On Valentine’s Day 2019, the ATLAS Collaboration took a break from the usual rhythm of scientific discussion to showcase some of its most junior members. In a celebration in CERN’s Main Auditorium, the collaboration held its 10th annual ATLAS Thesis Awards.

Winners of the 2018 ATLAS Thesis Awards. From left to right: ATLAS Spokesperson, Karl Jakobs; Thesis Award winners Andrew Stuart Bell, Nicolas Köhler, Nedaa Alexandra Asbah and Anne-Luise Poley; Chair of the 2018 ATLAS Thesis Awards Committee, Claudia Glasman; Thesis Award winners Rafal Bielski and Stefano Manzoni; and Collaboration Board Chair, Max Klein. (Image: E. Ward/CERN)

The ATLAS Thesis Awards highlight outstanding contributions made to the collaboration in the context of a PhD thesis. “These awards represent an excellent opportunity to recognize the work of our talented PhD students and showcase how their contributions are crucial to the success of ATLAS,” said Claudia Glasman, Chair of the 2018 ATLAS Thesis Awards Committee. ATLAS PhD students contribute strongly and critically to all areas of the experiment, while learning valuable skills for their degrees.

Its winners are the cream of a very talented crop: “The quality of the students graduating in ATLAS is very high and so, as is the case every year, selecting the winners was not an easy task,” adds Glasman. “The committee received 34 nominations this year, encompassing the diverse range of research areas studied at ATLAS.”

After a comprehensive review of each nominee, the committee selected six new winners: Nedaa Alexandra Asbah (DESY Hamburg), Andrew Stuart Bell (University of London), Rafal Bielski (University of Manchester), Nicolas Köhler (MPI München), Stefano Manzoni (University of Milan & INFN; University Pierre et Marie Curie & LPNHE-Paris), and Anne-Luise Poley (DESY Zeuthen).

During the award ceremony, each student was given a certificate, a glass model of the ATLAS detector, and personal congratulations from ATLAS Spokesperson Karl Jakobs, ATLAS Collaboration Board Chair Max Klein, and Claudia Glasman.

The winners each gave presentations about their thesis work in front of members of the ATLAS collaboration. On the subject of physics, their talks varied wildly: from the discovery of new Higgs channels and studies of top-quark production, to novel searches for dark energy and supersymmetry, and technological advances of the new ITk strip detectors developed for the High-Luminosity phase of the LHC.

The students also took this opportunity to acknowledge the mentors, teachers and family members who had supported them throughout their PhD. “Raising” a thesis through to its defence requires not only a village – it takes a whole a collaboration.

Explore each of the excellent, winning theses in the links below: