Celebration of 100 Years of Superconductivity; Support for an International Workshop in Bath

Lead Research Organisation: University of Bath
Department Name: Physics


To coincide with the centenary of the discovery of superconductivity by H. Kamerlingh Onnes in 1911 we have attracted a major ESF superconductivity workshop to Bath in May 2011. The 3-day workshop on Mesoscopic Superconductivity and Vortex Imaging has already been awarded Euro30k of core support by the ESF Research Network Programme Nanoscience and Engineering in Superconductivity (NES) . Under ESF rules this funding should be used to cover the local costs of scientists from contributing (or associated) European countries. This proposal seeks a modest EPSRC investment to support seven additional world-leading keynote lecturers from outside Europe, allowing this meeting to be able to set a truly international agenda for future high impact UK research in the area. All the proposed keynote speakers are recognised experts in superconductivity and have been selected to give their unique perspectives on the most important contemporary problems in the field, the results from the latest experiments seeking to address these and the most exciting research directions for the future. We also request funds to partially cover the local costs of 10 additional EPSRC PhD students, allowing us to support at least one student from each of the 13 UK groups participating in the ESF NES Programme. These stand to benefit immeasurably from their exposure to the latest ideas and experiments in the field as well as the opportunity to present their research work to recognised international research leaders. In addition to setting the agenda for future high impact UK research in the field the meeting will serve as a showcase for current world-leading UK work on the physics and applications of superconducting materials, both in academia and the industrial sector. New superconducting materials and devices have very strong potential for contributing towards solutions to several key current national challenges in the areas of energy distribution & carbon emissions, health & medical diagnosis and security. EPSRC support will be fully acknowledged in all workshop and publicity materials.

Planned Impact

In the longer term research (>10 years) developments resulting from interactions at this workshop could impact on many important national and international societal issues. For example, improved high current conductors for power transmission and energy storage could start to address problems with energy generation and transmission as well as reduce carbon emissions. More advanced higher field superconducting magnets will lead to improved MRI imaging systems with better spatial resolution for more accurate medical diagnosis. New types of superconducting devices can find applications in ultra-high speed oscilloscopes and A/D convertors, quantum computation (security), bio-sensing and as more efficient filters in mobile telecommunications. Cryogenic equipment suppliers and scientific publishers will be invited to showcase their products at the meeting as well as achieve recognition through sponsorship of the welcome reception and/or poster prizes. In return their products will be advertised in the conference literature/website and the company logo printed on all conference materials. All workshop expenditure (the majority of which comes from the ESF budget) will contribute directly to the UK economy. We estimate that ~50,000-75,000 will be spent in Bath by delegates and accompanying persons, primarily in local Hotels, restaurants, tourist attractions and shops. In addition a significant amount will be spent on the UK transport network including flights to and from the nearest major airports and rail/bus connecting links to Bath. The ten additional EPSRC PhD students, whose partial support we request (as well as those supported with core ESF money), stand to benefit immeasurably from participation in the workshop. For them it will represent a unique opportunity to learn about the latest exciting developments in the field of superconductivity from world experts and discuss their own results with them (e.g., in the poster sessions). Contacts made during the three days in Bath will remain with them for the rest of their lives and should influence their career progression and achievement levels dramatically. We do not intend to publish Workshop proceedings as this tends to discourage scientists from presenting their latest unpublished results. Instead we will post an archive of pdf files of presentations and posters on the conference website after giving contributors the opportunity to remove small amounts of unpublished data that could compromise their ability to publish in the highest impact journals at a later date. The ESF NES Research Network Programme umbrella structure has funds to support short visits and longer research exchanges between participating laboratories to promote collaborative research in the field. Any new collaborative activities which are sparked into life during the Bath workshop will be pursued actively through these mechanisms, subject to approval by the Network Chairman (Prof. Victor Moshchalkov) and the International Steering Committee. Many of the participating teams are actively pursuing applied superconductivity research with strong potential for major impact in the commercial sector and society as a whole. In recognition of the fact that the impact of our scientific research is becoming increasingly important in the modern era, a major Panel Session & Open Forum has been scheduled to address this issue on the final evening of the workshop. We will also invite representatives of EPSRC and UK low temperature and superconductivity-related industries to attend with a view to enhancing the impact of our research in these and other areas. All the attending UK academics come from excellent well-established research groups with strong track records in the communication of their research results via high impact journals, web pages and more popular media. Many also have demonstrated experience of commercial exploitation of their work outside academia.


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Description A number of novel unpublished researched results in the field of mesoscopic superconductivity and vortex matter were presented for the first time at the Workshop.
Exploitation Route The disseminated information at the workshop will primarily have stimulated new research activities in the international community in the field of superconductivity. In the long term this will lead to new products and services.
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Education,Electronics,Energy,Environment,Transport

URL http://staff.bath.ac.uk/pyssb/NES2011/NES2011.zip
Description Oxford Instruments, Cryogenic Limited, Claridge Scientific Ltd and IoP Publishing sponsored the workshop and will have benefited from being able to showcase their products to delegates attending.
First Year Of Impact 2011
Sector Education,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology
Impact Types Economic