Leading scientists appointed for PETRA III and FLASH

Users meeting

Wilfried Wurth (left) and Christian Schroer (right) at the DESY Photon Science Users´ Meeting.

Christian Schroer and Wilfried Wurth have joined the DESY team as new leading scientists. Christian Schroer assumes the leadership of the scientific programme of DESY’s synchrotron radiation source PETRA III, Wilfried Wurth becomes scientific head of the free-electron laser FLASH. Both scientists have been working as users at DESY’s light sources for a long time, and made important contributions in the field of instrumentation. “With Christian Schroer and Wilfried Wurth, we were able to win two highly competent synchrotron radiation research experts for DESY,” said DESY research director Edgar Weckert. “They will make our two light sources PETRA III and FLASH more attractive for the international user community and definitely strengthen our internal research programme.”

Before joining DESY, Christian Schroer was professor at Technische Universität Dresden. After a joint appointment procedure of the University of Hamburg and DESY, he now assumes a professorship in Hamburg. After starting his career in theoretical physics and obtaining his doctoral degree, he specialised in X-ray nano research and development of X-ray optics. Before his professorship at TU Dresden, he worked at DESY from 2004 to 2006. As new scientific head of PETRA III, Schroer will closely cooperate with Oliver Seeck, who recently took over the coordination of the experimental stations. “PETRA III is already one of the best synchrotron radiation sources in the world, but it still offers a lot of potential for a brilliant future,” said Schroer. “In cooperation with our PETRA III scientists and with the impending setup of new beamlines in two additional experimental halls, we will be able to expand our scientific programme and considerably increase our portfolio of experimental techniques. This means we can also provide outstanding beam conditions again to users who after the shutdown of DORIS III did not find adequate experimental possibilities at DESY.”

Wilfried Wurth has been professor at the University of Hamburg since 2000 and has now been appointed leading scientist at DESY as well. He focusses on X-ray spectroscopy, in particular for the investigation of ultrafast processes like the real-time observation of chemical reactions at surfaces and the dynamics of electrons in solids and at interfaces. For a long time Wurth has been one of the most prominent researchers at FLASH and, from 2007 to 2013, he was also spokesperson of the BMBF priority programme FLASH. This first priority programme in the field of condensed matter was created to bundle research at the free-electron laser within the framework of collaborative project funding. “Since the very beginning of operation, FLASH has been the pioneering free-electron laser facility in the X-ray range,” said Wurth. “I want to do my bit to make sure that FLASH will continue to be one of the world’s leading facilities for research at free-electron lasers.”

Both research light sources, PETRA III and FLASH, are currently going through an important phase of expansion. Parallel to current research activities, FLASH is presently being equipped with a second undulator line generating laser light and a second experimental hall providing room for up to seven additional experimental stations. The first laser light of the second undulator line is expected for September this year.

The synchrotron radiation source PETRA III is currently shut down for a longer period. Two additional experimental halls are under construction, each offering space for up to five beamlines. The PETRA III accelerator and the 14 already existing beamlines will start user operation in March 2015. In parallel, the beamlines in the new halls will gradually be installed.

(from DESY news)