19th Steering Committee meeting of FELs OF EUROPE

The 19th meeting of the steering committee (SC) of FELs OF EUROPE was held on 17-18 September 2014 at Park Hotel in Bad Zurzach, Switzerland, hosted and organized by Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI). The meeting which was chaired by Josef Feldhaus, Chair of the SC, started with a word of congratulations to PSI and the entire organizing team of the successfully ended Science@FELs conference – an activity of the collaboration, which took place at PSI on the 15-17 September 2014.

The first day of the SC meeting was dedicated to update from the partners on recent developments at their facilities - from progress in planning, construction, upgrade of existing facilities to experimental designs and user activities. Also high on the agenda was the preparation of the whitebook on European free electron lasers. Following the educative lectures and talks presented at the just ended Science@FELs conference, it was agreed to restructure the whitebook to include new chapters which were of importance to the future development of FEL facilities and FEL science, and to invite some young researchers to contribute.

The focus of day two was on future plans and ways to strengthen the collaboration and increase its visibility at the European and international level. Important was the establishment of collaboration with the neighbouring communities. Following deliberations, it was agreed to proceed with establishing collaboration with Laserlab Europe through a memorandum of understanding, with the main purpose to facilitate cooperation for the establishment of programmes of exchange and collaboration in areas of mutual interest and benefit to both partners.

Regarding technical collaboration, representatives of the two running expert groups on Seeding and Pulse Length Measurement presented a summary of activities conducted over the past 18 months. This was followed by a general discussion to evaluate the added benefits of the group activities, factors that may hinder effective collaboration on technical developments, and ways to improve such technical collaboration at the European level. The SC agreed to increase and promote communication between facilities about ongoing activities through the organization of well-focussed workshops and regular discussion in the SC meetings.

Prof. Sverker Werin from Max IV laboratory, Lund, Sweden, was nominated as the Vice Chair of the collaboration.

Participants were also briefed about preparations for the upcoming Photon Diagnostics conference scheduled for the 08-12 June 2015 in Trieste, Italy. The third Science@FELs conference will be organized also in Trieste in 2016.