Published: 24 March 2015

I am a postdoc at the University of Muenster in Germany and currently period run coordinator of ALICE. I came at CERN for the first time in 2007 as young PhD student, when I took shifts during beam tests with the ALICE Transition Radiation Detector at the Proton Synchrotron. I had just started my PhD studies in Muenster and didn't actually know where to find the control room or the cavern when I made my first visit at Point 2, and I had no idea that I'll come back three times for considerable periods of time in the following years.

First, I had the opportunity to stay at CERN for one full year as support of the TRD team at P2 in 2009. During this year I experienced how exciting the daily work directly at the experiment and in the control room is. The second time I came in 2012 as system run coordinator of the TRD, once I had finished my PhD with studies on soft background subtraction in heavy-ion events and its bias for jet reconstruction. After the end of run 1, in 2013 and 2014, I built in Muenster the last TRD super-modules, which we completed in November 2014, and I was very glad when Federico asked me if I would be available as period run coordinator at the start of run 2.

Now I accompany the ALICE experiment in this important commissioning phase since mid of February, when all the detectors reunite in cosmic data taking. Highlights certainly were recent splash events from shots on the beam dump of the SPS transfer line and the first proton bunches through ALICE. My, for the moment, last period in the ARC ends end of March, when we expect the first beams in the LHC.