ISIS user Prof Carla Andreani wins prestigious award

Monday 24 October 2016

Prof Carla Andreani

Prof Carla Andreani has been a key player in developing the strong relationship between the UK and Italian neutron communities.
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Professor Carla Andreani, ISIS user and long-term collaborator of the facility, has been awarded the Giuseppe Occhialini Medal and Prize from the Italian Physical Society together with the Institute of Physics. The award, which alternates between researchers in the UK and in Italy, recognises Prof Andreani, “For her transformative contributions to novel experimental techniques and methods using eV and MeV neutrons and for her tireless commitment to the creation and nurturing of a truly outstanding Italian community in neutron science.”

Prof Andreani is Professor in Condensed Matter in the Department of Physics at the University of Rome Tor Vergata, and has been a collaborator with ISIS for over 30 years. Her scientific heritage is primarily in the field of the interatomic and intermolecular interactions in fluids with neutron scattering, and she has been highly influential in the development of both instrumentation and techniques for this purpose.

In addition to her scientific and technical achievements, Prof Andreani has been a key player in developing the strong relationship between the UK and Italian neutron communities that exists today. Her first position at Harwell as a visiting scientist on the Harwell Linac in 1981 predates ISIS, and she returned in 1984 as a visiting scientist to the newly operational neutron source.

Carla quickly recognised the potential of pulsed spallation neutron sources, and one of her early achievements was identifying industrial applications of neutron scattering for residual stress measurements. She went on to exploit the technique of electron volt spectroscopy, and became a key player in determining the development of several instruments in that area – the Italian heritage is clear in the names of ISIS instruments, including TOSCA, PRISMA and VESUVIO. She also pioneered the use of neutrons as a non-destructive probe of cultural heritage artefacts.

Finally, Prof Andreani pioneered the use of MeV neutrons to test electronic devices against the impact of cosmic ray neutrons, initially with the VESUVIO instrument, which she designed and built. Her success in this area is evident in the subsequent development of ChipIR. This instrument, due to go into operation early next year, will be used by both industrial and academic users to understand what may be a major source of failure in the electronics industry.

Andrew Taylor, Director of National Laboratories at STFC, says, “I am delighted to hear that Prof Andreani has received this prestigious award. As a former Director of ISIS, I have known Carla for over thirty years, and whilst her scientific achievements are significant on their own, it is her tireless efforts to nurture the Italian neutron community and unite with the UK national facility that is truly outstanding. Long may the relationship continue!”

For more information, please visit the Institute of Physics website.

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