This year also saw two reviews of MAX IV project management (three in total since August 2018) by an independent committee appointed by the Swedish Research Council. In its report from the most recent review, held on 11-12 November, the review committee thanked the MAX IV staff for its efforts and noted that MAX IV has made significant progress toward project management and beamline development since the previous review in February 2019.
While the committee expressed concerns about the transition ahead from building to full operation of the facility, it observed that MAX IV is moving in the right direction and that, "all problems that led to this series of reviews have been understood and efforts are made by the MAX IV staff to make continuous progress without further delays."
The report concluded, "Overall, the committee is happy to see that MAX IV is finally on the trajectory in ensuring its position and displaying its potential in becoming a world-leading synchrotron radiation user facility." Read the full report here.
We are very pleased with this positive outcome and look forward to addressing the review committee's recommendations going forward.
On another front, the MAX IV user program is ramping up rapidly and utilization of the facility by the community is growing fast. Starting in 2019, we began offering two proposal calls for general user experiments. The spring call for beamtime in autumn/winter 2019 and autumn call for beamtime in winter/spring 2020 each attracted well over 200 high-quality proposals, making ranking by the MAX IV Program Advisory Committee challenging.
Roughly half the proposals submitted were authored by researchers from Swedish institutions, an indicator of strong regional engagement with MAX IV as well as illustrating the breadth and depth of Swedish x-ray science. Compared to 2018, the number of users participating in experiments at MAX IV in 2019 has grown from about 270 to more than 700, and the approximate number of four-hour shifts allocated for user experiments has increased from 1300 to 3000.
More importantly, noteworthy results from MAX IV have begun to appear in high quality, peer-reviewed scientific journals, some of which are highlighted in this newsletter. You can now keep up with the latest as well as follow earlier publications coming out of MAX IV with our online search tool. The word is out: MAX IV is open for business.
The year ahead is sure to bring the user community more beamlines and new capabilities as well as bring us new challenges, both financial and technical. I have absolutely no doubt that MAX IV is up to the job. On that note I wish everyone a happy and safe winter holiday season and productive year ahead!