John Wood awarded Germany's Federal Cross of Merit
The German ambassador in London, Georg Boomgaarden, conferred the Officer's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany on Professor John Wood.
During a reception on 21 July 2010 at his residence in London, Ambassador Georg Boomgarden decorated Professor John Wood with the Officer's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany. From 2007 to 2008, John Wood was Principal of Imperial College London's Faculty of Engineering, one of the world's leading and most renowned technical universities, and is now International Relations Advisor. He was decorated in recognition of his outstanding service to international scientific cooperation and in appreciation of his contribution to the advancement of Germany's research status.
In the embassy's press release the justifications reads: "He has facilitated and led the complex international negotiations surrounding the XFEL project with great skill and dedication. As Chair of the XFEL International Steering Committee, Professor Wood played an important role in coordinating the documents necessary for the formation of the limited liability company through which the research organization could be operated. According to the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, it is thanks to Professor Wood's significant international experience, his mediation skills and constructive approach that the founding documents could be agreed upon and signed at the end of 2009."
From February 2004 to end of 2009, the International Steering Committee (ISC) met regularly to discuss matters related to its general task to promote and shape the process of setting up a consortium for the construction and operation of the proposed European XFEL Laboratory. In order to achieve this goal, the ISC worked out a “Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the Preparatory Phase of the European X-ray Free-Electron Laser Facility”, which was signed by representatives of the governments of 13 countries. The committee, which John Wood chaired since July 2007, was composed of high-level governmental or funding agency representatives from those countries intend to contribute to the funding of the construction and operation of the European XFEL.