Keynote Speakers

Prof. Richard John Hall-Wilton

Detector Group Leader at the European Spallation Source ESS ERIC

A New Generation of Thermal Neutron Detectors at the European Spallation Source


The European Spallation Source (ESS), a next generation neutron spallation source, is presently well over half way through construction in Lund, Sweden. The current status of the construction will be shown. The first 15 instruments have been selected from conceptual proposals submitted by groups from around Europe. These instruments present numerous challenges for detector technology in the post Helium-3 crisis era, which is the default choice for neutron detectors for instruments built until today and also due to the extreme instantaneous rates expected across the ESS instrument suite. Additionally a new generation of source requires a new generation of detector technologies to fully exploit the opportunities that this source provides.

The instruments themselves are now starting construction. The baseline detector requirements is presented. The strategy outline as to how these requirements are being tackled by is shown, as well as the associated developments, which are nearing completion.

In particular for ESS, over half of the detectors will be based upon thin film converters of Boron-10 Carbide. The highlights of the developments so far over the past 8 years are shown. In particular, examples of how these have been tested to determine that scientific requirements are met are shown, based upon demonstrating key aspects of scientific performance. Additionally for the first time in neutron scattering, simulation of detailed detector and instrumental performance has been used to refine and determine the detector design. The state of the art of these simulation techniques is shown as well as future prospects.


Prof. Richard John Hall-Wilton studied Natural Sciences (physics and geology) at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge University, UK. With the thesis entitled “Diffractive and non-diffractive charm production in deep inelastic scattering at the ZEUS experiment on HERA”, he obtained his PhD in experimental particle physics at Bristol University in 1999. Since then he held different research positions at various universities and research institutes: York University Canada, University College London, Wisconsin University, and 6 years with CERN. His adjunct professorship position with Mid-Sweden University in Sundsvall started in 2013.

Prof. Richard Hall-Wilton has been based primarily at European research institutes – firstly at DESY, then CERN and currently at ESS – with the only exception of two years (1999-2000) in Toronto, Canada, building a detector upgrade for the ZEUS experiment in Hamburg. Throughout his career, he has been centrally involved in designing, developing, building, installing, commissioning and operating advanced detector systems and has a wide and varied experience in detectors. He is a world expert in neutron and diamond detector technologies, and has extensive experience with gaseous detectors and semiconductor detectors. He has developed beam monitors as both safety and monitoring systems, advanced triggers for large experiments, including zero- and minimum-biases for the CMS experiment at the LHC, and also tracking triggers. He was a physics coordinator for heavy flavor physics on the ZEUS experiment in DESY, Hamburg. At CERN, he was a core member of the CMS technical coordination team as well as coordinator of the beam and radiation monitoring for CMS, as well as a key bridge-person between CMS and the LHC machine.

Prof. Dr. Peter Križan

University of Ljubljana and J. Stefan Institute

Recent advances in detectors for particle physics


The talk will report on recent advances in detectors for particle physics, from detectors of the currently operating experiments to the research and development for future projects. After reviewing the requirements for complex detector systems in particle physics, we will discuss some selected detector systems at the high energy and intensity frontier, as well as in underground labs. The talk will then focus on advances in silicon detectors, gas based tracking devices, Cherenkov detectors and calorimeters. We will also review the present status of low level light sensors and fast inorganic scintillators. Where possible, reference will be made to developments that are potentially interesting for instrumentation in medical imaging as well as in fission and fusion research.

Concise CV: 

  • Ph.D. in Physics at the University of Ljubljana (experimental particle physics, experiment SC94 at CERN)

  • Professor of Physics, University of Ljubljana; senior researcher (PI) at the J. Stefan Institute, Ljubljana; visiting professor at Nagoya University; spokesperson (2009-13) and technical coordinator (from 2015) of the Belle II experiment at KEK, Tsukuba.

  • Research: the ARGUS and HERA-B experiments at DESY, Hamburg, Belle and Belle II experiments at KEK, Tsukuba, Japan; detector development (Cherenkov detectors, light sensors); applications in medical imaging

  • Editor: Nuclear Instruments and Methods A, JINST

  • Teaching: Universities of Ljubljana and Nagoya, numerous summer schools.

  • Committees: EPS HEPP; ICFA Instrumentation Panel; LHCC at CERN; EIC Detector R+D at BNL.

  • Awards, distinctions: member (extraordinary) of Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts; Zois award (Slovenian state award for science)

  • Keynote speakers are shown in alphabetical order.