OPEN SESAME’s 70th training visit

OPEN SESAME’s 70th training visit took mechanical engineer Mohammad Al-Najdawi to the Elettra and ESRF laboratories in March 2019.

Mohammad Al-Najdawi, who has been with SESAME since 2007, leads the laboratory’s Mechanical, Vacuum and Cooling Group, a team of two engineers and four technicians. Holding a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Jordan and a Master’s from the Technical University of Madrid (UPM), Al-Najdawi has been involved with many important SESAME milestones from the installation of the first stage of the accelerator chain, the microtron, to the commissioning of the first beamlines.

 It’s future beamlines that brought Al-Najdawi to Europe in March. Two of new beamlines in preparation for SESAME are being made in Europe. A tomography beamline known as BEATS is being built thanks to an EU grant, while a soft x-ray beamline is a contribution to SESAME from Germany’s Helmholtz Alliance.

 While at Italy’s Elettra laboratory in Trieste, Al-Najdawi was hosted by Elettra’s Mechanical group leader, Ivan Cudin. Together, they visited the CINEL factory to learn about the design and functionality of a Double Multi-layer Monochromator, which will be part of the BEATS beamline. The visit to Trieste also allowed Al-Najdawi to study Elettra’s tomography beamline. Al-Najdawi also had discussions concerning beamline alignment and heat loads of beamline components that will help him plan for the cooling needs of SESAME’s new beamlines.

The European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, ESRF, is leading the BEATS project. Al-Najdawi’s visit to the Grenoble-based laboratory, which was hosted by Pierre Van Vaerenbergh, allowed him to take part in the pre-design phase of this new beamline, during which the layout and main components were defined. At both Elettra and ESRF, he visited the mechanical workshops with a view to setting up a workshop at SESAME.

 This was Al-Najdawi’s second OPEN SESAME supported visit to Europe. In March 2018, he and three others from SESAME went to Sweden’s Max IV laboratory to learn about an in-vacuum undulator, similar to one that will be deployed in another beamline under development at SESAME: one that will be used for protein crystallography. “Both of these visits were very important for me and for SESAME,” explains Al-Najdawi. “We have never worked with an in-vacuum undulator, at SESAME, so the trip to Max IV gave us very useful experience, while visiting Elettra and ESRF this year, has given me a wealth of new knowledge covering many areas we’re working on right now.”

From left to right: Ivan Cudin (Elettra), Pierre Van Vaerenbergh (ESRF), Mohammad Al-Najdawi (SESAME)
Picture credit: ESRF