29th August 2019 - Professor Ian Munro, one of the pioneers of the Synchrotron Radiation Source (SRS) at STFC’s Daresbury Laboratory in Cheshire has today been made an Honorary Fellow by the Institute of Physics, the highest honour they can bestow.
Professor Munro has been honoured ‘for world recognised leadership in synchrotron radiation research and development’.
Professor Munro was responsible for the plan to build the SRS and for its operation. STFC’s Daresbury Lab was the first place in the world to use an SRS facility and by the late 1990s about 2000 scientists from the UK and beyond were visiting it each year to undertake research.
Speaking about the honour Professor Munro said “I am personally delighted to receive Honorary Fellowship after a lifetime career in physics, but also just as pleased to see that the considerable contribution made by the UK synchrotron research community to physics has now been recognised.”
The Daresbury SRS commenced operation in 1978 and operated for 27 years as the world's first custom-designed, dedicated ’light-source’. Other laboratories world-wide followed later with ’2nd generation’ sources.
Dr Neil Geddes, STFC’s Executive Director for National Laboratories Science and Technologies, welcomed the announcement and said:
“The speed with which the Daresbury Synchrotron Radiation Facility, a new, essentially unfunded and untested, working laboratory was set up in the late 1960s and early 70s was remarkable, and in no small part down to the actions of Ian Munro.”
While a senior scientist at Daresbury Lab, Professor Munro's experience made crucial contributions to the conception and design of the UK's first 3rd generation source, known as Diamond Light Source, which has operated since 2009 as the UK's 3rd generation source on the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus.
Syncotrons accelerate electrons to near light speeds so that they give off light that is billions of times brighter than the sun. The bright beams are directed into laboratories where, scientists can use the light to study a diverse range of subject matter. Diamond Light Source is the UK’s national synchrotron, and is funded by the STFC and the Wellcome Trust. It works like a giant microscope, harnessing the power of electrons to produce bright light - 10 billion times brighter than the sun - which scientists can use, to study anything from fossils to jet engines, and viruses to vaccines.
Last updated: 30 August 2019