Sir Patrick Stewart officially launches MIAMI-2

Posted on 16 Apr 2018 and read 527 times
Sir Patrick Stewart officially launches MIAMI-2A world-leading scientific research facility at the University of Huddersfield (www.hud.ac.uk) was officially launched last month by its Emeritus Chancellor, actor Sir Patrick Stewart.

After being shown the dual-beam ion accelerator named MIAMI-2 (MIAMI stands for Microscope and Ion Accelerator for Materials Investigation), housed in a purpose-built two-storey laboratory, Sir Patrick said: “Every time I visit the university, there is something new and remarkable to see.”

The project received £3.5 million in funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

MIAMI-1 is still operational and allows scientists to carry out nano-scale investigation of the effects of radiation damage on materials, including those used in the nuclear and space industries.

The new MIAMI-2 represents a major step forward, allowing the irradiation of samples in an electron microscope with dual ion beams. With very few comparable facilities in the world, scientists from Europe, the USA and Russia have already formed research collaborations and made use of MIAMI-2’s capabilities.

For example, nano-diamonds found in meteorites that landed in Siberia have been analysed at the University of Huddersfield.

When Sir Patrick visited the MIAMI labs, he was accompanied by the facility’s founder, Steve Donnelly, the dean of computing and engineering at the university.

He gave Sir Patrick a detailed tour and explanation of the electron microscope on the ground floor and the upper-level accelerator.

At the opening ceremony, Professor Donnelly said that many years ago, while working at an American research institute, he dreamed of having an equivalent facility in the UK, and now he had one which was even better.

Bob Cryan, the vice-chancellor of the university, said MIAMI-2 had already made a key contribution to Il Trovatore, a major EU-backed project investigating new cladding materials that will ensure the safety of nuclear power reactors.

Before unveiling a commemorative plaque, Sir Patrick spoke about his association with the University of Huddersfield, where he was chancellor between 2004 and 2015.

The Mirfield-born actor said that his relationship with the university was one of the most important he had known in his life.

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