by Panos Charitos. Published: 14 September 2014

Ankita Nayak from Kolkata, India, is the youngest member of the ALICE Collaboration. She is currently studying Applied Electronics and Instrumentation Engineering in Techno India, Kolkata and has spent her summer as a summer student at CERN working with the ALICE DAQ group.  

Ankita developed an interest for science at a young age. “When I was in my twelfth grade, I did a science project work on graphene and got interested in nano-electronics. I was so fascinated that I decided to continue studying electronics”. She is interested in many different aspects related to modern electronics and thinking of following a career in the field.

For Ankita this is not the first time at CERN. Since her father, Tapan Nayak, has been working in the field of particle physics for many years, Ankita has spent part of her childhood in CERN’s restaurant and lived in the area for a couple of years.

“The first time that I visited CERN I was twelve years old and that is one of the reasons I wanted to come back here to work”.

During the summer she worked with the ALICE Data Acquisition Group, with Roberto Divia, in a project related to the new ALICE Run Control Centre. Ankita explains: “I am writing a program which will effectively control the display monitors during the experiment”. Her project has to be ready on time for the upcoming LHC run. Her work with ALICE offered her a wonderful and educational experience. She learned many things which will help her in the future.

Following her experience at CERN, Ankita is seriously thinking of a career in the field of particle physics. “CERN is a place which can inspire everyone to take up particle physics. Particle physics has both scientific as well as strong engineering components and I hope that one day I will come back to work on this aspect”.