9th SESAME Users' Meeting and SESAME-JSPS School Summary

12 - 16 November 2011
Amman, Jordan
Hafeez Hoorani, SESAME Scientific Director

SESAME (Synchrotron Light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East, www.sesame.org.jo) is being built in Jordan under the umbrella of UNESCO as an international synchrotron radiation source. Scientists from the SESAME members (Bahrain, Cyprus, Egypt, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Pakistan, the Palestinian Authority, and Turkey), and from observer countries as well as from the worldwide synchrotron community have been meeting annually since 2002 with the aim of presenting their work in the field, discussing the latest developments in the project, and forging new scientific plans and ties within the SESAME users' community.

thumb DSCN1619 The 9th SESAME Users' Meeting was held 12th -14th November, 2011 followed by the 4th SESAME – JSPS school from November 14 to 16 jointly organized by SESAME and the Japan Society for Promotion of Science (JSPS) at the Days Inn Hotel & Suites in Amman, Jordan. The meeting reflected the broad spectrum of synchrotron-based research interests of the SESAME users' community and brought together scientists from the region and world experts in the various fields relevant to SESAME phase-I beamlines. The meeting provided a platform for information exchange and discussions of ongoing collaborative efforts within the community, as well as opportunities to develop new collaborative research projects.

Total of 9 plenary talks were given during the first day of the Users' meeting covering subjects such as cultural heritage, biomedical applications, X-ray absorption and fluorescence, analysis of heavy metal, mineral and plants, study of large macro-molecules, photoelectron emission spectroscopy as well as spintronics. The science and machine directors presented the status reports of beamlines and machines respectively. Three user talks were presented in the plenary session whereas during the four dedicated workshops, which ran in parallel many users' talks were presented. Four parallel workshops were dedicated to the four day-one beamlines of SESAME namely: PX, IR, XAFS/XRF and PD. More than 30 posters were presented and a jury comprising of international scientists selected one poster as the best poster. The scientific program of the meeting covered topics in diverse fields such as:

  • Atomic, molecular, and chemical physics.
  • Biology, drug design, and medical applications.
  • Materials science and nanotechnology.
  • Archaeology and cultural heritage.
  • SESAME machine and phase I beamlines development.

On the second day of the meeting 90 minutes were dedicated to the LinkSCEEM project, which is a EU, funded project and SESAME is a partner institute. This session covered the area of high-performance computing and the networking issues between various SESAME members. A SESAME site tour took place on the morning of third day of the meeting. The tour was very much appreciated by the participants as they could see the SESAME site with finished shielding walls for the microtron. Booster and the storage ring. Participants were able to view the booster components that are ready for the commissioning along with the power supplies that are recently received from Brucker.

The 9th SESAME Users' meeting had 130 registered participants 50 of them were from Jordan. The other participants were citizens of countries including Egypt, France, Iran, Israel, Japan, Pakistan, Palestinian Authority, Turkey, Algeria, Morocco, and Iraq. The meeting was generously sponsored by UNESCO, IAEA, ICTP, SESAME Jordanian National Committee (SJNC), Al-Balqa Applied Uiversity, Jordan Atomic Energy Commission (JAEC), and Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS). Four invited speakers were fully supported by IAEA while a fifth invited speaker was fully supported by JSPS. Hotel and meal expenses were covered for participants partially from funds provided by the sponsors while many participants who came from outside Jordan also received travel grants which were covered by the funds provided by the American Physical Society, European Physical Society, Institute of Physics, German Physical Society, American Chemical Society and IUPAP.

SESAME – JSPS School was organized from November 14 to 16, 2011 and 50 participants took part in the school. The format of the school was lectures followed by discussions, hands-on practice sessions, and user presentations. During the school various techniques used in SR research were discussed in detail. The techniques covered during the school included topics such as: XAFS, SAXS, Protein Crystallography, Powder Diffraction, Imaging, Infrared Imaging techniques, Time resolved experiments and the study of electronic structure. Five parallel practice sessions were organized using computer aided SR data analysis programs. This included: Powder Diffraction, Protein Crystallography, Electronic Structure, X-ray Fluorescence and X-ray Absorption (See School Program). The school was well attended and the response of the participants towards the school was very good which is actually shown well in the attached survey result.

Please see the photo gallery of the 9th SESAME Users' Meeting and SESAME-JSPS School