37th Meeting of the ESS Council - Highlights

ESS Council 2024
Members of the ESS Council, Management and Governance Office in the atrium of the ESS Main Office in Lund Image: Ulrika Hammarlund/ESS

The 37th meeting of the ESS Council took place on 20 February, preceded by a Strategy Meeting on 19 February. Both meetings took place at ESS in Lund.

ESS Council – Strategy Meeting (19 February)

The one-day Strategy Meeting was fully dedicated to the transition of the ESS organisation from the present construction phase to future operations, planned to start in January 2028. 
During routine (or steady-state) operations, ESS will operate as a user facility, welcoming researchers from academia, research institutes and industry, who will use the ESS scientific instruments to study the property of materials.

Along with the construction of the facility, the preparation for routine operations has been an important part of the ESS activities to ensure the adequate preparedness in every aspect of the organisation, from technical performance to the scientific programme and all related policies.

The very active discussion on all aspects of the transition to operations - technical, organisational, financial - including the changes needed to successfully operate as a user facility, have put us in a good position. But it also confirms that there is a lot to do!”, comments Robert McGreevy, Chair of the ESS Council.

ESS timeline

Schematic of the high-level milestones in the construction of the ESS facility towards routine operations.

37th Meeting of the ESS Council (20 February)

The 37th meeting of the ESS Council (20 February) started with a status update provided by Director General Helmut Schober.
Progress in the construction of the facility was showcased through the several installations completed in all areas (linear accelerator, target station, controls and instruments), in close collaboration with in-kind partner institutes in the 13 member states.

Looking ahead, the Director General highlighted the project milestones for the current year (completion of the accelerator, target, first five instruments, and subsequent integrated testing) all leading towards the first neutron production (BOT - Beam On Target) planned for 2025: 

As the installation of technical components advances towards completion, the organisation, both in Lund and Copenhagen, shifts focus on readiness for operations”, says Director General Helmut Schober. “Testing of the equipment, establishment of all needed technical, scientific and administrative processes, engagement with our key stakeholders will become our main focus to deliver a safe, reliable and high-performing research facility.”

As part of the engagement with the scientific community, the Council appointed, for a three-year term starting 1 January 2024, new members of the ESS Scientific Committee (SAC): Romain Sibille, Frank Schreiber, Anne Borg, Debora Berti, Hartmut Abele. 

The Council appointed, for a two-year term starting 1 January 2024, Martin Müller as Chair of Committee on Employment Conditions (CEC), Stéphanie Lê Vàn as member and Martin Walter as external member.

The Council received an update on cash flow and appointed the external auditors. 

The next meeting of the ESS Council will take place on 4-5 June 2024 at ESS in Lund.

Read more about the ESS Governance and previous Meetings of the ESS Council.

For media enquiries, please contact: press@ess.eu