“FASEM was a very successful doctoral school. LINXS really works as a venue for these types of intensive and collaborative activities.”
In May, LINXS hosted the French and Swedish Doctoral School on Energy Materials (“FASEM”) in collaboration with the French Embassy in Sweden.
– In view of the long history of neutron and x-ray research in France, and the agreement between Sweden and France to encourage greater research collaboration, it was a great fit for us to host the doctoral school here at LINXS, says Stephen Hall, Director of LINXS.
The school gathered around 30 PhD students, primarily from France and Sweden. The focus was on the application of neutron and x-ray techniques to study energy materials and covered topics from the basics of the techniques to advanced topics and application examples in different areas of energy materials research.
– The choice of topic is highly relevant since there is great a push for greener, cleaner energy with better storage possibilities. There is also a very strong research base for this both here, in Sweden, and in France.
As part of the school, students had to work together on an application for beam time at a neutron or x-ray facility. Each group involved students from both France and Sweden to encourage interactions and the benefit of different backgrounds and experiences. The scientific aim of the exercise was to develop competence in writing scientific research applications in collaboration with researchers from different institutions and scientific areas. The pedagogic aim was to build networks and to apply what they had learned during the week.
– I was pleasantly surprised of how well the people interacted. The whole week was lively, with lots of discussions going on. For example, I gave a talk for about half an hour, and 45 minutes after it ended I was still answering questions!
The ambition is to host more collaborative doctoral schools at LINXS in the future. The LINXS space is very suitable since it allows for concentrated discussions, on site catering, and space to break out for discussions and group work in different rooms.
– These types of initiatives are important for LINXS, both in terms of encouraging new and emerging researchers, and to build user communities, but also to help strengthen the links between institutes, such as the ILL, in France, and ESS here in Lund, concludes Stephen Hall.