Diamond Concise Annual Review 2019/20

4 5 A key challenge for Diamond for the year to come will be to adapt our user operations under the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, as well as the way in which we deliver some technical projects, to a world in which frequent travel and work in teams of people who are physically close will be limited. Diamond must adopt new working methods and new ways to support its users on beamlines that have traditionally not been used to remote access. 2020 will be a year like no other, where resilience and perseverance from our staff will help us shape the future. Prof Andrew Harrison CEO Diamond Light Source accepted either from external applications or through internal develop- ment programmes that involve staff taking diplomas or degrees; we are also increasingly exploring more internal development of scientific staff to fill some senior positions, and accelerated graduate training schemes for IT staff, all of which are showing new shoots of growth. In the last financial year, we received 2,138 proposals for experiments on our instruments via peer reviewed access routes, requesting a total of 26,543 shifts. After peer review, 1,232 proposals were awarded beamtime. This resulted in 13,462 experimental shifts being awarded across 32 beamlines and nine electron microscopes. We welcomed 6,454 onsite user visits from academia across all instruments, with an additional 5,851 remote user visits. The machine continues to perform to the highest standard with 98.1% uptime and 104.7 hours mean time between failures (MTBF). Diamond also provides services critical to industry in the UK, with over 170 companies paying for proprietorial access in fields ranging from high-value materials for aerospace and the automotive industry, to drugs to treat infectious disease and depression. The past year has seen record income from such sources, boosted in particular by an expansion of Cryo-EM services, in partnership with Thermo Fisher, and the XChem fragment screening facility which aids drug discovery. The lifeblood of Diamond is the staffwe employ, the students we train and the users we attract. CEOWelcome M arch 2020 saw the outbreak of Coronavirus sweeping through Europe leading to a transformation of our workplaces, economies and societies. Diamondwas tested to its limits and it responded extremely well to these very different challenges, and in amanner that exemplified the organisation’s strength in depth and resilience. After delivering the Science Case for Diamond-II back in November 2018, a conceptual design report (CDR) was produced in April 2019, to provide the first design of what the new synchrotron machine would look like. In the same month, the CDR was peer-reviewed by a team of machine experts from across the Globe, receiving highly positive feedback, particularly commenting on the efficient design with regard to the number of insertion devices – photon sources points - for a ring of its size. This set us in good stead for review by the Science Advisory Committee (SAC) and the Diamond Board in the first quarter of the financial year. After these achievements, it was clear that the Science andTechnology Facilities Council (STFC) - with UK Research & Innovation (UKRI) reshuffle well underway - required adjustment of their processes. They designed a new Critical Design Review gateway process, the first of which was CD-1 where they would review our planning and proposed management of the programmes underpinning Diamond- II. This was set up to assess the readiness of programmes to progress for further consideration by UKRI and ultimately BEIS and the Treasury. Diamond are also engaging fruitfully with the Wellcome Trust to develop a case for complementary funding for Diamond-II. Dr Laurent Chapon was appointed Director of the Diamond-II Programme and established a set of interlinking committees to guide the development of the machine and beamline elements of the Programme, underpinned by a Science Strategy Committee and overseen by a Programme Board. Amodel of management that will be taken forward into the next phase – the Technical Design Report. The Diamond-II upgrade programme is centred on the transformation of the storage ring through a new technology that offers up to 100 times increase in brightness and coherence at the highest energies. Diamond has developed its own unique design for the storage ring that offers transformational improvements in capacity and, potentially serving many more users through additional, flagship beamlines, while also offering step-changes in Diamond’s ability to support operando experiments, probing processes and operating devices directly, accelerating the speed of materials and drug discovery, and opening up spectroscopy to detect much heavier elements, many of which are involved in nuclear waste storage and remediation processes. The CD-1 report was delivered in early April 2020. At the end of the financial year, Diamond had to prepare transformational changes in anticipation of the impact of COVID-19 on its operations. A dedicated response team rapidly identified the key issues in ensuring the safety and wellbeing of staff, planning for almost all of them to switch to home working while still operating the facility in a much reduced capacity specifically for COVID-19 related research. Having designed a unique offer to the structural biology community, it became clear that our facilities were to play a key role in helping advance knowledge on the virus. From high resolution structural information on the key components of the virus, like the proteases from both synchrotron and CryoEM techniques, to the work of the XChem fragment screening facility which started identifying small molecules that could provide some of the building blocks for drugs to inhibit the virus’ infection cycle. Such work has attracted strong interest from the press and a dedicated website set up by Diamond to inform the public about the structural biology involved and Diamond’s contribution had received well over 1 million visits by April 2020. With a large, and growing userbase we have seen a rapidly swelling number of peer-reviewed journal articles, reaching a total of 9,000 in March 2020. It is a time to pause and reflect on the achievements made by our funding agencies STFC and the Wellcome Trust, whose respective commitment have been rewarded with brilliant science as the output of Diamond surpasses the previous UK synchrotron, the Synchrotron Radiation Source at Daresbury, which achieved 5,000 peer-review publications throughout its lifetime 1981-2008 with a total of 30 beamlines. To date,Diamondhas32operationalbeamlines,and in lessthan15years,hasachieved 9,000 publications. However, Diamond’s output is not just characterised by volume: the facility h-index 1 currently stands at 150, and a recent analysis showed that 25% of publications are found in journals with an impact factor of nine and above. The recent completion of the Phase III instrument programme has added 10 beamlines, which ensures that the investment in Diamond fully maximises return on the initial capital investment. Diamond’s 9,000th paper was reached with work led by researchers from Aalto University in Finland through measurements on the high throughput Small Angle X-ray Scattering (SAXS) beamline (B21). The research presented new insights into colloidal materials that had been developed to store heat reversibly through a physical transformation in their structure, providing an efficient method to store energy when it is freely available – for example from the sun on a bright day – and release it when required. Diamond continued to highlight the fascinating research achieved throughout the year. One example, high resolution imaging obtained on the Joint Engineering, Environmental and Processing (JEEP) beamline (I12), is helping scientists from the University of Kentucky to develop an image-enhancing computational technique. This aims to develop a method to distinguish carbon-based ink from carbonised papyri of 2,000 year old scrolls from the Herculaneum collection held by the Institut de France. The prospect of being able to read the writing hidden inside these exceptionally precious and fragile artefacts gripped the public’s imagination, with over 700 pieces of news coverage being generated globally to date. The lifeblood of Diamond is the staff we employ, the students we train and the users we attract. Diamond is finding it increasingly difficult to recruit into some positions, particularly senior scientists, who have stopped applying for posts at Diamond from the rest of Europe – formerly our most fertile recruiting ground for recruitment, with compelling evidence that BREXIT is a major factor. Recruitment into IT posts is also proving difficult. In both cases we are exploring new approaches, including through the recently- established Diamond Apprenticeship Scheme, whereby a total of 19 people have begun an apprenticeship with us in the past 3 years. Apprentices are 1 The h -index is defined as the maximum value of h such that the given author/journal has published h papers that have each been cited at least h times.To calculate the facility h -index for Diamond we have used all articles published by our scientists and user community. D I A M O N D L I G H T S O U R C E A N N U A L R E V I E W 2 0 1 9 / 2 0 D I A M O N D L I G H T S O U R C E A N N U A L R E V I E W 2 0 1 9 / 2 0