Being the very first people to move into a brand-new buildings one has had a hand in designing, is an exciting occasion. A handful of ESS staff got to experience this first-hand last week as they installed themselves in one of the Laboratory Buildings handed over to ESS from construction partner, Skanska, in December 2019.
The ESS Sample and User Laboratory Facilities (SULF) team, led by Monika Hartl, and other members of the ESS Scientific Activities Division, moved from their current site offices to the brand-new lab workspaces inside one of the Laboratory buildings on site, adjacent to the Long Instrument Hall.
Scientific Activities Division (SAD) falls under the ESS Science Directorate and is responsible for the ESS Science Support Systems. The division provides sample environment equipment, sample and laboratory services, as well as industrial and academic support for future user programmes.
The new Lab Buildings contain chemical laboratories and technical workshops for SAD, as well as for the Instrument Technologies Division. The SULF team moved to site already now, to be able to oversee and support the laboratory and workshop installations in two Lab Buildings. This team has been instrumental in the design of the laboratory buildings which will play a critical role to researchers who will conduct experiments here when ESS opens for First Science.
The valuable role of Science Support Systems at ESS
For successful neutron experiments, obtaining an optimal sample, but also characterising and conditioning it properly before and during the experiment, is critical.
Science Support Systems is therefore responsible for securing that well-equipped laboratories for sample production, handling, conditioning, characterisation and storage in the immediate vicinity of the instruments, will be available for researchers conducting experiments at ESS.
It is also important for researchers to have the possibility to manipulate the experimental conditions of the sample during the neutron investigation. A central support function with sample environment equipment is required to reliably and safely provide the physical parameters during the neutron experiment.
Science Support Systems at ESS will provide coherent scientific services and a collaborative environment that makes neutrons more accessible to, and efficient for researchers from a wide range of scientific fields.