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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 email@example.com (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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