CERN concludes year of strong progress towards the LHC

Speaking at the 135th session of the CERN Council, the Director General, Robert Aymar, hailed a year of impressive progress towards the LHC project. 'In one year, we have made great progress,' he said. 'The challenge is not over, of course, but we have great confidence of maintaining the schedule for start-up in 2007.'

By the end of 2005, more than 200 magnets have already been put in place in the tunnel.

Robert Aymar's remarks come after a year during which the delay imposed by repairing defects in the cryogenic distribution line has been largely recovered. The LHC's cryogenic system is now well advanced, and installation of the LHC's magnets is progressing rapidly. Almost 1000 of the 1232 dipole magnets have been delivered to CERN, and over 200 magnets are already installed in the LHC's underground tunnel. 'It's been an exceptional year,' said LHC project leader Lyn Evans. 'There has been a lot of effort to recover from a difficult situation 12 months ago, and all key objectives for 2005 have been met.' Magnets are currently being installed at the rate of 20 per week, a rate that needs to increase to 25 per week in 2006 to maintain the LHC start-up schedule for 2007. A review of the schedule is planned for Spring 2006.

Robert Aymar also reminded the Council that 2005 was the World Year of Physics, and drew attention to a number of events that CERN had organized throughout the year to bring the excitement of fundamental science to a young audience. These include a World Wide Webcast bringing together scientists and audiences from around the globe for a 12-hour celebration of science on 1 December, and the Science on Stage Conference, which brought over 400 high-school teachers to CERN for one week in November. He also informed delegates that CERN's new visitor and networking centre, the Globe of Science and Innovation, had opened its doors to the public in September. The Globe will host a new permanent exhibition focused on scientific works at CERN, scheduled for inauguration in 2007 to coincide with the LHC start-up.

The Globe of Science and Innovation opened its doors to the public last September.

Elections and appointments

Ken J. Peach was re-elected Chairman of the Scientific Policy Committee for one year as of 1 January 2006.

Roy Aleksan and Alex Bondar were appointed as new members of the Scientific Policy Committee for a period of three years commencing 1 January 2006.

The President of Council, Enzo Iarocci, one Vice-President, Eivind Osnes, the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Finance Committee, Janet Seed and Martin Steinacher, and the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of TREF, Fernando Bello and Conrad Van Riel, were re-elected for one year as of 1 January 2006.

The Council approved the ad interim extension of Christian Cuénoud's term of office as Administrator of the Pension Fund from 1 January 2006. The terms of the current Vice-Chairman of the Governing Board, Jean-Pol Matheys, and Andre Naudi, acting Vice-Chairman, were also extended until the March 2006 Council session.

Richard Wade was elected Chairman of the Audit Committee for three years beginning 1 July 2006.

Senior staff appointments

Jean-Jacques Blaising was appointed Head of the PH Department from 1 January 2006 to 30 June 2008.

Steven Myers, Head of the AB Department, Philippe Lebrun, Head of the AT Department, Patrick Geeraert, Head of the FI Department, and Wolfgang Von Rüden, Head of the IT Department, were reappointed from 1 January 2006 to 30 June 2008.

Paolo Ciriani, Head of the TS Department, was reappointed from 1 January 2006 to 30 April 2008.

Maximilian Metzger's appointment as Secretary-General was extended until 30 June 2008.

Sergio Ferrara was approved for promotion to salary band Gc.