by Virginia Greco. Published: 25 September 2018

The ALICE Collaboration Board meeting of last July opened with the awarding of the 2018 ALICE thesis prizes and continued with discussions on various topics and several endorsement votings.

2018 ALICE thesis award winners: (from left to right) Jaime Norman, Mohamad Tarhini, Monika Varga-Köfaragó.

Every year, the ALICE Thesis Award Committee confers a prize to recently graduated students whose PhD thesis is judged as outstanding. Jaime Norman, Mohamad Tarhini and Monika Varga-Köfaragó were selected out of nineteen candidates and assigned the 2018 award, which consisted of a plaque and a money prize of 500 CHF.

Jaime, whose PhD was delivered by the University of Liverpool, defended a thesis on “Λc+baryon production measurements with the ALICE experiment at the LHC”. Mohamad, who performed his doctoral studies at IPN Orsay, defended a thesis on “Measurement of Z-boson and J/ψ production in p-Pb and Pb-Pb collisions at √sNN= 5.02 TeV with ALICE at the LHC”. Finally, Monika, who graduated from the Utrecht University, presented her work on “Anomalous Broadening of Jet-Peak Shapes in Pb–Pb Collisions and Characterization of Monolithic Active Pixel Sensors for the ALICE Inner Tracking System Upgrade”.

The thesis award ceremony opened up the July meeting of the ALICE Collaboration Board (CB), which continued with discussions on various topics and several endorsement votings. A part of the meeting addressed diversity themes, on which ALICE is moving forward to make the Collaboration more open and inclusive. In 2017, a Diversity Task Force (DTF) carried out an analysis about the working environment in the Collaboration and produced a report that has gone through various approval stages, with recommendations that were endorsed during the CB meeting. Lawrence Pinsky reported on an event organized at CERN on July 5thby the LGBTQ community to raise awareness about their presence in science and their struggle to be openly themselves in this environment. Called the “LGBTQSTEM day”, it was co-organized by “Pride in STEM”, “House of STEM”, “InterEngineering” and “OSTEM” and supported by CERN.

The following point in the agenda was the endorsement of three new Physics Working Group (PWG) conveners and some Conference Committee (CC) members. For the conveners: Alice Ohlson will replace Anthony Timmins in the Flow and Correlations group (PWG-CF); Hugo Pereira will substitute Roberta Arnaldi in the Dileptons and Quarkonia group (PWG-DQ); Antonio Ortiz will take over after Jochen Klein in the Monte Carlo generators and Minimum Bias physics group (PWG-MM); Guillermo Contreras will take the place of Joakim Nystrand in the Ultraperipheral and Diffraction group (PWG-UD). In the CC, Gustavo Conesa Balbastre and Zaida Conesa Del Valle will replace Tom Dietel and Nicole Bastid, starting from October 1st.

The session was concluded by a presentation about the ALICE Juniors’ activities, given by Jeremy Wilkinson. He informed the CB that Monika Varga-Köfaragó was elected as a representative, following Mike Sas’ end of mandate, and that Kunal Garg became a member of the Juniors Committee, replacing Jacopo Margutti. Then, he reported on a joint event that the Juniors organized with the other LHC collaborations, called “A fresh look at the Universe”, which consisted of an evening of seminars about astrophysics, dark matter and dark energy. During the ALICE week, they also organised a diversity workshop – in collaboration with the CERN diversity office –, a Juniors’ Day with talks by 5 of the participants, and an analysis tutorial, which took place the same day as the CB Board.