by Panos Charitos. Published: 28 March 2014

The ALICE collaboration has for the seventh time given awards to two of its doctoral students for their outstanding theses, in a ceremony that took place during the recent ALICE Week at CERN on 28 March.

Marta Verweij of the Utrecht University received the award for her physics thesis on "Modelling and measurement of jet quenching in relativistic heavy-ion collisions at the LHC". In her thesis she examined phenomenological models that describe the interaction of high-energetic partons with the medium formed in ultrarelativistic heavy-ion collisions. She pursued a fairly systematic study taking into account previous results from RHIC that were showing strong suppression for high pT particles. Moreover, her thesis had a strong experimental part on jet reconstruction in ALICE with data from the first PbPb LHC run. Following the succesful completion of her thesis, Marta has moved to Wayne State University, studying cold nuclear matter effects by using measurements of di-jet production in proton-lead collisions.

Xianguo Lu, of the Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg, received the award for the best technical thesis on "the performance limits of the ALICE Time Projection Chamber and Transition Radiation Detector for measuring identified hadron production at the LHC". As Xianguo explained in a previous issue of ALICE MATTERS: "After finding a general parametrization of the TRD signal distribution, he carried out a dedicated measurement of the muon transition radiation. The momentum resolution of the cosmic rays, measured by the TPC, was improved by a factor of 10 and the signal was observed in the momentum range of 50 GeV/c to 1 TeV/c". Following this step he started developing a fitting procedure - the TPC coherent fit - for particle identification using TPC in the momentum range from 150 MeV/c to above 40 GeV/c. Xianguo, is now involved in the analysis of hadron composition of jets; further pushing the particle identification performance at ALICE.

Marta Verweij (Utrecht University) and Xianguo Lu (Ruprecht-Karls-Universitat Heidelberg) are the two winners of this year's ALICE thesis award that they received during the last ALICE Collaboration Board.

There are more than 300 doctoral students working for ALICE, with a growing number of PhDs submitted every year. The selection is made by a committee of six people.