First Instrumentation & Innovation Prize

The winner of the inaugural 2019 ENSA Neutron Instrumentation and Innovation Award is Markus Appel.

“For ground-breaking advances of the neutron back-scattering technique leading to extended dynamic range, higher resolution and better signal-to-noise on the IN16B spectrometer at ILL”.

Markus Appel, currently a staff scientist at ILL, has since his PhD from TU Darmstadt devoted his talents to implementing innovative improvements to the neutron backscattering technique. These span from conceptual changes such as moving from monochromator to time-of-flight, over clever rephrasing of choppers to achieve ultra-low background, to the material and mechanical challenge of implementing GaAs analyzers. Together these improvements to the IN16B spectrometer at ILL has enabled a wide range of exciting science by a large number of user groups – perfectly embellishing the spirit of the Neutron Instrumentation and Innovation Award. More information about the award, sponsored by Mirrotron, can be found here (

Markus Appel from ILL is delivering a talk on backscattering spectroscopy after receiving the inaugural ENSA Neutron Instrumentation and Innovation Award of 2019.

The 2019 Walter Hälg Prize Winner: Kell Mortensen

Kell has been a world leader in the application of small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) to soft matter systems, in particular, polymers for three decades. He has contributed numerous fundamental advances to our understanding of the thermodynamics and dynamics of soft materials along with developing innovative in-situ techniques.

Scientifically his work on Polymer I Block copolymer melts was of fundamental importance: Key results include: (i) unraveling the consequences of fluctuation effects in diblock copolymers; (ii) discovery of the Gyroid phase; (iii) demonstration of the role of dynamic shearing in ordered block copolymers using in-situ devices; he was the first to implement a rheometer on a SANS beam line and became more or less synonymous with the use of in situ large amplitude oscillatory shear at SANS that produced numerous spectacular results; (iv) unification of the diblock copolymer phase diagram, where he identified 4 ordered structures that turned out to be universal for diblock copolymer systems; (v) discovery of polymeric bicontinuous microemulsions and (vi) elucidating  the physical solution properties of the Pluronics, an amphiphilic triblock copolymer that on the one hand is an important model system for the understanding of the physics and phase behavior of self-assembling systems and on the other hand has numerous applications as nonionic surface­ active agent in industrial applications, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, drug delivery, and bioprocessing.

Kell has represented the Danish neutron community internationally as the chair of the Danish user organization DANSKK for more than two decades and correspondingly has been the Danish ENSA delegate for almost the same amount of time. Also, as a co-founder of ESS-Scandinavia and chairman of the ESS-Scandinavia Science Committee he has been deeply involved in the long, hard struggle to ensure the building of the European Spallation Source.

* ENSA thanks SwissNeutronics for sponsoring this prize

Work in progress

The previous ENSA website has been blocked for some time now, due to technical problems. We are constructing a new site at this moment. Please bear with us.

Hello Neutron Scatterers!

Welcome to the new website of the European Neutron Scattering Association (ENSA).

We, ENSA, represent the scientists that use large-scale research infrastructures that operate a neutron source, like research reactors and accelerator-based spallation sources.

Half of the worlds mass actually consists of neutrons. Half of you consists of neutrons. Neutrons bind together the protons in the core of atoms, and therefore make atoms possible, and the world as we know it!

As scientists we like to liberate such neutrons from atom cores, just because they are such great probes for investigating matter, physics, chemistry and biology. To liberate enough neutrons from atoms, one requires big scientific infrastructures (big, as in not being table-top equipment). ENSA is the pan-European representation of scientist that visit such infrastructures to perform their experiments.