X AUSE Conference and V ALBA User’s Meeting
The X AUSE Conference and V ALBA User’s Meeting was held in Barcelona from 5 to 8 September 2022. More than 140 participants meet in-person to discuss Synchrotron and also for the first time X-ray Free Electron Laser science. During four days, they shared the latest results obtained in many different scientific fields and discussed about the future of the Synchrotron and XFEL facilities.
Cerdanyola del Vallès (Barcelona), 21st September 2022. It was with great excitement that the Spanish and ALBA’s user community of Synchrotrons and XFELs met again at the ALBA Synchrotron (Cerdanyola del Vallès, Barcelona). This was the first in-person meeting after the pandemic, gathering more than 140 delegates mostly from Spain. The many advances which happened since the last meeting held in 2019 filled-up the scientific program and were the subject of lively and stimulating discussions during the event.
The conference was open by Gloria Subías, president of AUSE, and by Caterina Biscari, director of the ALBA Synchrotron. Both underlined the exciting moment where many facilities, including ALBA, are implementing or planning upgrades.
The event offered a multidisciplinary scientific programme which was split in three main sessions, respectively organized by AUSE, the Spain XFEL Hub and ALBA, all enriched by the participation of outstanding keynote speakers from Spanish and international institutions.
The AUSE session included topics like the development of new materials for energy applications and for facing current environmental problems, the use of synchrotron light for advancing in the area of life sciences or the study of electronic and magnetic properties of advanced materials. First results of the ESRF-EBS (Grenoble, France), which are opening new frontiers, were shown, as well as the status and future plans of the BM25-SPLine, the Spanish CRG beamline at the ESRF-EBS.
The half-day session organised by the Spain XFEL Hub, for the first time in this user meeting series, was meant to outreach in the Spanish user community the opportunities of the XFELs. It saw examples of breakthroughs and highlights of the complementarity with synchrotron light techniques in a broad range of applications ranging from chemistry to physics, and life sciences.
ALBA day was showing the many advancements which have taken place during the last three years, including the new operating beamlines and those in construction and the creation of JEMCA (Joint Electron Microscope Center at ALBA) with partner institutions. Three parallel sessions matching the scientific sections of ALBA (life sciences, materials science and catalysis, and electronic and magnetic structure of matter) gave a hint of scientific results and plans for the future with contributions from ALBA users and ALBA scientific staff.
Finally, a session was dedicated to the future of ALBA: the status and plans of ALBA II, the upgrade that will transform the facility into a 4th generation synchrotron light source, were presented to the community. The upgrade includes the construction of new beamlines with long paths. The call for proposals for instruments to be hosted in the long beamlines was announced.
Sandra Ruiz (Univ. Complutense de Madrid) and Carlos Morales (Univ. Autónoma de Madrid) were awarded to the best AUSE PhD thesis 2019-2021. Three poster contributions were also recognised during the event: María del Carmen Elizabeth de Lama (UPC) by AUSE, Estela Herguedas (Universidad de Oviedo) by ALBA and Juan Carlos Martínez (ALBA) by Lightsources.org who evaluated the best science communication poster.