Category Archives: news

Science Week at the EU Parliament: STOA–ERC Event 2019

The Panel for the Future of Science and Technology (STOA) of the European Parliament in cooperation with the European Research Council (ERC) annually organizes an event that brings Members of the EU Parliament and ERC-funded grantees. “Investing in researchers, shaping Europe’s future”, the STOA conference, aims to support a dialogue between scientists and policy-makers and to jointly discuss how Europe’s future can be shaped by fundamental research on topics ranging from smart agriculture and food, to migration and demography.

This year Prof. Pokroy was invited to talk in the framework of the ERC-STOA 2019 event in a session on smart Agriculture for the Future of EU. The event was hosted by ERC president Professor Jean Pierre Bourguignon and Ms. Eva Kaili European Parliament Member – Chair Future Science & Technology. Click here for more information.

Shared by the Communication Unit of the ERC

STOA Event

Shared by the Communication Unit of the ERC


Humans of ESRF 2018: Boaz Pokroy

In 2018 the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) is celebrating its 30th anniversary and has launched a blog devoted to the outstanding people from all over the world who work together at the ESRF.

Our group leader, Prof. Boaz Pokroy,  who has been a user of the ESRF for 18 years and is currently a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) is one of the Humans of  ESRF. Click here to find out more and read a short story of his ESRF life.


E-MRS 2018 Fall Meeting.

We are delighted to congratulate our PhD student Yael on receiving a prestigious Graduate Student Award of the E-MRS Fall Meeting that took place in Warsaw 17-20 October 2018!

Yeal, we wish you many more achievements ahead!

Scholarships Winners: winter semester

December 2017 – Join us in congratulating our students  on winning prestigious scholarships:

Achiya – for receiving the Sherman Prize!

Stas – for getting an extra scholarship for Excellence in Research!

Yael – for getting the prestigious Jacobs Scholarship!

This is the way to go! We are proud of You!



Published in Science: The study on brittlestar lenses

December 2017 – We are happy to share with you our recent findings that have been published in the December 8 issue of Science.  Click here for FREE download.

Our group in collaboration with University of Trento, University of Wisconsin and Charité University uncovered the unique protective mechanism of highly resistant lenses located on the arms of Ophiocoma wendtii, a coral reef-dwelling brittle starfish. On the arms of this creature are hundreds of focal lenses that hold clues to making tough ceramics.

Ophiocoma wendtii lenses are created in the open sea, not in a laboratory, and in effect we have discovered a strategy for making brittle material much more tough and durable under natural conditions,” said Prof. Pokroy. “It is ‘crystal engineering’ and tempering without heating and quenching – a process that could be very useful in materials science and engineering.”

“Just as nature exhibits creativity in improving an organism’s abilities in various contexts such as strength, sensing, and self-defense, we see very high efficiency by the brittle star’s use of existing raw materials under natural conditions to create hardy and precise transparent lenses,” says Prof. Pokroy.

Watch YouTube video to find out more!

24 hours at the X-ray factory: Behind the scenes at Europe’s massive synchrotron — where science never sleeps

This is a fascinating glimpse into the ESRF’s work and life activities published on Nature. Walking around the ring with all different types of beam lines running 24/7, you have a unique opportunity to visit and follow the exciting and challenging times at the powder diffraction beam line ID22, a “second home” for our group on the way to scientific results and inventions.

The synchrotron that never sleeps