The construction and operation of the European XFEL has been entrusted to a non-profit limited liability company under German law, the European X-Ray Free-Electron Laser Facility GmbH (European XFEL GmbH).


The European XFEL GmbH exclusively and directly pursues non-profit objectives in the field of science and research.

The European XFEL GmbH in particular is in charge of

  • the coordination and monitoring of the construction activities,
  • the scientific policy and strategy,
  • the construction of three beamlines with six experiment stations and the associated infrastructure,
  • the operation of the beamlines and the implementation of a user programme,
  • the further development of the facility based on a vigorous research and development programme,
  • and, related to the aforementioned tasks: the management, supervision and controlling of all financial and other resources made available by the shareholders or through collaboration contracts.


The European XFEL GmbH is organized in groups that report to the management board. The company is governed by the European XFEL Council and supported by advisory committees.

The European XFEL Council is the supreme organ of the company. It functions as the shareholders’ assembly and decides on important issues of company policy.

The European XFEL Management Board is composed of the managing directors (“Geschäftsführer”) in the sense of the German law on companies with limited liability (GmbHG), and three scientific directors.

Advisory committees support the European XFEL GmbH in various matters (Scientific Advisory Committee, Machine Advisory Committee).


The basic organizational units of the company are called groups. All company personnel are subdivided in groups, apart from the members of the Management Board and the staff directly attached to them (assistants, secretaries, Controlling, Audit, Safety, and Public Relations). Each group has a leader who reports to one of the directors.

The task of constructing the European XFEL facility is subdivided into sub-tasks called work packages (WP). Most groups can be identified with specific WPs. For each of the WPs that remain in the direct competence of the company, a corresponding group is in charge. The leaders of these groups are also called “Work Package Leaders”. Each work package leader reports to one of the scientific directors.

In addition, there are “general purpose” groups that either support the activities of the entire company (e.g. the administrative groups or the Computing Services Group), or provide technical assistance for various WPs (e.g. Technical Support Services Group incl. Mechanical Workshop, Electronics Workshop etc.).

Organigram of European XFEL GmbH.