My tour of member facilities - first stop: HZB

By Juliette Savin, Information Manager

Over the next few months, I will be visiting the European facilities that are part of NMI3´s Access programme. My aim in doing so is to finally put a face to the people I am in contact with every day (and haven´t yet met at NMI3 meetings or other conferences), to film, take pictures and interview our Joint Research Activities members for my JRA series of videos.

My first destination was the Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin, on the 19th and 20th January 2012. At HZB, I was warmly welcomed by Astrid Brandt (Beam time coordination) and Heike Gast (User coordination office), who helped me find my way around the HZB campus and pointed me in the direction of my first two interviewees.

To begin with, I had planned to meet the Sample Environment people. Klaus Kiefer, head of the Sample Environment department at HZB, gave me a tour of the BER II neutron guide halls. Both are being refurbished at the moment as the reactor is undergoing renovation. This meant that the halls were a bit ´messy´, but interesting to look at nonetheless, since a lot of instruments had been partly dismounted and could be scrutinized from inside, something that´s not usually allowed. Once I´d familiarized myself with the space and the facility, I could get on with what I was really at HZB for: do some filming!

First stop: Dirk Wallacher´s labs. Dirk Wallacher is from the Sample Environment department at HZB and is participating in the Sample Environment JRA , mainly through the development of special devices for gas adsorption (I will tell you more about this in the Sample Environment JRA video). I also spoke to Nico Grimm who works with him on a high temperature gas adsorption device.

After lunch I met Thomas Krist, who works on supermirrors for Neutron optics – he explained all about that in front of the camera, again: more coming soon in my Neutron Optics JRA video!

The next day, it was Nikolay Kardjilov´s turn to do a bit of video practice. He is responsible for the Imaging instrument at BER II, CONRAD, and he told me about his work for the Detectors JRA , and what he intends to do for the up-coming Imaging JRA.

While at HZB I also of course met the head of User operation – neutrons, Thomas Gutberlet and the Head of communication, Ina Helms. My stay there was very productive and interesting and I would like to thank everyone who helped me.

I know that being interviewed and filmed can be a bit stressful, but it can be very useful practice. I believe it is always good to practice talking about what you do to different audiences than your work colleagues, and video is one way of doing that. It is a way to practice summarising what you do into words and images that you might not usually use.