SASKATOON, SK. ­-- Following an extensive international search, Australian scientist Robert Lamb has been selected to lead Canada’s national synchrotron, the Canadian Light Source at the University of Saskatchewan, effective August 1, 2014.

The appointment was jointly announced today by the Chair of the Canadian Light Source Inc. Board of Directors, Walter Davidson, and University of Saskatchewan President, Ilene Busch-Vishniac. Lamb will succeed CLS Executive Director Josef Hormes, who will be leaving the position to focus on leading-edge research projects.

Lamb will also hold a tenured full professorship in the U of S Department of Chemistry.

“We are thrilled to have a scientist of Dr. Lamb’s stature lead our synchrotron,” said Busch-Vishniac. “CLS users make an enormously important contribution to research that affects our environment, our health, and the economy. Dr. Lamb has the management and research experience needed to understand the many dimensions of leading a global centre of this kind.”

Currently at the University of Melbourne, Lamb was the founding Director of the Australian Synchrotron, leading the successful transition from construction to operation as a national facility, as well as successfully securing the millions of dollars in advancing the facility’s growth from an early 250 to 1,500 users.

In addition, having previously served as chair of the CLS’s Scientific Advisory Committee, whose mission is to ensure that scientific programs at the CLS are of the highest quality, Lamb is very familiar with the facility. 

“Having worked with the CLS team for over three years, I know this is a globally competitive facility, with dedicated staff, excellent researchers, and committed partners and customers. So I’m very excited to be part of the next chapter of its life,” said Lamb.

A recognized leader in synchrotron surface science, Lamb has PhDs in chemistry and physics, from the Universities of Melbourne and Cambridge, respectively, and more than 200 scientific publications and 39 patents.

“Professor Lamb brings a wealth of experience in managing and growing a leading synchrotron,” said Davidson.  “We know that he will guide the CLS in new and exciting directions.”  

Davidson thanked Josef Hormes for his leadership of the CLS and the Canadian synchrotron community over the past five and a half years, and for extending his tenure to allow the CLS Board of Directors to find his successor. After more than 20 years of managing large scale research facilities, Hormes wishes to refocus his attention on his academic and research programs. 

Mark de Jong, currently Director of Accelerators, will ensure a smooth management transition as Interim Executive Director, until Lamb begins his appointment.

Robert Lamb leads Canada’s national synchrotron, the Canadian Light Source at the University of Saskatchewan, effective August 1, 2014.
Photo submitted
This image and others are available for use in the CLS Flickr gallery

About the CLS:

The Canadian Light Source is Canada’s national centre for synchrotron research and a global centre of excellence in synchrotron science and its applications. Located on the University of Saskatchewan campus in Saskatoon, the CLS has hosted 1,700 researchers from academic institutions, government, and industry from 10 provinces and territories; delivered over 26,000 experimental shifts; received over 6,600 user visits; and provided a scientific service critical in over 1,000 scientific publications, since beginning operations in 2005.

CLS operations are funded by Canada Foundation for Innovation, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, Western Economic Diversification Canada, National Research Council of Canada, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Government of Saskatchewan and the University of Saskatchewan.

Synchrotrons work by accelerating electrons in a tube to nearly the speed of light using powerful magnets and radio frequency waves. By manipulating the electrons, scientists can select different forms of very bright light using a spectrum of X-ray, infrared, and ultraviolet light to conduct experiments.

Synchrotrons are used to probe the structure of matter and analyze a host of physical, chemical, geological and biological processes. Information obtained by scientists can be used to help design new drugs, examine the structure of surfaces in order to develop more effective motor oils, build more powerful computer chips, develop new materials for safer medical implants, and help clean up mining wastes, to name a few applications.

For more information visit the CLS website 
For photos to accompany this story and more images from the CLS visit our Flickr gallery

About the University of Saskatchewan

As one of Canada’s 15 top research-intensive universities, the U of S offers a highly collaborative research environment with some of the best facilities and analytical tools in the country including the Canadian Light Source synchrotron.  “Synchrotron Sciences: Innovation in Health, Environment and Advanced Technologies” is a signature area of U of S research.  Close to 300 U of S faculty, graduate students and post-doctoral fellows from a wide variety of fields, currently use the synchrotron to make discoveries with impact that are helping to mitigate environmental impacts of mining, create new and better materials, and improve human and animal health. 

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