Technology Highlights brochure
Technology underpins much of the work undertaken by STFC. The Technology Department provides a wide range of capabilities to support the programme and has a presence on STFC’s three major sites: the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Daresbury Laboratory, and the UK Astronomy Technology Centre, Edinburgh. The Technology Highlight Brochures illustrates some of the exciting projects recently undertaken.
A new view of the Universe brochure
From digital cameras to global positioning systems (GPS), technologies developed for astronomy have helped to shape the world around us.
The Royal Astronomical Society has produced a booklet, supported by STFC, which sets out through a series of articles and case studies just some of the ways in which astronomy has had an impact on wider society.
STFC’s knowledge, skills, facilities and resources benefits UK citizens, the economy and society. This impact is considerable – from knowledge about the fundamental nature of the Universe to designing new drugs, mapping the brain, providing highly skilled training and creating new businesses.
Science addressing the grand challenges
STFC is playing a key role in helping society to address the global challenges it faces in energy, security, environment and healthcare. STFC’s science, technology and research is finding new and innovative ways to address these issues.
World-class research, innovation and skills makes the difference
Supporting world class research, innovation and skills are core functions of STFC. STFC is delivering its vision of maximising the impact of our knowledge, skills, facilities and resources for the benefit of the UK and its people through its support of curiosity-driven and application-led research.
Cobalt Light Systems
It takes talent, vision, commitment and an inventive mind to see light at the end of a research tunnel and few people can predict the wider long-term outcomes and benefits.
Some examples of STFC's scientific, social and economic impact are given in the following examples, taken from our 2008-09 Annual Report.
An Astronomical First for Asteroids
Imagine an 80 tonne asteroid hurtling towards the Earth at 30,000 mph. It may sound like science fiction but in October 2008 this scenario was a potentially dangerous reality.
Big Bang Day
10th September 2008 became Big Bang Day on BBC Radio 4 when the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) inspired an entire day’s programming.
Delivering for the UK: Economic Impact
STFC has an impressive track record of research excellence through its academic communities and in-house research scientists and engineers. Our world-leading science and technology is fundamental to the delivery of Economic Impact (EI) for the UK.
STFC’s Space Science Department at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL) has built instruments for three space missions, two already launched, to enable research into the Earth, Moon and Sun.
In August 2008, scientists paid tribute to the Synchrotron Radiation Source (SRS) at the Daresbury Laboratory. The world’s first second-generation synchrotron, SRS operated for 28 years and produced two million hours of science.
Skills for Small Businesses
Small and medium sized businesses across South East England are benefiting from highly skilled training thanks to STFC’s Skills for Technology project.
A Spin-out Sense Green Success
A sensor that can withstand hostile environments, help improve the efficiency of gas turbines used in aircraft engines and power stations, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions has been developed by STFC spin-out Oxsensis.
Photosynthesis In a Flash
Photosynthesis powers almost all of life but attempts to harness this process are yet to match nature’s design. Plants, which convert sunlight into chemical and electrical energy, are significantly more efficient than affordable solar cells.
International Year of Astronomy
One in five secondary schools now has a window into space after 1,000 schools received a free telescope during the International Year of Astronomy (IYA).
Investing in People
Scientific research is now central to the future prospects for our society, for driving forward the economy, dealing with global threats to security and the environment, enhancing the quality of life and in making the UK an attractive place to live, and invest.
ISIS broadens its reach
ISIS is one of the world’s leading sources of neutrons and muons. These subatomic particles can penetrate matter, pinpoint the location of atoms and determine the structure of materials.
Mapping the Brain
Each year 10,000 people in the UK are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. This neurological condition causes tremors, slowness of movement and stiff muscles, making it difficult to walk, write or talk.
Driving forwards materials chemistry
The Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills, John Denham, opened the new Knowledge Centre for Materials Chemistry (KCMC) at the STFC Daresbury Laboratory.
New ESA Centre in the United Kingdom
A step towards the creation of a new European Space Agency (ESA) research centre in the United Kingdom was taken in November 2008 with an agreement made at the ESA Ministerial Council in The Hague.
Proteins for Better Health
A team of UK scientists has made an important development that will help the design of new drugs for many conditions.
Skills for the World
More than 600 universities across Europe rely on STFC’s Microelectronics Support Centre (MSC). The centre supplies and supports the commercial design tool software used by microelectronics design engineers at an affordable price.
Examining the Exotic
Nuclear physics is at the heart of all science. “The atomic nucleus is responsible for more than 99.9% of the mass of all the matter we can see,” said Professor Paddy Regan from the University of Surrey.