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ESRF Director General awarded prestigious medal


Bill Stirling, Director General of the ESRF, has been awarded the 2008 Glazebrook Medal of the Institute of Physics in the United Kingdom. This is a noteworthy recognition of his work in managing the ESRF.

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The Glazebrook Medal recognises Stirling’s “outstanding leadership in managing and taking forward a world-leading laboratory, and his innovative work in neutron and X-ray scattering science”. The medal is awarded annually for leadership in a physics context, for example, in a large national or large facility environment.

Bill Stirling has been the Director General of the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility since 2001 and is on leave from the University of Liverpool. Under his mandate, the ESRF has launched its Upgrade Programme with the aim of maintaining the institute at the forefront of synchrotron research. “This medal is a great honour for me and it reflects the achievements of the ESRF’s staff and scientific community in science and synchrotron techniques”, explains Stirling.

His success is the result of many years of outstanding research and leadership in the fields of neutron and X-ray science. His own studies have been centred on the properties of liquid helium-4 and helium-3, and the exotic magnetism of bulk materials, thin films and multilayers, with a special interest in lanthanides and actinides.

On the instrumental side, he has developed neutron and X-ray techniques and instruments, constructing neutron triple axis spectrometers at the Institut Laue-Langevin (France), and leading the development and construction of the UK XMaS BM28 beamline at the ESRF to exploit the then new technique of resonant X-ray scattering for magnetism research.

His career has developed mostly in France and the United Kingdom, much of it at international facilities. He is a member of the scientific councils of several laboratories worldwide.

Top image: Bill Stirling, Director General of the ESRF.