Uni now home to world leading accelerator science facilities

Medium Energy Ion Scattering Accelerator MEIS The Medium Energy Ion Scattering Accelerator, known as MEIS, that was once located at the Science and Technology Council’s Daresbury Laboratories, has been relocated, rebuilt and rebooted at the labs of the University’s International Institute of Accelerator Applications (IIAA).

Thu, 05 Mar 2015 15:51:00 GMT

“...the MEIS accelerator is one of only ten of its type worldwide and regarded as uniquely accessible to potential users...” 

Professor Roger Barlow and the Duke of York Director of the IIAA Professor Roger Barlow explains the science behind the MEIS accelerator to the University’s Patron, HRH The Duke of York. 

THE University of Huddersfield is now home to one of the world’s leading research facilities in the field of accelerator science. 

The Medium Energy Ion Scattering Accelerator, known as MEIS, that was once located at the Science and Technology Council’s Daresbury Laboratories, has been relocated, rebuilt and rebooted at the labs of the University’s International Institute of Accelerator Applications (IIAA)

Reinstalling MEIS was a lengthy process that presented many challenges, but the 200 keV ion accelerator – which will be invaluable to many academic and industrial users seeking detailed nano-level knowledge of the structure of materials – is now fully operational.  It received its official launch at the Fourth Annual Symposium on Accelerator Applications, a day-long sequence of scientific papers and presentations taking place at the IIAA.  

The switch-on ceremony was introduced by IIAA Director Professor Roger Barlow and presided over by the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Huddersfield, Professor Bob Cryan, and Professor Susan Smith, who is Head of the Daresbury Laboratory. 

Professor Barlow told the audience that the IIAA was now collaborating with nine of the world’s top ten-ranked universities and he outlined some of the major projects that were taking shape. 

Fully operational accelerator 

In this video are the speeches from the opening of MEIS from Professor Roger Barlow and Professor Susan Smith.

MEIS was offered to the IIAA when the STFC’s funding for the facility expired in 2010.  It had been operational in Daresbury since 1996.  Professor Smith recalled her sadness at the closure of the accelerator, but said it was “just fantastic” to come and see the facility in its new home at Huddersfield.  She had been glad to provide not only the equipment, but also some of the technical expertise required to reinstall MEIS. 

Professor Cryan thanked Professor Smith for her generosity and hailed the success of the IIAA and its global collaborations. 

“We are very proud to be home to the International Institute of Accelerator Applications and we are very proud that it now has its own fully operational accelerator,” he said. 

“Not only is it a fully-functioning medium energy ion scattering facility, equipped with a new and optimal 200 keV ion accelerator – which is rare enough – but is also fully accessible to a wide range of users.  It is of great benefit to the scientific community and the private sector,” said Professor Cryan. 

“The restored accelerator now has a gleaming future as well as a proud past,” he added. 

Fourth Annual Symposium on Accelerator Applications 

Professor Van Den Berg ‌The official opening of MEIS, in a specially rebuilt and adapted suite of labs, was the centrepiece of a day of events at the Fourth Annual Symposium on Accelerator Applications.  One of the speakers was the IIAA’s Professor Jaap van den Berg, who played a central role in moving and reinstalling MEIS. 

He described the various phases of the project, beginning in 2011, and told which components at Daresbury could be reused and which had to be disposed of and replaced.  For example, the original high voltage source platform for the accelerator was too large to bring to Huddersfield and so a new one was constructed at the IIAA’s labs. 

In May, 2012, a total of 100 crates required eight 3.5 tonne van loads and two 18 tonne lorry loads to bring the components of MEIS from Daresbury to Huddersfield.  As the accelerator was painstakingly rebuilt, many hurdles had to be overcome, but the facility is now fully operational, said Professor van den Berg. 

MEIS is now included on the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council’s official facility list and has already been used for scientific and commercial research projects.  The relocation of MEIS was carried out at a cost of £75,000 and the accelerator is one of only ten of its type worldwide and regarded as uniquely accessible to potential users. 

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