3 minute read time.

The 9th Particle Accelerator Engineering Network annual meeting took place at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory on the 6th October. The network was jointly created by the IET, IMechE, IoP and STFC and is hosted by the IET as one of their technical networks. This years meeting had 120 delegates from all areas of engineering of particle accelerators. This years keynote talk was by Ste Gallimore who leads the Target design section at ISIS who was talking about the recent ISIS target upgrade, which was followed up with a talk from ISIS target technician Justin Miles giving the upgrade from a technicians viewpoint.

Over the lunch break there was an early career engineer poster competition which included PhD students, year in industry students, technicians and graduate engineers. The PAEN committee played the role of judges for the competition, and the winning entry was Nathan Leicester from Lancaster University/ the Cockcroft Institute for his poster, Design and Testing of Longitudinally Split 6GHz SRF Cavities. The judges felt than Nathan had excellent ability to talk about the poster and answer questions.


After lunch there was a panel discussion with industry leaders taking questions from the audience. The panel was chaired by Dan Faircloth (ISIS), and included John Allen- Chief Engineer at Elekta, Phil Atkinson- Head of Mechanical, Metrology and Technical Engineering at STFC Daresbury Laboratory, Graeme Burt- Professor at The Cockcroft Institute and PAEN chair, Steve Jago- Head of ISIS Design Division at STFC Rutherford Appleton Laborartory and Peter McIntosh- Technical Director at STFC Daresbury Laboratory. The discussion was rather lively and the audience were fully integrated into the discussions. The panel discussed topics covering technician recruitment and retention, key R&D for the sector, and sustainability of particle accelerators, with the latter creating a very lively discussion.

The network has some upcoming events, The National particle accelerator open day will take place again on 30th Oct 2023 at RAL, where undergraduate students can visit a working particle accelerator. Employers can book a table at the recruitment event. We are hoping to have NVEC this year or next at Strathclyde.The network is currently planning workshops on Sustainable Accelerators, and Functional Safety for 2024 and the 4th PAEN webinar will focus on Engineering of Medical Accelerators. Next years Annual meeting will be at Daresbury in 2024.

We are seeking three new members of our committee. Committee members should be engineers or technicians working in particle accelerators but can be at any stage of their career and be from labs, academia or industry. Applications from diverse backgrounds are encouraged. The committee meets 4 times per year (one of which is normally in person) and are involved in organising group activities. Appointments are for a term of 3 years. To apply contact Gemma Hadley (GHadley@theiet.org) before the 19th November. Applications will be balanced against a skills matrix to ensure the committee covers the full range of engineering disciplines and at present we lack a technician member, an early career member and we could do with more mechanical members.

Sign-up for Accelerator Engineering info

We have set-up a mailing list for people interested in news on particle accelerator engineering in the UK. This is a personal initiative and not part of the IET, IMechE or IOP. We will send out announcements of workshops and events via this mailing list as well as sending round a new bi-annual PAEN newsletter that will be created in 2024. To sign up please visit the event website. 

To find out more about our Network, visit our page on EngX. It’s a bit bare at present but will be updated over the next month or so to include more details. To keep up to date with the latest news from the network simply subscribe to the curated content page for the particle accelerators tag.