Sci-Tech Daresbury

The Cockcroft Institute

The Institute is named after the Nobel prize winner Sir John Cockcroft FRS, regarded as the pioneer of modern accelerator research. It seeks to stimulate collaboration between three communities: academia, the national laboratories of the STFC and industry.

The Cockcroft Institute exists to provide the intellectual focus, educational infrastructure, and the essential scientific and technological facilities for accelerator science and technology research and development.

This will enable UK scientists and engineers to take an internationally leading role in accelerator science and technology, advancing the scientific frontier into uncharted domains and returning scientific rewards of the highest order.

The Cockcroft Institute brings together the Universities of Lancaster, Liverpool and Manchester, and STFC’s Accelerator Science and Technology Centre (ASTeC). Through collaboration between academia, national laboratories, industry and local economy, it creates a focal point for the best accelerator scientists, engineers, educators and industrialists to lead the UK’s participation in flagship international experiments.

Rooted in a distinguished 50-year heritage of world-leading accelerator technology at Sci-Tech Daresbury, the Cockcroft Institute can offer end-to-end expertise in the design, simulation, commissioning and operation of accelerators. It also draws upon lab space, facilities and products provided by the stakeholder universities of Lancaster, Liverpool and Manchester.

Among the facilities and capabilities are:

  • Versatile Electron Linear Accelerator (VELA)
  • Microwave and Radio Frequency Laboratory
  • Super conducting Radio-Frequency Laboratory (SRF)
  • Laser Test Laboratory
  • Optics Metrology Laboratory
  • Vacuum Science Laboratory
  • Photocathode Preparation Laboratory
  • Surface science and novel coatings
  • Magnet technology
  • Cryogenics
  • Mechanical and electrical engineering and IT facilities
  • Access to the Nano Science facility and Photon Science Centre at the University of Manchester
  • Access to University of Liverpool’s medical facilities

Accelerators are a key technology for tackling the global challenges in healthcare, security, environment and energy, and are a major tool for modern manufacturing. Future advances in accelerator technology will benefit many aspects of our everyday lives – through areas such as cancer treatment, security scanning, industrial processing and advanced materials. The Cockcroft Institute works closely with industry to ensure that the social and economic impacts from the next generation of ground-breaking accelerator technologies are fully realised.