by Panos Charitos. Published: 20 May 2013

On the 5th and 6th of April the EAST ASIA – ITS upgrade workshop was held in Incheon, Korea, in order to discuss the ALICE ITS Upgrade plans. Groups from the EAST-Asian countries that participate in the ITS upgrade presented their plans and had a chance to meet and discuss with the group leaders from each country. The meeting was well received and the organizers are planning to hold similar meetings in the future, given their importance for the coordination of the project.

The participants of the EAST ASIA - ITS Upgrade meeting that was held by the Inha University in Incheon, Korea.

In 2011 the Physics Group of the Central China Normal University (CCNU) joined the ITS – Upgrade and has been very active working in designing and developing micro-electronics for the new detector. Ping Yang, a PhD student from the CCNU, has been working at CERN and a second student is expected to join the team later this year.The Wuhan University is in the process of setting-up a laboratory for the development of silicon detectors.

Last year, the Suranaree University of Technology (SUT) joined the ALICE Collaboration as a full member. Chinorat Kobdaj and his group are willing to contribute to the ITS project and work in developing new ITS geometry for the simulation and reconstruction code. In December 2012, on the occasion of the signing of the M.o.U. with SUT, Paolo Giubellino and Luciano Musa travelled to Thailand. They visited the Synchrotron Light Research Institute (Public Organization); a national research institute in Thailand. They also had the chance to discuss with the director of the National Electronics and Computer Technology Centre (NECTEC) that has a clear mission to promote R&D in the field of electronics. NECTEC is a bridge between the academic and industrial community. SUT and NECTEC both aim to get some of the research institutes involved in the ITS-Upgrade project. The Thai Micro Electronics Centre (TMEC), a research unit within the NECTEC, has expressed a strong interest to participate in microelectronics design and packaging activities.

Two Korean Universities, the Pusan National University and the Yonsei University, both members of the KO-ALICE made a commitment to work in the upgrade project. Moreover, the Inha University has recently joined ALICE as a full member motivated by the ALICE upgrade programme. Min Jung Kweon recently joined the Inha University after working with ALICE for almost seven years as a member of the Heidelberg group. Many other Korean Institutes have also expressed their interest to participate and work for the development of new electronics for the upgrade of the Inner Tracking System of ALICE.

Following the interest shown by many universities and research institutes in the area, Luciano Musa, the project leader of the ITS Upgrade, thought that an East-Asia cluster would be extremely important in developing a coherent program for the upgrade project and coordinating the efforts of the various teams from the region.

The first EAST ASIA – ITS upgrade meeting has been a unique opportunity to review the interest and the level of expertise of the various institutes as well as the resources available. On that basis, they tried to develop a common programme that would organize the institutes in larger teams, which essentially was one of the purposes of this meeting.

Following these efforts the EAST ASIA-ITS Upgrade meeting was held at the Inha University in Incheon on the 5th and 6th of April. Luciano Musa kicked off the meeting with an overview of the project followed by a number of presentations from the Institutes. Youngil Kwon presented the Yonsei participation followed by a brief introduction of the HIPEx lab in Pusan by In-Kwon Yoo. Wuhan’s participation was reviewed by Xiangming Sun who also presented the future plans of the University. The day closed with the presentation on the “Thai participation, status and plans” given by Chinorat Kobdaj (SUT), Supagorn Rugmai (SLRI) and Amporn Poyal (TMEC).

The meeting opened with an overview of the ITS Upgrade Project given by Luciano Musa.

During the second day, Walter Snoeys and Petra Riedler gave two more technical presentations on the “Pixel chip design” and the “Module development and construction”; both are research areas in which East-Asian groups have shown a strong interest. The meeting closed with a wrap up discussion that summarised the projects in which the institutes could contribute. As Luciano Musa explained “the workshop confirmed and summarized the proposal that has been agreed by the institutes which participate in the upgrade of the ALICE ITS. These institutes will be working closely in order to deal with the complexities of the ITS Upgrade”.

It was a well-organized workshop that gathered experts from different fields that came from various East-Asian institutes. The technological challenges of the ITS-Upgrade presented in this meeting attracted, as expected, the interest of many research institutes from the EAST-ASIA region. It should be mentioned that one of the Korean Universities, INHA has recently joined as a full member of the ALICE collaboration as a result of the hard and persistent work that ALICE members and our CERN colleagues have put in the ITS Upgrade.

In-Kwon Yoo, Chairman of the Korean ALICE team (KoALICE) gave a presentation during the meeting.

Min Jung Kweon recently joined Inha University that held the EAST ASIA - ITS Upgrade workshop.

During the workshop, Paolo Giubellino, Luciano Musa and Nu Xu had the chance to meet representatives from various funding agencies and, among them, the Director (Dongho Kim) of the Natural Sciences Department of the National Research Foundation (NRF) in Korea as well as the Congresspersons, who are responsible for the previous Korean Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MEST) and now for the Ministry of Science, ICT and future Planning (MSIP). Luciano considers that “it is important to inform the politicians and the management of the funding agencies about our plans and the outcome that our research could have, not only for the scientific community but, more broadly speaking, for the society in general, through a number of applications”.

Following the meeting, the participants had the chance to taste traditional Korean food thanks to the organizers of the workshop.

The next meeting is going to take place in December and the exact date will be announced soon. It is worth mentioning that the meetings are also open to students and many students travelled to Incheon in order to participate. The workshop is open to new students who might be interested to join one of the projects.

Following the first meeting, the organizers expect to get some concrete results later in the autumn before setting the agenda for the next meeting. They hope to have a well-defined agenda based on a progress report of the various institutes and previous discussions with their directors.