International Symposium held at the Cockcroft Institute
To celebrate the achievements of the DITANET project and the QUASAR Group a symposium was held at the Cockcroft Institute on May 16th. More than 70 students, researchers and policy makers from universities, research centres and industry from all across Europe took part in this interesting event.
They were given an insight into present and future challenges in antimatter research, beam diagnostics R&D, as well as researcher training - areas on which the group's work had focused during the past four years - through a number of keynote talks and poster presentations.
The event started at 12:30 with a poster reception before Prof. Carsten P. Welsch, Associate Director at the Cockcroft Institute and founder of DITANET and the QUASAR Group, gave an overview of the main project outcomes and showed how the future FLAIR facility will be able to provide unprecedented beam qualities. His talk was followed by Prof. Swapan Chattophadyay, Director of the Cockcroft Institute, who presented accelerators as a key driver for cutting edge research in his presentation "Particle Accelerators - Beaming into Matter and Life".
Prof. Walter Ölert from FZ Jülich is one of the key scientists in low energy antimatter research. Amongst others, he was in charge of the PS210 experiment that produced 11 antihydrogen atoms back in 1996. It was not least this experiment that led to the foundation of a whole research area. In his talk, he gave an overview of almost 20 years of fascinating research at CERN and also an outlook on what exciting opportunities will come up with the new ELENA storage ring. Another future experiment at CERN was then presented by PD Dr. Alban Kellerbauer from the MPI for Nuclear Physics, Heidelberg. The ERC grantee explained the aims of the AEgIS project and the challenges in determining the effects of gravity on matter and antimatter systems.The development of beyond state-of-the-art beam instrumentation was one of the main aims of DITANET and Dr. Rhodri Jones, leader of the beam instrumentation group at CERN, gave an outlook on the needs of future accelerator projects. His talk underlined that international collaboration and continuous training of researchers was of crucial importance for tackling the many existing challenges. The importance of technology transfer was then address by Rok Ursic, founder and CEO of Instrumentation Technology, Slovenia. He gave all attendees an idea of what made his company an international success story and strongly encouraged a close dialogues between the industry and academic sectors.
The last part of the symposium was dedicated to researcher training. Dr. Janet De Wilde, head of STEM at the Higher Education Academy, gave an overview of postgraduate training in the UK and Europe, before Victoria Llobet from KoWi, Germany talked about present EU funding opportunities for researchers at all career stages. These presentations triggered many interesting discussions amongst the participants about researcher careers.
The event closed with an outlook on two new initiatives that will directly build up on the DITANET research and training plans: LA³NET and oPAC. Both will be coordinated by the QUASAR Group from the Cockcroft Institute/University of Liverpool and will involve many, if not all, DITANET project partners.