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Virtual JAI Fest goes down a storm

The annual JAI fest, took place on Friday 11th December and was by all accounts a roaring success. Obviously due to the ongoing situation it was impossible to hold the meeting in person and it had to be held on Zoom. However, this provided no dampener on the excitement of the event, with many interesting talks given by the younger members of the JAI, the details of which can be found on the Indico page.


The session began with a summary of year from new JAI director, Prof. Phil Burrows. Prof. Burrows pointed out that despite the trouble that the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic had thrown up, 2020 was a success for the JAI, with news on grant applications, staff changes and PhD successes.

After the director's summary, current JAI students and early researchers took over proceedings. The first session highlighted JAI work on light sources and diffraction diagnostics. Following a short tea break, the topic of presentations moved to work done by researchers on novel beam lines. Of course the session had to pause for a lunch break, but was soon up and running with discussion of novel acceleration techniques. In the final session of the day, recent alumni took over and presented their experiences of life after the JAI both in accelerator physics and beyond. Third year Oxford DPhil student Aimee Ross, who gave a talk on laser-plasma acceleration, enjoyed the experience,

The JAI fest was very interesting and lively this year, despite not being in person. It was a great opportunity to discuss the recent research highlights from our group in Oxford and hear about all the other exciting progress that's being made across the JAI.

Despite being an online only event it was still possible to take a group photo. Some attendees were clearly taken by surprise by this prospect and had to quickly utilise nearby hairbrushes! In addition to this recreation of the physical event, some of post event festivities were able to be enjoyed with the creation of virtual "cocktail rooms", for a catch up between staff and discussion of the talks.

The event provided an enjoyable coda to 2020, a tough year for all. Phil Burrows summed up his thoughts on the event,

It was a privilege to hear such excellent talks from our students and postdocs addressing a range of challenging topics in cutting-edge accelerator R&D; also this year it was a special treat was to hear from several alumni about applying their skills to fields including public health and commercial data analytics. We are truly proud of all your achievements!