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Astrophysicists inaugurate the new premises for RoCS with an opening ceremony

After ten months spent at the provisory offices at Ullevål Stadium, the astrophysicists are back to Svein Rosseland’s house, and all together celebrate the inauguration of the new premises for Rosseland Centre for Solar Physics, one of the nine Centers for Excellence at UiO.

Board of RoCS

Director, principle investigators (PIs) and centre coordinator for RoCS during the opening ceremony of the new premises at Svein Rosseland's house. From left: Viggo Hansteen, Sven Wedemeyer, Tiago Pereira, Luc Rouppe van der Voort, Benedikte Fagerli Karlsen, Boris Gudiksen and Mats Carlsson. Photo: Martina D'Angelo / UiO.

When the Solar Physics group at the Institute of Theoretical Astrophysics (ITA) was awarded the SFF-title and became the Rosseland Center for Solar Physics (RoCS) in 2017, it was clear that a significant expansion of the working areas was needed, as the number of employees would increase.

- The work at Svein Rosseland's house is intended to provide this, as well as make a basic renovation of offices and corridors, auditorium etc., explains Per B. Lilje, head of the Institute of Theoretical Astrophysics.

Built in 1932-1934, Svein Rosseland's house is the only institute in Norway where one can study to become an astronomer. It was designed by the well-known architects Finn Bryn and Johan Ellefsen, and it is considered one of their most important works. In the years 2001-2002, the building was already substantially restored. This year's upgrades are necessary to get the actual premises more suitable for teaching and research.

A happy partnership

Exactly two years after the solar physics group at ITA gained the status of Centre for Excellence (SFF) under the auspices Research Council of Norway (NFR), RoCS’s members together with ITA’s employees and students celebrate the opening of the new premises at Svein Rosseland's house. Liv Furuberg, coordinator at NFR, and Morten Dæhlen, dean of the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences (MN), congratulate Mats Carlsson, director of RoCS, for the impressive progress achieved in short time, namely the prestigious ERC-Synergy grant. Moreover, they congratulate the entire academic community at ITA and the members of RoCS for the “successful partnership”, key for creation of scientific quality at a high international level.

Opening ceremony of the new premises. From left: Mats Carlsson (Director of RoCS, UiO), Liv Furuberg (NFR coordinator), and Morten Dæhlen (dean of the MN faculty, UiO). Photo: ITA / UiO.

Ongoing work in 2020

Svein Rosseland's house. Photo: UiO

- RoCS needed not only dedicated working areas in Svein Rosseland's house; they also needed a new server room, Lilje adds.

As there is no more space in Svein Rosseland's house, 200 square meters large server room for new supercomputers is being built in the basement of Helga Eng's house with underground access from Svein Rosseland's. The work started at the beginning of summer 2019 and will be completed in January 2020. The total cost of building and installing the server room will be of NOK 33.2 million, most of which is covered by the MN-faculty and ITA.

- There is still a lot left. According to a state analysis of Svein Rosseland's exterior, large defects both on roofs, facades and windows, were found, says Lilje.

In May 2019, the government announced that UiO will receive an additional grant of NOK 30 million to exclusively upgrade the windows and facades of the building. These works are now being planned and will be completed during the summer of 2020.

By Martina D'Angelo
Published Dec. 6, 2019 10:58 AM - Last modified Sep. 1, 2020 8:12 AM