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May 2007 - Ahead of the Curve

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May 2007 - Ahead of the Curve Powered By Docstoc
					                                                                                                         INSIDE THIS ISSUE:               1
                                                                                                                 CLS Business Team    2
                                                                                                                             AREVA    3
                                                                                                           Industrial Services Team   4
                                                                                                 Beamline Profile: SGM / VLS-PGM      5
                                                                                                                SYNCHROTRON U         6



                                                                                          News from the Canadian Light Source Business Team




                                                                                                                                      May 2007
Ahead of the Curve
Ahead of the Curve, a business book                    I encourage you to read this first issue of
written by Joseph H. Ellis on economic                 InnoVision and see how it can help you
theory, is really a book focusing on how               stay ahead of the curve. The impact of
misleading and contradictory data often                the synchrotron on Canadian science and
provides clues to the mysteries of the                 technology over the next 30 years will
growth and decline of industries. As I read            be tremendous. Our national research
it, I could not help but relate it to science          community will be greatly influenced
and the synchrotron.                                   in its ability to conduct state of the art
                                                       science, to such a point that I expect
“Ahead of the curve” is exactly where the
                                                       we will see some Nobel Prizes come
Canadian Light Source (CLS) puts our
                                                       from their efforts.
industry partners. Whether you need
environmental solutions for the mining or              The impact of the CLS on industry
oil industries; answers to nanotechnology;             will be equally great, helping
information to improve the performance                 companies create solutions for
of materials and lubricants; a better                  regulatory needs, quality
understanding of protein structures to                 assurance and the development
improve health; obtaining the make-up of               of new advanced products.
a crop seed non-destructively; improved
                                                       I trust that this first issue of
understanding and hence control of diseases
                                                       InnoVision stimulates your
such as cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, malaria,
                                                       entrepreneurial spirit and
diabetes, and others, a synchrotron touches
                                                       gets you thinking about
us all with it’s ability to deliver solutions to
                                                       the Canadian Light
industry and, ultimately, consumers.
                                                       Source and being ahead
Recently, I toured the CEO of a major                  of the curve.
energy company through our facility. As we
wrapped up, he summarized a synchrotron
as follows: “I now know the solution - I               Murray McLaughlin
need to talk to my people about what our               CLS Director of
problems are.” He saw a way to get ahead               Business Development
of the curve from a business perspective by
using the CLS as a solution provider.


Canadian Light Source
101 Perimeter Road, Saskatoon, SK S7N 0X4 cls@lightsource.ca (306) 657-3500 www.lightsource.ca
                                                                               News from the Canadian Light Source Business Team   2



                  OUR M ISSION            To attract and engage users by effectively communicating and delivering synchrotron
                                          solutions—thereby helping to maximize the utilization of the Canadian Light Source.




CLS Business Team
Our people make the difference.
Whether applying CLS beamlines to            knowledge and the expertise that               team. Several team members are
solve a particular problem for a client      industry needs to solve their unique           involved in communications, outreach
or inspiring the next generation of          challenges.”                                   and education. “We never know where
scientists through tours and classroom                                                      our next client is going to come from,”
presentations, the CLS business team         As more beamlines come on-line, the
                                                                                            says Cutler, “We bring in community
is committed to building clientele           business development team is staying
                                                                                            members, industry people, academics
and attracting the best talent to the        abreast of industry developments
                                                                                            and students for tours, which sparks
synchrotron.                                 where their services may be of use.
                                                                                            ideas in their own work. This
                                             One sector that is brimming with
“We are a solutions and service                                                             often leads us to our next business
                                             potential is the environment. Associate
provider,” explains Murray                                                                  opportunity.”
                                             Director of Research for Industrial
McLaughlin, Director of Business             Science Jeff Cutler explains, “In              CLS outreach and education staff
Development. “We work with                   responding to our natural resource-            gives classroom presentations and
business, government and academics           based economy, we will have an                 host summer camps for teachers and
to solve problems.”                          extensive role to play as we move              students. With luck, these students will
This kind of work requires a special         towards sustainability in those                eventually become the next generation
kind of team: “We have a group               sectors.”                                      of solution and service providers on
of forward thinking people that                                                             the CLS Business Team.
                                             Scientific exploration and industrial
contribute a unique combination of           liaising are only part of the daily
skills to the CLS. We provide the            activities of the business development
                                                                            News from the Canadian Light Source Business Team   3



                   CLS PARTNERSHIPS:            AREVA Resources Canada




Stabilizing mine tailings is good for
business — and the environment.
“As the Vice President of Environment,          Evidence of mineralization wasn’t vis-
Science and Technology,” begins AREVA’s         ible when the sludge was viewed through
John Rowson, “it’s my job to ensure that        conventional x-ray diffraction techniques,
operations are environmentally sustainable.     so Rowson and his team turned to the CLS
That means the land has to be usable after it   for help. The research team used extended
was mined in the same way that it was used      x-ray absorption fine structure spectros-
beforehand.”                                    copy (EXAFS) to identify the mineral.
Mining companies like AREVA mitigate            “With the help of CLS, we were able to
short-term effects of mining throughout         demonstrate that arsenic was stabilized in a
the extraction process. But they also need      poorly crystalline mineral. CLS helped
to mitigate long-term effects, such as pre-     us gain technical certainty in our
venting contaminants in the groundwater.        quest for environmental sustainabil-
Rowson continues, “We’re talking about          ity. And that made regulatory agen-
keeping materials stable for thousands,         cies far more comfortable with
even tens of thousands of years.”               licensing our operations.”
Arsenic is a toxic by-product of most min-      “It’s hard to put a dollar value
ing processes, and one that the industry has    on that. We simply would not
long been studying. In an effort to reduce      be able to mine ore bodies if
long-term effects at the McLean Lake Op-        we couldn’t prove that we can
eration, Rowson’s team developed a pro-         control the long term effects
cess to engineer mine tailings in a way that    of the mine tailings.”
contain arsenic as a stable mineral within
                                                Jeff Cutler, Associate Direc-
the Tailing Management Facility (TMF).
                                                tor of Research for Industrial
The mineral is relatively insoluble, allow-
                                                Science at the CLS adds, “Our
ing for the controlled release of arsenic in
                                                work with AREVA was a true
a manner that would not adversely affect
                                                partnership. We work hard
nearby water sources.
                                                to provide solutions for our
Some scientific uncertainty remained in         clients—in this case, AREVA
conclusions drawn from the initial labora-      needed proof that their methods
tory studies and the regulatory agencies ad-    were successful, and we were
opted a precautionary stance. “We couldn’t      able to provide that.”
point to any other mining operations in the
world that were doing what we were pro-
                                                            John Rowson,
posing to do,” says Rowson, “so we had to                   Vice President of
prove that it worked.”                                      Environment, AREVA
                                                            Resources Canada
                                                            Inc. at McClean Lake
                                                            (www.areva.ca)
                                                                                  News from the Canadian Light Source Business Team   4


                                          “ Whether you require initial training on how to most effectively use a beamline, or if
                    JEFF CUTLER             you’d prefer to just hand over your question to us and have us solve it, we’re able to
                                            provide every level of service”.




The Industrial Services Team
In the business of providing solutions.
CLS’ Industrial Services have developed         What makes this possible is the team
broad expertise in the areas of earth and       itself—“We have a cohesive group of
environmental science, materials and life       top-notch people who work very
sciences. From mining to aerospace to           well together.”
pharmaceuticals to bio-products, CLS
                                                “Whether you require initial training on
professionals are lending their skills to
                                                how to most effectively use a beamline,
industry partners.
                                                or if you’d prefer to just hand over your
“Industry has interesting problems,”            question to us and have us solve it,”
says Jeff Cutler. “You just rarely hear         smiles Cutler, “we’re able to provide
about them.” At CLS, the Industrial             every level of service.” The team is
Services team wants to hear about               also on hand to review options for
problems that occur in various industrial       each client’s unique requirements,
sectors—and they will be happy to               and recommend the best available
solve them.                                     technology solutions.
Scientists at the CLS have developed            CLS scientists not only enjoy scientific
a high level of understanding of such           exploration; they also enjoy the
principles as chemical bonding and              added challenges of catering to
structure, which helps them to gain             industry, such as tight timelines
insight into varied substances including        and addressing industry
soils, mine wastes, catalysts, ores and         priorities. “Science has always
minerals, biological tissues, functional        been about the art of solving
foods and nutritional supplements,              a problem,” explains Cutler.
forensic evidence and manufactured              “Here, we employ the art
materials such as metals, ceramics and          of solving the problem for
polymers.                                       industry.”
These topics are of particular interest
to scientists and engineers involved in
environmental remediation, mineral                         Jeff Cutler,
processing, security and safeguards, and                   Associate Director
metals process technologies.                               of Research for
                                                           Industrial Science
The CLS team takes pride in their ability
to offer creative solutions to their clients.
                                                                                   News from the Canadian Light Source Business Team   5



                   SGM / VLS-PGM           VLS-PGM and SGM both offer x-ray absorption spectroscopy, a technique that is
                                           often used in chemical analysis that is difficult to differentiate using other methods.




Beamline Profile: SGM / VLS-PGM
Complementary beamlines offer multiple
opportunities for material close-ups.
The SGM (high-resolution spherical         that emit light, which are used in
grating monochromator) and the             common products including light-
VLS-PGM (variable line spacing             emitting diodes (LEDs), computer
plane grating monochromator)               monitors and traffic lights.
beamlines and their associated analysis
                                           VLS-PGM and SGM both offer x-ray
tools share a straight section at the
                                           absorption spectroscopy, a technique
synchrotron. Whether researchers
                                           that is often used in chemical analysis
are looking for surface analysis of
                                           that is difficult to differentiate using
materials, or hoping to delve into the
                                           other methods. Beamline Scientist                    The equipment helps, too. As a 3rd
chemical make-up of the materials
                                           Robert Blyth notes, “The method                      generation synchrotron, more samples
they’re studying—or both—SGM
                                           works particularly well for the                      can be studied in the same amount of
and VLS-PGM can provide the
                                           speciation of spectroscopically quiet                time as traditional analysis techniques.
information they need.
                                           materials. For example, Aluminum                     “We can do 20-30 samples per day,
The beamlines’ end stations offer          hydroxide is known to be much more                   more than double the number at
differing techniques. SGM has a            toxic than other types of Aluminum.                  earlier generation synchrotrons.”
photo-emission spectrometer, which         This is relevant in cases where we’re
is best applied to analyzing solid         trying to test the safety of soil and                VLS-PGM and SGM complement
surfaces. Its second end station           water samples.”                                      each other’s applications. Often an
involves x-ray absorption and                                                                   aspect of a sample that can’t be viewed
                                           Beamline scientist Yongfeng Hu                       by one of the beamlines can be seen
          excited optical luminescence
                                           likes to describe the functions of                   using the other one. Blyth continues,
              (XEOL). These
                                           his beamline, when equipped with                     “You can study the same element
                techniques work
                                           the x-ray absorption end station, as                 from various angles, whether you
                  extremely well for the
                                           “quick and dirty.” “There are other                  need to examine the surface, or inside
                        examination of
                                           techniques that gather the kinds                     the material.”
                              materials
                                           of data we do, but here we enjoy a
                                                combination of ease, speed and                  VLS-PGM and SGM are currently
                                                     comprehension that you                     at work in areas such as the mining
                                                        can’t get anywhere else.                and agriculture fields, aiding in
                                                           Samples take minimal                 examination of soil samples and
                                                              preparation and                   fertilizer composition. They are also
                                                                can be examined                 being used to study bio-lubricants.
                                                                  in situ, which                Blyth states proudly, “We’re gaining
                                                                  improves                      an international reputation in soil
                                                                   efficiency,                  science. We’ve worked with scientists
                                                                   something                    from Germany, the United States,
                                                                   that matters                 Australia, including some top soil
                                                                   in industrial                scientists in the world.”
                                                                   research.”
                                                                               News from the Canadian Light Source Business Team   6



                 REGAN WILKS         The University of Saskatchewan alumnus recently completed his master’s thesis with Canada Research
                                     Chair Alex Moewes, tackling how metal-containing peptide molecules can conduct electricity.




SYNCHROTRON U:
The CLS is Fertile Ground for
Tomorrow’s Science Leaders
While industrial economies of the past depended on                Particularly, he is trying to explain a curious phenomenon
supplies of material resources like coal and iron, today’s        he observed while conducting his master’s research at the
knowledge economy depends on people – specifically large          CLS.
numbers of researchers, engineers and technologists. In
                                                                  “When the molecules [we’re studying] are irradiated with
addition to being a cutting-edge research facility, the Cana-
                                                                  X-rays the valence band of the metal atom acquires an
dian Light Source is helping to train the next generation of
                                                                  extra electron,” explains Mr. Wilks. “I am currently de-
highly-qualified people in science and technology.
                                                                  signing experiments and performing calculations that will
                                                                  hopefully explain the mechanism behind this photochemi-
Following the Light                                               cal effect. Knowledge of the molecules’ electronic states is
Regan Wilks is an example of the young scientists making          essential for the rational design of molecular electronics.”
the most of the CLS as an intellectual incubator. The Uni-        In addition to discovering a new insight in chemistry,
versity of Saskatchewan alumnus recently completed his            Mr. Wilks sees the CLS as contributing to his growth as a
master’s thesis with Canada Research Chair Alex Moewes,           scientist, while being able to stay close to home.
tackling how metal-containing peptide molecules can
conduct electricity. The groundbreaking work included             “I see this as an opportunity to move from being a
calculating spectra for some of the largest molecules to          ‘technique-oriented’ to a ‘question-oriented’ researcher,”
date. Published in March 2006, the paper was one of the           he says. “The CLS kept me here and it has changed the
first publications to report data obtained at the CLS.            environment [at the university], creating a materials science
                                                                  focus that’s made me interested in working in that area.”
Now a doctoral student, Mr. Wilks is delving deeper into
the behaviour of metal atoms surrounded by biomolecules.

				
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