Ken Andersen will be ILL’s next Director

The Institut Laue-Langevin (ILL) is delighted to announce that its next Director will be Dr Ken Andersen.

He will take up his duties on 16th October 2023. 

After his appointment, Ken Andersen said, « ILL is a really special place for me. Professionally, it’s where I come from and it’s where I grew up. It’s a place I care deeply about.
It is an amazing privilege for me to be able to lead the ILL, particularly at this important time. ILL is and will remain at the forefront of neutron science in Europe and in the world. Coming out of the Endurance programmes, we are set for delivering an unprecedented level of scientific impact and productivity. That is how we demonstrate the importance of ILL to the European science ecosystem and set the stage for continued long-term scientific operation.
I look forward to returning and catching up with all my old friends again, as well as meeting and working with all the new staff who have joined since I left ILL in 2010. A lot has happened since then. I have a lot to engage with, and I’m really looking forward to getting stuck in! »

ILL is funded and managed by France, Germany and the United Kingdom, in partnership with 11 other European countries. UKRI/STFC, the UK Science and Technology Facilities Council, is one of its main funders, with an annual subscription that gives UK scientists access to the facility. 

At ILL, Ken will replace Paul Langan, who recently returned to Oak Ridge National Laboratory as associate laboratory director for Biological and Environmental Systems Science. Until Ken’s arrival, the interim director of ILL is Jérôme Estrade.

STFC Executive Chair Mark Thomson said: 
“I know that I speak for the entire research community in thanking Professor Paul Langan for his outstanding work as Director of the ILL and in wishing him all the best for the future.
“The ILL is one of the world’s premier research institutions and has a unique potential to yield much needed insights into diverse areas of research, from studies of how viruses interact with hosts at the atomic level to the role of magnetism in the future of quantum computing.
“It is fitting then that someone with such a unique wealth of experience of directing the highest level of research as Dr Ken Andersen has been appointed to realise this potential going forward.
“I have every confidence in Dr Andersen’s ability to continue to push the boundaries of neutron sciences at ILL and to further the work of Professor Langan and colleagues.”

The ILL is very happy to welcome back Ken Andersen, who knows us very well, having performed his thesis in physics at our institute, before becoming an instrument scientist (D7) and then heading one of the advanced technology departments at the ILL, the neutron optics department. Throughout his career, he has acquired a widely recognized expertise in neutron science and technology. When Ken arrives, he will find a state-of-the-art instrument suite and scientific services and a neutron source that is ready to deliver three cycles per year. Everything is in place to ensure that, under his leadership, ILL will continue to produce cutting-edge science and innovation in the years to come.

Ken Andersen

Ken Andersen is currently the Associate Laboratory Director for Neutron Sciences at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, where he oversees the operation and management of two neutron facilities: the Spallation Neutron Source (SNS) and the High Flux Isotope Reactor.  Each year, these facilities support about 3000 visiting scientists.  Previously, Ken was director for the Neutron Technologies Division within the Neutron Sciences Directorate. 

Between 2010 and 2019, Ken was head of the Neutron Instruments Division at the European Spallation Source in Lund, Sweden. Prior to that, he was in charge of the Neutron Optics lab at the ILL and has worked as an instrument scientist at both ILL and ISIS in the UK, as well as having spent a brief period as a post-doc at the KENS neutron facility in Japan. His research interests centre around the design and optimization of neutron instruments for both steady-state and pulsed neutron sources. He has a PhD in physics from the University of Keele in the UK and ILL (1991).