First Bilbao Neutron School 2019

First Bilbao Neutron School (BNS2019) on science and instrumentation for Compact Accelerator-driven Neutron Sources (CANS)

The BNS2019 ( was organised by ESS Bilbao jointly with Basque Centre for Materials, Applications and Nanostructures (BC Materials) and held from June 17th to 19th 2019 at the Leioa Campus, University of the Basque Country, BC Materials, main offices, Martina Casiano building.

The ESS Bilbao Consortium is a research centre focusing on neutron science and technologies. The centre aims to develop the significant in-house capabilities needed to support Spain’s participation in the European Spallation Source ERIC and provide the Spanish science and technology network with hands-on experience for high-power neutron sources and accelerator technologies. The Spanish Ministry of Science and the Basque Country Region jointly operates the centre. The facility includes the initial elements (ion source-H+, LEBT and RFQ) and instrumentation for a compact neutron source based on accelerator technologies.

BC Materials is an autonomous research centre that covers all aspects of research in Functional Materials with advanced Electric, Magnetic and Optical properties; from basic aspects to applications. Special activity is devoted to thin films materials and characterization techniques involving Large International Facilities, like neutron and synchrotron radiation sources.

Neutrons are a unique probe to study structure and dynamics of matter. Large neutron scattering facilities are based on nuclear reactors or spallation neutron sources. However, recent advances in accelerator technology and neutronics design have made possible the construction of high brilliance neutron sources based on low energy proton accelerator, that will be able to play a significant role in future neutron science and technology.

This new type of infrastructures will enable much broader and easier access to high-brilliance neutrons independent of the existing neutron sources and improve the problem of continuous overbooking at the current sources. Large universities or research centres will be able to host their own neutron institutes presenting new opportunities to perform neutron science, prepare experiments for large facilities, train students and develop instrumentation. The school was among all the Neutron Scattering schools currently offered in Europe, the only and first one focused on science and instrumentation for CANS facilities.

The School aimed at educating graduate, PhD students and young researchers on neutron scattering techniques and on the neutron instrumentation design focused on CANS. About 45 students, from more than six different nationalities, were exposed during the three days to the basics of neutron scattering, neutron sources, neutron scattering techniques, science and instrumentation. The final program is shown below.

The school began with the formal opening on Monday 17th with the participation of Senentxu Lanceros-Méndez, BC Materials Scientific Director, Mario Pérez, ESS Bilbao Executive Director and Amaia Esquisabel, Basque Government Research Director. Then, the chair of the school Estefanía Abad (ESS Bilbao) gave the welcome and gave the floor to Juan Colmenero, professor of the University of Basque Country and Centro de Física de Materiales and owner of the ENSA Walter Hälg Price 2017, to give the introductory lecture. Monday was devoted to introduction to neutron scattering, neutron sources and CANS, accelerator and target and moderator technologies. The first day finished with a visit to ESS Bilbao R&D facilities.

Tuesday was focused on Neutron scattering techniques and applications of neutron technique lectures. Finally, Wednesday was oriented to Instrumentation (detectors and sample environment equipment) and science. The program also included tutorials about how to write a proposal and mcstas program for instrument design. The second and third day finished with round tables on CANS opportunities for scientific users (with the participation of UPV/EHU, UC/SETN, CFM, BCMaterials) and for industry (Ineustar, Cadinox, and Tekniker) respectively. Closing remarks were given by the chair of the school and the formal closing was done by Senentxu Lanceros-Méndez, BC Materials Scientific Director, Mario Pérez, ESS Bilbao Executive Director and Adolfo Morais, Basque Government Research and Universities vice-counseller.

In total 17 lecturers, 12 internationals from new projects for CANS facilities: FZJ (GE), LLB(FR), Wigner (HU) neutron research facilities: ESS (SE), ILL (FR), ISIS(UK) and PSI(CH), university DTU(DE) and 5 locals: UPV/EHU, CFM, ESS Bilbao. The school intended to build interactions between the students, with a miscellaneous background (PhD students, Postdocs, Ikerbasque fellows, companies, R&D centres) and lecturers.

This specialised school was partially funded by the EU Horizon 2020 research and innovation projects SINE 2020 (grant agreement No 654000) and BrightnESS2 (grant agreement No 823867). 6 industries (AVS, IDOM, Sener, Scientifica, Cadinox, Antec) and 3 R&D centres (Tekniker, CEIT, Tecnalia) sponsored also the school.

The media appearance of the school was relevant with a press release, two articles in el Correo, a local newspaper, one of then including an interview to Prof. Colmenero, several tweets and al linked in post. Examples are shown below.

Finally, the group picture taken in Tuesday 18th with all the participants in the successful first edition of the Bilbao Neutron School.