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Honorary fellows: Professor Ian Munro

For world recognised leadership in synchrotron radiation research and development.


Professor Ian Munro

In the 1960s, when the NINA electron synchrotron began construction at the Daresbury Laboratory, Professor Ian Munro was the first to realise the possibility that synchrotron radiation could be the means of uniquely tunable and intense X-ray sources.

Munro constructed the first X-ray beam line, the NINA SRF. Thereby he initiated a wholly new program of multi-disciplinary science attracting colleagues from UK and overseas universities and research centres. The SRF operated ’parasitically’ from the first days of the NINA particle physics program. When in the late 1970s NINA concluded operation, the SRF had matured to take the role of ’primary user’ alongside particle physics experiments. Munro's scientific vision and leadership throughout this period was seminal.

Throughout his pioneering work at the SRF, Munro also led the design and planning for the further expansion of such experimental science with now a dedicated electron storage ring. The Daresbury SRS commenced operation in 1978 and operated for 27 years as the world's first such custom-designed, dedicated ’light-source’. Other laboratories world-wide followed later with such dedicated ’2nd generation’ sources. Throughout this time Munro initiated, operated and led innovation at the SRS with responsibility for the experimental program in a hugely productive synergy of experimental technique and innovative development in beam storage, manipulation and delivery. Two Nobel prizes can be attributed in large part to the possibilities for science at the Daresbury SRS. Another three, at DESY and SLAC, BNL and ANL have followed.

While a senior scientist at Daresbury, Munro's experience inevitably made critical contributions to the conception and design of the UK's first 3rd generation source DIAMOND. At the time of its approval DIAMOND was entirely the work of Daresbury Lab and associated university staff in accelerator physics and experimental SR science. DIAMOND has now operated since 2009 as the UK's 3rd generation source on the Harwell campus adjacent to STFC Rutherford Lab. It’s continuing success, indeed arguably also contemporary developments which continue in the form of 4th generation FELs, rest to a large extent on the pioneering achievements in SR science by Munro.