Our year at BEATS 2020

22 Dec 2020

As 2020 draws to an end and we all hope for a healthier, safer and less socially distanced 2021, we look back at the events and progress that marked BEATS in 2020.


The year began with a new and crucial addition to the BEATS team when we welcomed Gianluca Iori, beamline scientist.

End January, members of the team met at Autrans, in the mountains surrounding Grenoble, France, to concentrate on drafting the Technical Design Report (TDR) and compiling the science case.


We congratulated Andrea Lausi, Head of WP 6 and member of the Steering Committee, when he was nominated as Scientific Director of SESAME.



On 28-29 February, the team met at ALBA in Barcelona for the 1st annual meeting of BEATS.



The world reels under the threat, and reality, of a global pandemic. The BEATS team is confined and members work together (even more) remotely (than usual).

BEATS WP4 (beamline TDR, instrumentation procurement) formed the core-team to work on the technical beamline design wich produced the TDR and detailed CFT specifications in 2020.


The BEATS project continues to progress on track with
the original schedule. All meetings are held remotely, mostly from home.




The doors may be closed, but science continues.

Despite the COVID restrictions, WP4 maintains a high level of activity and continues to make progress on the TDR.



We had a new addition to the team in the person of
Fortune Mokoena, who is completing a master’s in mechanical engineering under the joint supervision of
the ESRF and the University of Johannesburg. Fortune started his course remotely, only able to travel to France after the first wave of the pandemic.


The first Call for Tender for the BEATS project was launched, marking a huge step towards the construction of the tomography beamline. This first call sought offers for the design, testing, packing, delivery and warranty of a 3-pole wiggler.


BEATS undergoes its first technical review by the European Commission and receives valuable feedback in the process.

SESAME re-opens after the spring confinement.


Key players in the BEATS project are invited to talk at the 45th International Nathiagili Summer College in Pakistan on “Building the User Community for BEATS”.


Gianluca Iori, our beamline scientist, is at Elettra Sincrotrone  in Trieste, Italy, for three weeks to gain experience in beamline construction and management.


Taking into account feedback from the technical review in June, 8 deliverables are submitted to EU: the Science Case, list of beamline supplier, 3-pole wiggler lattice comparison, design of the photon source, Front-End thermal analysis, Magnet and Front-End specifications for Calls for Tender, specifications for lead shielding of radio-protection hutches.


After almost one year in the making, WP4 submits the TDR
to the European Commission!

Gianluca Iori continues his training in beamline construction, operation and management. This time he’s at the ESRF, the European Synchrotron in Grenoble, France.


The European Commission approved the TDR for BEATS,
stating “The quality of the report is excellent, the report reflects perfectly the collaborative effort work and it could be a reference for future projects of micro-tomography beamlines.”

A User Community Building (UCB) event for Pakistan was organised remotely and hosted by The Cyprus Institute. The two-days event included discussions on the science applications, prior laboratory analyses, sample preparation and mounting, how to write a proposal with a panel of experts from the BEATS consortium.



We launched the first part in our webseries #WorkingTogether, introducing you to some of the great talents behind the BEATS project. This first chapter focused on the men and women from the consortium member institutes. In 2021, we will continue the series with the people behind BEATS based at SESAME.
Check out the portraits in the News section.

Gianluca Iori starts a crucial stage in his beamline training, on the TOMCAT beamline at PSI’s Swiss Light Source.  The photon source and the properties of the BEATS beamline, as well as its performance, will be comparable to those of TOMCAT. Read the article.


The procurement process begins with a Call for Tender for the supply of Front-Ends. This is quickly followed by a second CFT, this time for the supply of lead safety hutches and lead shielding.




A live webinar for the User Community Building for Qatar was hosted and broadcast from The Cyprus Institute. Replays of talks here.


Our webseries #WorkingTogether comes to the end of part I. Thank you to: Harry Chrysostomou, Axel Kaprolat, Mirjam Van Daalen, Michael Krisch, Juan Reyes Herrera, Giorgio Paolucci, Ivan Cudin, Alexander Rack, Pierre Van Vaerenbergh and Adriana Wawrzyniak for their participation. See all the portraits on our  News page.

The TDR was successfully presented to SESAME’s Scientific Advisory Committee.


A big “thank you” to all our twitter followers – in 2020, we doubled the size of our twitter community!