The science and chemicals company Johnson Matthey (JM) has a very unique connection with ISIS; as well as using the facility many times for a variety of experiments, they jointly fund a research fellow, Hamish Cavaye. The aim of Hamish's role is to inform JM staff about neutron techniques, and can involve anything from making introductions to running experiments
Early in the year, Hamish and the ISIS Business Development Manager, Graham Appleby, spoke with JM Research Manager Paul Collier, who is in charge of all liaisons between JM and the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory. Although the company has many links with STFC, and uses neutrons to aid their research in different areas, they realised that the average JM employee would not have a strong understanding of neutron techniques, and therefore wouldn't know when to approach Hamish to ask if it was applicable to their research.
From this conversation, the concept of a training day was developed. The aim was for JM scientists to gain a better awareness of what problems neutron techniques can solve, and how the techniques should be applied. This, in turn, could lead to more neutron measurements being done at ISIS with direct JM involvement.
Although unable to go ahead with an in-person training day on site, two afternoon training sessions were run remotely on 13 and 21 July. During these sessions, eight ISIS beamline scientists delivered training that covered the main techniques for studying materials using neutrons: spectroscopy, structure and imaging.
Over the two sessions, roughly 30 participants from JM sites across the UK and USA tuned in, and the events were recorded so that other JM staff across the world could watch them later. “The event was very successful," explains Graham; “surveys taken at the end of each day showed that, beforehand, only 50% of respondents had used neutrons before but, having finished the training, all of them thought that neutron techniques were relevant to their work, with 93% considering using neutrons in the future."
JM Research Manager Paul Collier (right) said; “I think this has had a very positive impact in JM and we will no doubt see further interest in neutron techniques as a result of it."
As well as Hamish, JM also jointly fund a research fellow with CLF, Kathryn Welsby, and she is now in the process of setting up their own training programme for JM, based on the ISIS one.