News from the CERN Council

The CERN Council has appointed Rolf-Dieter Heuer as CERN’s next Director-General as of January 2009. CERN’s current Director-General, Robert Aymar, reported on LHC progress.

CERN Director-General, Robert Aymar, brought good tidings at the end-of-the-year status report at the 145th meeting of the CERN Council. He was pleased to report that LHC commissioning was progressing well towards a summer 2008 start-up date.

CERN Council appointed Professor Rolf-Dieter Heuer as CERN's next Director-General.

From left to right: Robert Aymar, current Director-General, Professor Torsten Åkesson, President of the Council, and Professor Rolf-Dieter Heuer, next Director-General.

Progress includes the successful commissioning of two transfer lines to carry beams into the LHC in October, and the current cooling of two of the eight sectors to 1.9k, with three more set to begin cooling by early next year. More good news includes a successful pressure test of Sector 1-2, the last sector to undergo the test, on Saturday 8th December. The test assessed the ability of the mechanical design to withstand a pressure 25% above its design value, and Sector 1-2 passed with flying colours.

"Today, we’re on course for start-up in early summer 2008, but we won’t be able to fix the date for certain before the whole machine is cold, and we’re expecting that in the spring," said Aymar.

Any difficulties encountered during the cool-down and electrical tests that require the machine to be warmed up would lead to a delay of two to three months.

With the detectors almost fully installed, attention is now turning towards physics analysis and testing the full data chain from the detectors through to the Grid. All of the experimental collaborations expect to have their initial detectors ready for April 2008, some are already taking data routinely with cosmic rays, and baseline Grid services are in regular daily operation.


Council and Finance Committee

Professor T. Åkesson was re-elected as President of Council.
Professor G. Herten was re-elected as Vice-President of Council.
Dr M. Steinacher was re-elected as Chairman of the Finance Committee.
Mr C. Van Riel was re-elected as Chairman of TREF.
Mr B. Dormy was re-elected as Vice-Chairman of TREF.

Scientific Policy Committee

Professor E. Fernandez was elected as Chairman of the Scientific Policy Committee.
Professors J. Aysto and G. ‘t Hooft were appointed as new members of the Scientific Policy Committee.

Pension Fund

Mrs D. Duret was appointed as Vice-Chairperson of the Governing Board of the Pension fund.

Senior Staff Appointments

Dr V. Vuillemin was appointed as Leader ad interim of the Technical Support Department from 1 January 2008 to 30 June 2008.