24 February 2010

Robert Feidenhans’l receives top post in European research centre

Robert Feidenhans’l, professor in nanophysics at the Niels Bohr Institute has been appointed to the prestigious post of Chairman of Council for the large new European research centre, XFEL in Hamburg.

The European X-Ray Laser Project, European XFEL, which is currently under construction, will, starting in 2014, generate extremely intense X-ray radiation, which is a billion times stronger than the best traditional X-ray sources found today. The X-ray radiation will be a super tool, which will provide unprecedented opportunities for research in materials and proteins and to perform advanced experiments with the structure and dynamics of individual particles.

”It will be a very exciting, but also a research policy challenge to bring Europe to the forefront in this research area. The Danish research groups have played a large role in the development of synchrotron radiation in Europe and we hope that the European XFEL will open up many new areas of research,” explains Robert Feidenhans’l.

He is internationally recognised for his research in experimental nanophysics, where he is working on developing X-ray techniques to look at finer and finer details in materials – all the way down to the atomic level. He is also developing new methods for medical diagnosis, for example, cancer and for studying geological deposits in order to get more oil from below ground.

In November 2009 Denmark signed the international agreement for the establishment of the European XFEL and is one of the European countries that, with Germany in the lead, have joined forces in the common research venture for more than one billion euro.

”With our involvement in the European XFEL we will really strengthen Denmark’s position in the field of X-ray and synchrotron radiation, of which we have helped shape the development in Europe for decades. It is therefore particularly gratifying that a Danish researcher is now at the head of the European collaboration in what will be one of the world’s most advanced research centres, which can be used to make exciting new scientific discoveries”, explains Deputy Director General for the Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation Hans Müller Pedersen.