Published: 12 December 2013

I am a technician in the PH-DT-EM1 group, and a member of the team in charge of the construction, maintenance, operation and development of the ALICE experiment. My education in the field of high precision mechanics started at the Leidse Instrumentmakersschool in Leiden, the Netherlands. Before joining CERN I worked for two years at NIKHEF, in Amsterdam, where I was involved in the construction of some of the detectors for CHORUS (CERN) and HERA-B (DESY).

I arrived at CERN in 1998, starting my career in the group that was developing the ALICE HMPID detector. I participated in the design, construction and testing of various prototypes and later on the full scale detector including the complex gas and liquid systems. At the same time I worked with the team that looked after the ALICE test beams, making sure that all the users where set up properly in the beams in order to test the various detectors.

After the completion of the HMPID detector I participated in the installation of this detector and the necessary gas and liquid racks in ALICE. Once the HMPID detector was installed I moved over to the team responsible for the TPC installation and participated in the installation of this detector. The next project for me was the R&D of the VHMPID detector for which I designed and made several prototypes based on wire chambers and GEM detectors. Right now I’m involved in the ALICE ITS upgrade and more specifically I’m working on the inner barrel.

2013 For me, this year has been a very exciting and interesting year. I joined the ITS upgrade project, and moved from gaseous detectors to pixel detectors; a new and challenging field in my career. This means a change from gas-tight, mostly aluminium ‘boxes’ to extremely lightweight, open carbon structures, and from precisely tensioned and positioned 20um wires to very well aligned chips. As part of this change I also had to learn how to work with new materials and start using new techniques as we are looking for solutions to the new challenges.