by Hans de Groot . Published: 20 March 2013


I joined the ALICE Collaboration in autumn 1995. At he time there was not much in terms of a formal structure. The need was however felt, analogous to ATLAS and CMS, for a Resources Coordinator to look after a number of financial and organizational matters. I joined a small team consisting of Jürgen Schukraft and Hans Gutbrod as Spokesperson and Deputy respectively, Wolfgang Klempt was Technical Coordinator and François Piuz was Test Beam Coordinator.

The Letter of Intent (CERN/LHCC 93-16) had already been approved by the LHCC in 1993. Towards the end of 1995 the Collaboration was working very hard to prepare a much more detailed proposal to the LHCC in the form of the Technical Proposal (CERN/LHCC 95-71. I remember very well the last frantic weekend before the delivery of the document to the CERN print shop early Monday morning to meet the LHCC deadline.

ALICE presents its first award to Industry: Behind from left to right (Derrière de gauche à droite): Bernardo Mota, member of the ALTRO design team, Jurgen Schukraft, ALICE Spokesperson, Luciano Musa, leader of the ALTRO Design Team and Coordinator of the ALICE TPC FEE, Roberto Camapagnolo, member of the ALICE TPC FEE team, Jean-Pierre Coffin, Deputy of the ALICE Collaboration Board Chairman, Hans de Groot ALICE Resource Coordinator, Laurent Degoujon, ST - Data Converter Design Manager, Claude Engster, member of the ALICE TPC FEE team, Alain Delpi, ST - Data Converter Business Unit Manager, Carmen Gonzalez, member of the ALICE TPC FEE team, Yiota Foka, ALICE Outreach Coordinator; Front: Fabio Formenti , EP-ED Group Leader, Juan Antonio Rubio, ETT Division Leader.

Memorandum of Understanding, Resources Review Board

Larger experiments at CERN are covered by a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), signed by the funding agencies, detailing the responsibilities of the different teams. Financial and organizational matters are discussed with the funding agencies at meetings at CERN of the Resources Review Board (RRB) where representatives of the funding agencies and CERN meet. My role in this process was to collect the data and prepare the documents for internal ALICE approval and presenting the experiment’s proposals to RRB meetings.

For ALICE is was agreed to have a intermediate step in the form of an Interim MoU. This document, presenting a preliminary indication of the contributions to the ALICE detector by the different experimental teams. The Interim MoU was presented in draft form to the first meeting of the ALICE RRB in December 1996. The final draft was approved by the RRB in April 1998.

Work then switched to the preparation of the final MoU. This document has a complete and much more detailed description of the responsibilities for the construction of the detector. The necessary data became available more or less in phase with the presentation to the LHCC of the different Technical Design Reports. A first MoU draft was presented to the RRB in April 1998. The final version was approved by the RRB in April 2000.

Collaboration Structure

In parallel to the work on the MoUs the structure of the Collaboration became more formalized. Emanuele Quercigh was elected in 1994 Chair of the Collaboration Board with Ingvar Otterlund as Deputy. Guy Paic, Lodovico Riccati and Reinhard Stock were elected ad personam as members of the Management Board. A document defining the internal structure of the Collaboration (ALICE Organization, ALICE 97/20, 9.06.97) was adopted and has gone through many revisions since.

One of my roles was to be Collaboration Board Secretary under the chairmanship of Emanuele Quercigh and his successor Lodovico Riccati. I have also been secretary of the Management Board from 1997 to 2001.

In 2008 I decided that, with ALICE essentially ready and operational, it was time for me to move on. I was pleased to see that the Collaboration and CERN Management agreed that Catherine Decosse, who had been working with me since 2000, should take over from me.

Members of the ALICE collaboration greet the arrival of the experiment's first 500 lead tungstate crystals: L. to r: Vladislav Manko (Kurchatov Institute, Moscow, PHOS project leader), Arne Klovning (University of Bergen, PHOS technical coordinator), Vyacheslav Demanov (VNIIEF, Sarov), Bjorn Pommeresche (University of Bergen), Hans de Groot (CERN, ALICE resource coordinator), Dimitri Alexandrov (Kurchatov Institute, Moscow), Mikhail Ippolitov (Kurchatov Institute, Moscow), Yuri Vinogradov (VNIIEF, Sarov), Chris Fabjan (CERN, ALICE technical coordinator), Yuri Sibiriak (Kurchatov Institute, Moscow), Sergei Sadovsky (IHEP, Protvino), Jurgen Schukraft (CERN, ALICE spokesperson).

A Reflection …

During the 13 years that I worked with ALICE I have been in a privileged position to observe, and play a role in, what I call the ‘CERN Model’ for doing experiments.

Despite the small management teams and the decentralized nature of decision making on resources allocation, the experiments managed to have the experiments ready and operational at the time the LHC became operational. And this despite, or perhaps more correctly, thanks to the absence of any formally binding agreements between the experiments, CERN and the funding agencies.

The CERN Model has developed over many years to cater to successive generations of experiments at CERN. The model has proven its merits over the years. But in the end it is the motivation of the physicists, engineers and technicians, member of the collaborations, that makes it work.