having a lasting impact on our society and the economy.
To match the extraordinary gains offered by the Diamond-II machine there will be a major renewal and upgrade of existing beamline technologies to meet the new scientific demands. Diamond-II will see enhancements in beam quality and beam stability through new X-ray optics and instrumentation, state-of-the-art sample delivery, and manipulation through the development of optimised sample environments and scientific software solutions that meet the beamline demands for the acquisition, visualisation and analysis of data.
The huge gains in throughput for many experiments will necessitate a transformation in Diamond’s ability to gather, manage and analyse the vast data volumes and data rates that will be generated.
The proposed Diamond-II new machine lattice will be based on Double Triple Bend Achromats (DTBAs). This means an increased brightness and coherence of a factor of up to 70 and provides mid-section straights to retain and enhance all beamlines on bending magnets while offering additional sources for five flagship beamlines. This design increases the electron beam energy from 3.0 to 3.5 GeV providing greatly increased photon flux at higher energies.
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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