Prof. Elias Vlieg
Prof. Elias Vlieg

Elias Vlieg elected Chair of the Council of the ESRF, the world's brightest X-ray source

Elias Vlieg, professor in Solid State Chemistry, has been elected as Chair of the ESRF Council. The European Synchrotron Radiation Facility in Grenoble is the world’s most intense source of synchrotron-generated light and is used for fundamental and innovation-driven research. The ESRF is a joint cooperation of 21 partner countries and hosts 9000 scientists annually.

X-ray source

The ESRF is the world's brightest synchrotron light source and has 44 specialized beam lines that can be operated simultaneously. Scientists from around the world use the extremely brilliant X-rays for fundamental and applied research, addressing societal challenges including health, energy, the environment and cultural heritage. 


The ESRF Council is made up of official delegates from each member state. This council of delegates acts as a shareholders’ assembly and is the highest governing body of the ESRF, responsible for the company policy. In his role as the council chair, Elias Vlieg primarily hopes to ensure the sustained excellence of this “already exceptionally well-managed organization”. But there are also serious challenges and developments that will shape the coming years such as high inflation and energy prices, which threaten the optimal use of the ESRF and its budget. 

Dutch awareness 

Elias Vlieg also aims to enhance his role as a prominent advocate for the ESRF within the Dutch research community, aiming to increase awareness about its use and unique capabilities among researchers: “because the Netherlands is a member of the ESRF (we are 5.8% shareholder together with Belgium), any research group can use the facility for 'free', provided of course that a proposal for beam time survives the strong competition”. 

European Synchotron Radiation Facility (ESRF)