This is the second Annual Report of the Australian Synchrotron. The 2008-09 year has been one in which the facility has firmly established scientific operations with nine beamlines available for general scientific user access. This, coupled with outstanding machine operation, including 98 percent beam availability, has resulted in the Australian Synchrotron being overwhelmingly embraced by the national and international scientific community. Importantly, the Australian Synchrotron reached two milestones during the period covered by this report: the third anniversary of ‘first light’ from the storage ring, and 10,000 user beam hours.

Scientific user numbers have doubled every six months. Over the past year, there have been 2,003 scientific visits from 46 institutions both here and overseas; and many more potential users have registered their interest. The national user meeting held in conjunction with the Third Asia Oceania Synchrotron Forum in December 2008 signalled consolidation of the Australian Synchrotron’s position, attracting over 300 participants from across and beyond the region.

With outcomes including 60 published papers in the first half of 2009, including some in Science and Nature, the Australian Synchrotron is fulfilling its remit for enabling high quality research spanning the scientific community. A 40% increase in staff numbers over the past year, an enviable safety record and the recent awarding of the Quality Management Standard ISO 9001:2008 have demonstrated the commitment of the Australian Synchrotron to optimising the scientific user experience. We also have a burgeoning outreach program of regular tours and classes that cater for over 600 secondary school and other visitors monthly.

Other notable developments include a boost of $14.7 million from the NHMRC and the Victorian state government that will see the construction of a 150-metre long Imaging and Medical beamline. Education Infrastructure Fund (EIF) funding of $37 million was confirmed in the May 2009 Federal budget and will be used to construct enhanced user facilities – accommodation block, user lounge and restaurant; improved technical facilities – engineering wing and additional laboratories; and a National Centre for Synchrotron Science to house, among other things, a community outreach facility, lecture theatre and exhibition space.

With all this in mind, we can be confident that the Australian Synchrotron is now established as a key centre for national and, increasingly, international multidisciplinary scientific research.


To download a copy of the Australian Synchrotron Annual Report 2009, click here(pdf, 1.8 MB).