Honorary degree for eminent Lancaster alumnus Robert Rimmer

from left; Professor Graeme Burt, Dr Robert  A. Rimmer with the Chancellor the Rt Hon Alan Milburn
from left; Professor Graeme Burt, Dr Robert A. Rimmer with the Chancellor the Rt Hon Alan Milburn

An internationally renowned scientist in the field of particle accelerators has been awarded an honorary Doctor of Science degree at the December graduation ceremonies.

Dr Robert A. Rimmer graduated from Lancaster University in 1985 where he studied Electronic Engineering, followed by a PhD at Daresbury Laboratory in Cheshire three years later.

He was a staff scientist at Berkeley Lab in California for 13 years before moving to Jefferson Lab in Virginia, where he is currently head of the SRF (superconducting radiofrequency) science and technology department within the Accelerator division.

Since moving to JLab he has been working in the field of superconducting RF including upgrades of the CEBAF accelerator and Jefferson Lab Free Electron Laser.

He has worked on various accelerator projects including the construction of the Advanced Light Source (ALS) in Berkeley and the PEP-II collider at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory at Stanford University in California.

He is now leading the SRF R&D for the Electron Ion Collider (EIC) at Brookhaven Lab in New York.

Dr Rimmer has worked on projects in Europe, Asia and America and is a recognized expert in RF systems and beam stability.

Professor Graeme Burt from the Department of Engineering at Lancaster University said: “His research has led to major advances in this field, from major particle colliders to the X-ray and neutron sources that are used in material, biological and chemical analysis.

“Bob’s renown with the field of particle accelerators has led to multiple roles in advisory bodies for many of the world’s particle accelerators.

“He has never lost his connection to Lancaster nor his interest in vacuum electronic devices and is presently working in collaboration with the Engineering department to demonstrate operation of an SRF accelerator driven by a high efficiency industrial magnetron, similar to the ones in microwave ovens. Such a compact accelerator could be a building block for a whole new range of applications of SRF for research, medicine, industry and environmental remediation.”

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