A couple of years ago I started consulting for ESO
, the European Southern Observatory, Europe's organization for astronomy on the Southern Hemisphere. I worked a little bit on the ALMA
project. Working with ESO is really interesting, because the final outcome of your work is really relevant, and sometimes beautiful scientific data. Once we were in the US, visiting the ALMA prototype antenna at the site of the VLA
. Of course we took a tour of the VLA itself. That was one of my first "cool customer" experiences.
This week I had another one. I did some oAW consulting for the ESRF
, the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility. This is a facility in Grenoble, France, where a giant electron beam is used to produce x-ray light, to facilitate experiments in all kinds of scientific areas. They have a huge storage ring where they keep the beam going, and whenever they push it around corners along the perimeter of the ring, the electron beam emits x-ray light which is extracted and used in (I think) 42 experiments running at the same time. Below is a picture of the circular experimentation hall.
It was a real nice experience, they showed me around, explained everything, and of course I did an interview with one of the people there for omega tau
. I stayed in the guesthouse on site, which also gives this a very special flavor compared to the standard hotel. It was also the first customer where I had to do a safety training right after arrival :-)
I really like working for customers like that, so if you are working for another scientific research organization, let me know: I am sure we can agree on an attractive daily rate :-)