ATLAS Thesis Awards: And the winners are…

3 March 2020 | By

With over 5000 members in 181 institutions, contributions to the ATLAS Collaboration can take a variety of forms. Every February, ATLAS celebrates the outstanding work of one particular set of members: its PhD students.

Recipients of the 2019 ATLAS Thesis Awards. From left to right: Karl Jakobs (ATLAS Spokesperson), Ahmed Tarek Abouelfadl Mohamed, Stephen Burns Menary, Daniel Joseph Antrim, Khilesh Pradip, Elodie Deborah Resseguie, Aleandro Nisati (Collaboration Board Chair), and Călin Alexa (Chair of the 2019 ATLAS Thesis Awards Committee). Not pictured: Karri Folan Di Petrillo. (Image: K. Anthony / ATLAS Collaboration)

There are almost 1200 PhD students in the collaboration, each making unique and crucial contributions to the experiment while working on their degree. Every year, the ATLAS Thesis Awards brings their outstanding work into the limelight.

On 27 February, in a celebration in CERN’s Main Auditorium, ATLAS announced the winners of the 2019 Thesis Awards: Ahmed Tarek Abouelfadl Mohamed (Paris-Diderot University), Daniel Joseph Antrim (University of California, Irvine), Elodie Deborah Resseguie (University of Pennsylvania), Karri Folan Di Petrillo (Harvard University), Khilesh Pradip (University of Pennsylvania) and Stephen Burns Menary (University of Manchester).

Selecting the cream of the crop is always a difficult task for the selection committee. “We received 35 nominations this year, the highest number since 2013,” says Călin Alexa, Chair of the 2019 ATLAS Thesis Awards Committee. “We would like to congratulate all of the nominees and their supervisors for their outstanding work. It was quite challenging for us to choose the winning six.”

The theses awarded can cover any area of ATLAS physics, including detector development, operations, software and performance studies, and physics analysis. Indeed, this year’s recipients all touched on at least two of these areas in considerable depth.

The ATLAS Thesis Awards are selected annually by a dedicated committee to recognise outstanding contributions to the collaboration in the context of a PhD thesis.

During the ceremony, the winners each gave a presentation about their time as students. Their talks encompassed the wide range of research carried by the ATLAS Collaboration: from high-precision measurements of the Higgs boson and new searches for supersymmetry, to the development and commissioning of new detectors. This was also an opportunity to reflect on the diverse experiences they had gained, and to acknowledge the mentors, family members and peers who had supported them throughout their PhD.

Following their talks, the winners were congratulated by ATLAS Spokesperson, Karl Jakobs, Collaboration Board Chair, Aleandro Nisati, and Thesis Committee Chair, Călin Alexa. To commemorate their accomplishment, they were also presented with certificates and an engraved glass model of the ATLAS detector.

In concluding the ceremony, supervisors were urged to continue to nominate the excellent work of their students. “As we are a multi-lingual committee and collaboration, we also hope to see further nominations of theses not written in English,” says Aleandro Nisati. “Every nomination is a privilege to read and we look forward to continued excellence in the years to come.”

Read the winning theses: