Director's Welcome
07 Sep 2020




Professor Jim Clarke welcomes you to ASTeC


​​Director of ​​​​​​​ASTeC, Professor Jim Clarke.​​


Welcome to the Accelerator Science and Technology Centre website. Our site will provide you with information on our programmes, capabilities and people, and provide news and updates related to the ongoing activities of our Centre. I hope that our website provides you with the information you are seeking.

Particle accelerators underpin many of the existing and forthcoming research facilities supported directly by UK Research and Innovation and STFC, such as Diamond Light Source, ISIS Neutron and Muon Source, the Large Hadron Collider, and the European Spallation Source (ESS). The Accelerator Science and Technology Centre (ASTeC) within STFC is a centre of excellence which brings together all of the skills and expertise required to develop world class accelerators for the UK’s future research needs.

We have an established ability to lead and deliver full scale accelerator projects from start to end. Our capabilities enable the UK to make major in-kind contributions to new international facilities. Current projects which we are contributing to include the delivery of superconducting RF cavities to the ESS in Sweden and superconducting radio-frequency (RF) cryomodules to PIP-II in the USA. These activities, which are carried out seamlessly with Technology Department, are very high profile internationally and are enhancing the reputation of the UK as a trusted delivery partner. We look forward to making similar scale contributions to the Extreme Photonics Applications Centre (EPAC) in the near term as well as ISIS-II, Diamond-II, and a UK X-ray free electron laser (FEL) in the future, according to the needs and priorities established by the UK Research and Innovation Infrastructure Roadmap.

All leading accelerator centres must have access to world class accelerator test facilities, to test new ideas and to prove new technologies, and ASTeC is no exception. Previously we built and operated ALICE, an energy recovery linac with an FEL, and EMMA, a fixed field alternating gradient accelerator. Currently our focus is on CLARA, which accelerates very bright electron bunches from an RF photoinjector up to 50 MeV. A key priority for ASTeC is to upgrade CLARA to 250 MeV in the near future as this will enable major research programmes, led by UK academics, such as novel acceleration techniques and potential new healthcare applications, and also prepare the ground for CLARA to become an FEL test facility ahead of a possible new X-ray FEL national facility.

ASTeC carries out research and development activities in areas where we believe we have distinctive capabilities and there is a clear need, such as in the application of thin films and coatings to enhance accelerator performance and in energy saving permanent magnet systems. Often our research activities have broader societal and industrial relevance and we recognize that we have a responsibility to ensure that full advantage can be made of our innovations and capabilities. We have a proven track record of successful partnerships with industry and long may this continue. ASTeC is also a key partner within the world leading Cockcroft Institute (CI). We work very closely together on a broad range of accelerator research topics and have a number of joint PhD studentships with our CI university partners.

In our strategy, which is available to download from this site, we set out our longer-term ambitions together with the shorter-term actions we will take to achieve our vision – Accelerators in a New Light. I look forward to working closely with my colleagues across STFC and UK Research and Innovation and with all of our many collaborators to ensure we deliver our ambitious goals.

If you wish to know more, please contact us. 

Jim Clarke, Director of ASTeC


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Contact: Diakun, Joseph (STFC,DL,AST)