Published on 05.03.2024

Great Support for Scientific Images

HI team members during the HI roadshow at HZB

During the Helmholtz Imaging Roadshow at HZB Silvia Zerbe from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin interviewed Philipp Heuser, Head of Helmholtz Imaging Engineering and Support Unit at DESY. The article was written by Silvia Zerbe and originally published on the HZB Science Blog.

Science produces fascinating images. For two weeks, the most beautiful scientific images were exhibited in the foyer of the BESSY II X-ray source in Berlin-Adlershof. But it’s about much more than aesthetics: Helmholtz Imaging offers a great network that bundles expertise in imaging. Researchers benefit from this unbureaucratically and completely free of charge. Philipp Heuser from Helmholtz Imaging told me exactly what’s behind it during a roadshow at HZB.

I have just admired the fantastic pictures in the BESSY foyer. They are wonderful! Why do you need pictures in science?

Good pictures are needed everywhere! In research, of course, it’s not about beauty. In all areas of research, images are essential for gaining knowledge. Whether you work in medicine, analyze materials or analyze satellite images to study climate change: Images are extremely important, you can’t do it without them.

What are the current challenges in generating and processing images?

The challenges are very different, depending on which area you work in. The amount of data produced will grow immensely over the next few years. An example from the synchrotron re-search: If you use new detectors, even more data will be generated. This is important for obtain-ing better images. But you also should be able to handle such data volumes. For example, you need suitable software to analyze these images. Deep learning solutions are an important topic. This allows large amounts of information to be processed and analyzed. This is also one of our main areas.

How can Helmholtz Imaging help?

We have many different areas of expertise in the Helmholtz Association. So, we want to bring these together in Helmholtz Imaging! We experience that a problem has already been solved in one field of research but not yet in another. Normally, you don’t find out about existing solutions from other fields because the scientific communities are not connected. This is our starting point: Bringing together experts from different fields, initiating collaborations and developing solutions. Our motto is: enabling science. First of all, we try to broker the existing expertise from the Association, but if necessary our support and research teams will dive deep into the chal-lenges, to find a solution. That is a great benefit.

Specifically: How can I as a researcher benefit from Helmholtz Imaging?

Firstly, we provide everyone with concrete help for everyday problems. For example: What can I do if the beam has wobbled and my image is blurred? How do I get from my raw data to a com-plex 3D visualization? We are here to answer all these questions: Simply send an email to our support hub. We offer short-term advice, free of charge and unbureaucratic! Moreover, we can also put you in touch with experts from our CONNECT database. By the way: you are welcome to contribute as an expert. This expands your own competences and perspectives, and gives you visibility.

Secondly, researchers can take part in our training programs. We organize a summer school, hackathons, a large Helmholtz Imaging Conference and much more. Networking and learning are our main focus! Since we are talking about events: Our next Annual Conference will take place on 14-15 May in Heidelberg. The call for abstracts is open until 28 March 2024:

And thirdly, we publish an annual call for projects within Helmholtz Imaging. The next call is planned for spring 2024. Researchers can submit a project with relatively little effort – and re-ceive funding and access to expertise to solve their problem.

As you can see, Helmholtz Imaging offers fantastic opportunities – from support to research and funding. Just take a look at our website right now.

Missed the session but need help with an image analysis task? No worries! Join our HZB consultation hour!

Join our virtual open office hour on 7 March at 11-12 pm on Zoom. We invite you to come with an example of your data or task for a one-on-one consultation. No appointment needed. The meeting link is as follows: If you’re unavailable during this time but still interested, you can open a ticket at

Do you need help with your scientific images other than image analysis?

Contact Helmholtz Imaging at or complete our contact form.

Do you want to bring the Helmholtz Imaging Roadshow to your Center?

Reach out. We are happy to discuss the details with you.