MCEC hosts the world’s synchrotron scientists

Synchrotron scientists at the ‘6 Star Green Star’-rated Melbourne Convention Centre.
Synchrotron scientists at the ‘6 Star Green Star’-rated Melbourne Convention Centre.

Hundreds of the world’s leading synchrotron scientists descended on Melbourne in September when the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre hosted the 10th International Conference on Synchrotron Radiation and Instrumentation 2009 (SRI2009).

SRI2009 is the world’s most important forum for synchrotron radiation science and technology communities, promoting international exchange and collaboration among scientists and engineers involved in developing new concepts, techniques and instruments related to the production and utilisation of synchrotron radiation.

The Australian Synchrotron opened in 2007. It is a large machine which accelerates electrons to almost the speed of light and produces intense beams of synchrotron light which are captured and used to perform many different types of experiments simultaneously.

In Australia, the use of these beams of light led to the creation of the anti-influenza drug Relenza. Australian scientists are currently using synchrotrons to help premature babies breathe easier, with research into creating a safe, effective artificial lung surfactant.

Australian synchrotron scientists also used synchrotron light to uncover compelling evidence that famous racehorse Phar Lap ingested a single, large dose of arsenic 30–40 hours before his death, revealing that Phar Lap was almost certainly poisoned.

SRI2009 was attracted to Melbourne by the new synchrotron, Melbourne’s scientific reputation and the opportunity to use the state-of-the-art ‘6 Star Green Star’ environmentally rated Melbourne Convention Centre.

Further information: Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, Clive Dwyer, Tel: +61 (3) 9235 8213,,