IUF Chair awarded to Alessandro Tengattini

- News, General news

ILL researcher Alessandro Tengattini has just been awarded a research chair at the Institut Universitaire de France (IUF) to develop a five-year research project exploiting the combined neutrons and X-ray imaging capabilities of the NeXT instrument at the ILL in a series of applications on environment and sustainability studies.

NeXT (Neutron and X-ray Tomography) hosts two complementary imaging set-ups using neutrons and X-rays as probes that can be operated simultaneously. In this project, specific topics will be addressed: carbon dioxide storage in geological systems, bio-sourced construction materials, and carbon-neutral concrete. "The research topics are open issues proposed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the UN’s body for assessing the science related to climate change", adds Alessandro Tengattini.

These topics involve intrinsically coupled processes – processes that can only be understood taking several processes simultaneously into account: mechanical, chemical, thermal, hydraulic. They thus need to be addressed using multiple sources of information simultaneously.

The approach will be to use the capabilities of NeXT to simultaneously obtain sample information in what we can see as a 5D information space: 3D position, time, plus n+X combined information. The goal is to enhance the impact of neutron science in these and related topics. In Tengattini’s words, "This will create a core of activities and a drive in thematic areas that are of clear interest for society and in which NeXT opens great possibilities, allowing us to advance at a faster pace."

Alessandro Tengattini is a researcher at ILL and an associate professor at UGA. He is one of the NeXT instrument responsible scientists, together with his colleagues Lukas Helfen and Anna Fedrigo. "Now that NeXT is built and fully tested, there will be more time to fully exploit its capabilities while continuing to support our users". The construction of NeXT was part of the recent ILL modernisation programme Endurance.

The mission of the Institut Universitaire de France is to promote the development of high-level research in universities and to strengthen interdisciplinary research, in particular by encouraging institutions and lecturer-researchers to achieve excellence in research, with expected positive impacts in teaching, training of young researchers and knowledge dissemination.