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Data Acquisition, Electronics, and Optoelectronics for LHC Experiments

Final Report Summary - ACEOLE (Data acquisition, electronics, and optoelectronics for LHC experiments)

ACEOLE started in 2008 as mono-site Initial Training Network (ITN) at European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN). The focus was research training in the application of advanced microelectronics, optoelectronics, networking and real-time data processing technologies in the world's state-of-the-art particle detector systems at the large hadron collider (LHC), and a future upgraded super-LHC (SLHC).

All of the researchers (16 ESRs + 3 ERs) were recruited on time and availed of the opportunities for scientific / technical as well as complementary training, making excellent use of the funding from the European Commission (EC).

The timing of ACEOLE coincided beautifully with the first collisions at the LHC. Several of the researchers worked on the ATLAS and CMS experiments which were the focus of scientific and media attention around the discovery of the Higgs boson.

The first researchers completed their contracts as of year three of the grant agreement. Feedback obtained from them confirmed their satisfaction with the training to help develop their scientific / technical expertise, as well as areas of communication, with improved confidence being quoted as a major result through the tailor-made 'Leaders in science' course that was run for them with the specific aim of helping them communicate to a non-scientific, decision-making audience.

Five researchers undertook doctorate (PhD) studies, one a Master of business administration (MBA) and another a post-graduate diploma in science communication.

ACEOLE was instrumental in creating the ISOTDAQ school series to provide training in the field of data acquisition for particle physics experiments. In particular, the ACEOLE researchers contributed to the design of the practical sessions at the schools and acted as tutors at the schools. Schools were held in Ankara, Rome and Cracow.

Other activities included specifically-designed courses (at the request of the researchers) on entrepreneurship, curriculum vitae (CV) writing and interview techniques, proposal writing and intellectual property right (IPR). Additional mentoring was provided for the female researchers, some of whom were involved in activities aiming to encourage participation of girls in science and technology.

A highlight at the end of ACEOLE was seeing the researchers being employed on such varied positions as a lecturer at University College London, communications officer at Médecins Sans Frontières, researcher at IBM and post-doc at the University of Pennsylvania. Several of the researchers also found positions as staff members at CERN in the physics, accelerator and information technology (IT) departments.

A video was produced by the researchers:

The presentations contain the researchers' overview of their experience on ACEOLE structured along the following lines: technical work, training, dissemination and post-ACEOLE career considerations.