MAX IV on path to becoming a world-leading facility

The Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet), which funds the majority of MAX IV operations, recently conducted another review of MAX IV on 11–12 November, the third since summer 2018. The previous two reviews exclusively focused on project management issues relating to the beamline program. This review again focused primarily on project management within MAX IV but with an enlarged committee of seven members charged with evaluating project management as a whole within the facility, including the accelerator as well as beamline programs. The Swedish Research Council also asked the committee to investigate how MAX IV is handling the transition from the construction phase to the operation phase. Consequently, the review committee was organized into two subcommittees, one concentrating on project management and the other on the transition to operations at MAX IV.

The full review report is available here: VR review MAX IV November 2019.

In the report, the review committee noted that many of the beamlines at MAX IV are rapidly moving into commissioning and operation and that MAX IV has made significant progress toward both project management and beamline development since the previous review in February 2019. The review committee commented in the report preface that, “We are convinced that the project is now moving in the right direction.” Furthermore, the executive summary of the report stated that “The committee congratulates the MAX IV team on the progress made in the accelerator system, the steady development of the beamlines with baseline functionalities and the increased flow of positive energy and the high morale of the staff devoted to finalising the projects. The committee gained the impression that all problems that led to this series of reviews have been understood and efforts are made by the MAX IV staff to make continuous progress without further delays.”

The report also pointed to challenges ahead, such as “The overall timelines for present beamline projects are found to be credible, with the caveat that the extra funding required for future operations is made available.” And it identified concerns about the transition ahead from building to full operation of the facility, encouraging MAX IV to develop a strategy for providing efficient user operations and support to enable outstanding science within the current budget climate.

However, the executive summary concluded, “Overall, the committee is happy to see that MAX IV is finally on the trajectory in ensuring its position and displaying its potential in becoming a world-leading synchrotron radiation user facility.” MAX IV is very pleased with the positive outcome of the review and looks forward to addressing the review committee’s recommendations.