This summer was rich with events regularly organised by the ATLAS Early Career Scientists Board (ECSB): Induction Day, Career Q&A and the Ice Cream event. The ECSB is a special advisory group dedicated to assisting the ATLAS Collaboration in building an environment where the full scientific potential of young scientists can be realised. It consists of seven early career scientists, representing various career levels, nationalities, genders and home institutions. I have been in the thick of things as a new member of the ECSB and had a lot of new experiences. Each event was full of fantastic people and brought to its participants tonnes of useful information.
The first of our summer events was Induction Day, held on 3 June. During each Induction Day, the leaders of the collaboration introduce various elements of the experiment and answer questions from new members, mostly Masters and PhD students. The meeting was opened by the ATLAS spokesperson Karl Jakobs, who gave an overview of the ATLAS experiment and its role in the LHC. Then, the discussion about the major ingredients of the experiment began. There were presentations about detector operations, the trigger system, data quality and acquisition, computing, and finally about physics analyses in ATLAS. Newcomers were also introduced to safety rules and the CERN Code of Conduct, not forgetting to give credit to the importance of science outreach in the collaboration. ECSB members shared their experiences in talks about “how to do a PhD in ATLAS” and “how to do an ATLAS analysis”. There was an additional invited talk which walked the students through the analysis of Top quark production. Discussions continued during the welcome drink.
The second Career Q&A event was organised on 6 June, following the results of a general survey of ATLAS members. Among the many interesting opinions gathered, this survey showed a discrepancy between the way that people at different career levels rank the skill priorities for the same position differently. This issue and others related to career were discussed by 50 young ATLAS members and invited experienced scientists from around the world who recruit annually for their universities.
The summer ended with free ice cream and discussions around neutrino physics on 21 August. Around 100 early-career scientists were able to take a break from their current projects, to broaden their scientific horizons and learn more about what is going on in related fields. The Ice Cream event was organised, for the third time, in collaboration with young forums from all four large LHC experiments (ALICE, ATLAS, CMS and LHCb), and was opened this year by the CERN Director for Research and Computing, Eckhard Elsen. Previous editions covered such topics as future colliders, dark matter and dark energy. For me, this was perhaps the most memorable event, as I received the honorable role of presenting the speakers, which I had never done before at such a large event. It is hard to imagine where I would have gained such experience had I not decided to join the ATLAS ECSB a year ago.
Once again, I found out how an active position opens up new opportunities, provides you with new knowledge and helps you to grow. If you are a member of the ATLAS collaboration, I strongly encourage you to take part in the next ECSB event. The knowledge shared at these events could save you plenty of time and might even change your career. All events are broadcast online, so there are no more excuses if you cannot be at CERN in person. The next edition of the Induction Day (link internal) will take place on 21 October and we are waiting for all new members to facilitate their integration into the ATLAS family.