On 12 & 13 March 2019, 40 participants from the nine partner institutes met at SESAME synchrotron for the official kick-off meeting and first face-to-face since the launch of the project in January.
Only three months into the project, all work packages presented their work and progress so far, prompting fruitful exchanges on the design options, source requirements and user communities.
Giorgio Paolucci, SESAME Scientific Director, presented the current status of SESAME and the strong increase in user demand for the Infra-red and XAFS beamlines in their second year of operation. SESAME received 103 proposals in the autumn call for proposals, and allocated beamtime to 57 experiments for the first half of 2019.
The BEATS steering committee nominated Mirjam van Daalen, Chief of Staff Photon Science at the Paul Scherrer Institute, Villigen, Switzerland, as Chairperson of the committee, with Kirsi Lorentz, Assistant Professor at The Cyprus Institute and bioarchaeologist, named as Vice-Chairperson for the duration of the project.
Michael Krisch, Head of the ESRF Instrumentation and Detector Development Division resumed the morning session: “Given the huge progress made so far in all the aspects of the project, the only issue is a very successful completion of this beamline. It’s a very exciting time for all the members involved in this project and the enthusiasm here in SESAME is palpable. We are extremely confident in the team and all the skills being mobilised to create this tomography beamline for the Middle East.”
The participants, from Jordan, Cyprus, Spain, Germany, Italy, Poland and France, held lively and friendly discussions and debates over the two-day meeting, creating strong working bonds for the four years to come.