Report on Cryogenic Cluster Day 8

STFC Daresbury,
20th September 2017

Cryogenic Cluster Day 8, on Wednesday 20 September 2017,  followed the pattern of previous years, comprising seminar sessions, table-top exhibition, posters and lab visits. Supported by STFC with a contribution from exhibitors, it is one of the best days in the British Cryogenics Calendar.

Daresbury Laboratory was the perfect host for the Eighth Cryogenic Cluster Day on Sep 20.  It was attended by eleven Universities :  Birmingham, Dresden, Liverpool, Lancaster, Loughborough, Manchester, Newcastle, Oxford, Sheffield, Sussex and Twente.  Over twenty firms took part including Dearman Engine, Molecular Products, Kelvin, Cryogenic, Matrix Magnets, Polar, Scientific Magnetics, AVS, Statebourne, Carlton, Tamo, ASG, RUAG, Biomethane, IDT, Blackhall, Agilent, Springer and Stratox.  A good number of institutions were also represented, including BCGA, Diamond Light Source, RAL, ISIS, STFC, Daresbury, CERN, ESS, NHS and UKAEA.  Two of the session chairs were distinguished visitors from CERN and ESS : Dimitri Delikaris and John Weisend.

Professor Susan Smith, Head of the Laboratory and Director of ASTeC opened the event, with the first presentation from Peter McIntosh, Technical Director of ASTeC.  His review of Daresbury’s contribution to superconducting accelerators revealed an awesome capability and perhaps the need  -  and opportunity  -  for UK industry to play a bigger part.  The notion of the ‘Northern Cryogenics Powerhouse’ began to take hold with two subsequent talks from speakers from Lancaster and Manchester Universities.  Professor Richard Haley at Lancaster works at temperatures as low as 1 mK, mentioning concepts like a ‘superfluid speed limit’ [using a dilution refrigerator the size of a house].  Andrew May from Manchester, discussing applications in astronomy, memorably entertained the audience in a swift review of the History of the Universe, captured on one slide !

Between Richard and Andrew there was an excellent, well-illustrated talk by Ofelia Capatina from CERN, featuring CERN’s collaboration with STFC-Daresbury on Cryomodule Development for High Lumi LHC.  She began with an entertaining CERN anecdote from a review of Tim Berners-Lee’s proposal for the world wide web by his boss at the time :  ‘vague but exciting …’  In a swerve to a different application, Jason Hill from Newcastle made a very convincing case for needing electric aircraft in future, to meet emission standards and enable new aircraft architectures  -  superconducting technology being the only electric option able to meet the requirements of aircraft propulsion.

Daresbury Catering earned compliments for a fine lunch, taken in the exhibition area, with signs of many earnest conversations and new connections being made  -  and with the opportunity to examine a strong display of Posters.  A series of Lab Visits then took delegates on a guided tour of the SuRF Lab, the Cryolab and the Vacuum Lab, showcasing a hive of activity on cryomodules and other work with CERN and ESS featuring in the talks.

In the afternoon talks, Michael Ellis discussed the superconducting RF High-Beta cavities being developed at Daresbury for ESS, and David Klaus from ASG gave an insight to the technology cluster in Genoa developing superconducting technology in wires, magnets and scanners.  The impending arrival of Revision Five of the BCC Safety Manual was announced, and Poster Prizes were awarded by Peter Ratoff, Director of the Cockcroft Institute to Iryna Mikheenko from the University of Birmingham, Koen Ledeboer from the University of Twente and Nik Templeton from STFC-Daresbury.

We can conclude that Cluster Day has been very successfully cloned by Shrikant Pattalwar and his colleagues.  Cluster Day North is an event deserving repetition. 

Presentations from Cluster Day can be found at and photos at