Young Scientist of the Year unveiled at ESRF Users' Meeting


The European Synchrotron, the ESRF, has announced its 2015 Young Scientist of the Year award at the 25th annual ESRF Users' Meeting this week. (9-11 February 2015). Beatrice Ruta, a Beamline Scientist at the ESRF, was given the accolade for her published works on the study of atomic dynamics in glasses which show that the atoms inside a glass can in fact rearrange – while previously it had been assumed that they were always stable.

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Understanding the behaviour of atoms in glasses is an ongoing pursuit for scientists. Building up a general picture of how particles in a material behave is the key to understanding how properties can be manipulated to create improved or new materials.

For example, smartphones feature metallic glasses, the material that has been the subject of Beatrice’s work, and without a thorough understanding of what is at play inside the system, improvements cannot be made to everyday products. Each new discovery in materials science plays its part in this process.

Beatrice has been working in the field of glass research for ten years. The 34 year old has been at the ESRF since 2006. She said: “If you can explain glass, you can also then apply the principles to the study of other complex materials. The technique we used at ID10, ‘X-ray photon correlation spectroscopy’, made the observations in my works achievable.  After such a lot of hard work in this area, being named Young Scientist of the year represents an important acknowledgment for the whole team”.

The award was presented during the second day of the Users Meeting, by Professor John Evans from the University of Southampton and Diamond Light Source in the UK.

More than 300 people attended the event this year which is organised to promote information exchange by building interaction between users, beamline staff and facility directors.

The three day meeting featured a plenary session opened by Dr. Paola Coan, the Chairperson of the User Organisation Committee. The session featured three Keynote Lectures from Dr. Hyotcherl Ihee (KAIST, South Korea), Professor Tim Salditt (University of Gottingen, Germany) and Dr. Catherine McCammon (Bayreuth University, Germany).

There was a progress report on Phase II of the ESRF Upgrade as well as a Directors report which included clips of the 10 new upgrade beamlines from Phase I which are currently back in user operation. Finally, several poster clip sessions allowed users to present their work in 2-3 minutes each, prior to the poster session.

The Best Poster Award was won by Anastasios Pateras from the Institut Fresnel in Marseille, France, for his poster ‘Coherent X-ray 3D Bragg ptychography on a III-V compound semiconductor thin film’.



Top image: Beatrice Ruta, Beamline Scientist at the ESRF and winner of the 2015 Young Scientist of the Year award