Students step into the limelight: ATLAS awards excellent PhD theses
17th February 2021 | By
ATLAS PhD students are a key cohort of the Collaboration, making unique and crucial contributions to the experiment while working on their degree. Every year, their work is celebrated in the context of the ATLAS Thesis Awards. The theses awarded can cover any area of ATLAS physics, including detector development, operations, software and performance studies, and physics analysis.
On 11 February, the ATLAS Collaboration held its annual award ceremony for the winners. Typically, this means a celebration in CERN’s Main Auditorium, complete with in-person presentations by the winners, a room full of applauding colleagues and a dedicated photo session. But it is 2021 – and so the Collaboration had to find new ways to celebrate. The winners gave their talks remotely, met with virtual applause, and then posed for a group photo over Zoom with Spokesperson Karl Jakobs and Collaboration Board Chair Aleandro Nisati.
“We received 41 nominations this year, which is more than in all of our previous years,” says Jessica Leveque from Laboratoire d'Annecy de Physique des Particules (France) and ATLAS 2020 Thesis Awards Committee chair. “The nominated theses covered many outstanding physics results and service work for the Collaboration. We received so many high-quality nominations that it was a hard task to pick the winners.”
This year’s winners are: Christina Agapopoulou (University of Paris-Saclay), Milene Calvetti (University of Pisa), Jennet Dickinson (University of California, Berkeley), Kurt Hill (University of Colorado, Boulder), Luigi Marchese (University of Oxford), Cristiano David Sebastiani (University of Rome “La Sapienza”), Cecilia Tosciri (University of Oxford) and Marco Valente (University of Geneva).
From ground-breaking observations of the Higgs boson and searches for Dark Matter to novel detector design for Phase II of the LHC, their talks touched on the diverse research carried out at ATLAS.
During their presentations, the winners reflected on their time spent as students. From ground-breaking observations of the Higgs boson and searches for Dark Matter to novel detector design for Phase II of the LHC, their talks touched on the diverse research carried out at ATLAS. The winners also highlighted the friends and mentors they gained along the way, sharing photos from team meetings and ATLAS social events. These reflections held an even greater weight this year, as the Collaboration awaits the return of in-person meetings.
“The ATLAS Thesis Awards Committee Members congratulate and thank all the students who submitted their work and their supervisors,” says Leveque. “We already look forward to next year’s submissions, as we continue to celebrate ATLAS students in the years to come.”
Congratulations to all of the winners! Explore the winning theses here:
- Christina Agapopoulou: Research of Supersymmetry with the ATLAS detector and development of the High Granularity Timing Detector
- Milene Calvetti: Studies on H → bb decay and VH production with the ATLAS detector
- Jennet Dickinson: ATLAS Measurements of the Higgs Boson Coupling to the Top Quark in the Higgs to Diphoton Decay Channel
- Kurt Hill: Investigations of p+Pb Collisions at Perturbative and Non-Perturbative QCD Scales
- Luigi Marchese: Muon Reconstruction Performance and Constraints on Off-shell Higgs Boson Production and the Higgs Boson Total Width with the ATLAS Detector and Charm Production at Low Transverse Momentum with the CDF Detector
- Cristiano David Sebastiani: Through the looking glass and what ATLAS found there: a Dark Sector search for light Dark Matter
- Cecilia Tosciri: Machine Learning Applications and Observation of Higgs Boson Decays into a Pair of Bottom Quarks with the ATLAS Detector
- Marco Valente: Supersymmetric Beasts and Where to Find Them: From Novel Hadronic Reconstruction Methods to Search Results in Large Jet Multiplicity Final States at the ATLAS Experiment