The 8th International Topical Meeting on Neutron Radiography (ITMNR-8) was held at Peking University (PKU), Beijing, China, on September 4-8, 2016. It followed the traditions of previous ITMNRs and was focused on "Neutron Imaging for Applications in Idustrya and Science".

The successful meeting was attended by 114 registered participants, 70 coming from outside of China from more than 20 different countries. In total 60 oral presentations of consistently very high quality on the topics industrial applications, scientific applications, softeware and simulation, facilities and instrumentation, and (new) methods in Neutron Imaging (NI) were presented. The applicability of NI not only for non-destructuve characterization of materials but also as a valuable, if not even a unique tool to solve top scientific questions was impressively demonstrated by some presentations, e. g. by diffraction imaging of Skyrmion nucleation, and by neutron depolarization imaging of weak ferromagnets, respectively.

Neutron Imaging School in the framework of the ITMNR-8 conference

In advance to the international ITMNR-8 conference the Peking University (in collaboration with the Tsinghua Unversity, China Institute of Atomic Energy and China Academy of Engineering Physics organized two trainings school days, mainly for the Chinese community: a national one (in Chinese language) and an international one (in English language) with some participants from the Asian region and USA. On two days (3rd - 4th September 2016) talks were given about the common practice in neutron imaging, including advanced methodical aspects and facility layout.

This event was organized in similarity to the approach in South Africa next to the WCNR-9, where a one-day school was held in Johannesburg.

Review Workshop after the ITMNR-8 conference in China

The ITMNR-8 conference took place in Peking between Sept. 4rd and 8th 2016 with 106 participants from 18 countries. Since China is not very easily accessible (visa, long-distance flights, costs) and the problem of air pollution is not negligible, this impressive participation indicated the high interest in the exchange of knowledge and the growing activities of the neutron imaging community.

The organizers did their very best to make the stay in China as comfortable as possible (e.g. excursion to the great wall, excellent meals, well acclimatized conference rooms, comfortable lodging for reasonable prices, visits to the facilities).

Even on this weekend, the participation of the school on 4th September was high with 57 people and the 8 international speakers in addition: E. Lehmann, P. Trtik (both Switzerland), B. Schillinger (Germany), D. Hussey (USA), M. Strobl (Sweden), M. Furusaka, T. Kamiyama (both Japan) and Y. Zou (China).

Participants and lecturers in front of the conference building on the campus of the Peking University.

The selected topic of the one hour lectures were the following:

  • Fundamentals of Neutron Imaging (Lehmann)
  • Neutron Imaging Facility and Neutron Tomography (Schillinger)
  • Resolution and Standardization of Neutron Imaging (Trtik)
  • Industrial Application of Neutron Imaging (Hussey)
  • Advanced Technology of Neutron Imaging (Strobl)
  • Accelerator based Neutron Source (Furusaka)
  • Energy Selective Neutron Imaging (Kamiyama)
  • Video Show neutron imaging experiments (Zou)

Before the English courses some Chinese courses were arranged on 3rd September for 47 Chinese students for their better understanding of English courses:

  • Technological Foundation for Neutron Imaging (Z. Guo, PKU)
  • Neutron Imaging Facilities (D. Chen, CIAE)
  • Application Overview of Neutron Imaging (H. Ho, CAEP)

The preparation of the school was done very carefully: material printed as handout and in digital format on a memory stick. The venue was well selected in size, technical infrastructure and comfort. The participants were highly motivated and used the lecture time with questions and communication. Also with a tighter program for participants, such a kick-off is important to attract new members of the neutron imaging community. It should be taken as template in future conference in the hosting countries like Australia (WCNR-11, 2018) or Argentina (ITMNR-9, 2020).

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