by Panos Charitos. Published: 24 April 2015

Zaida Conesa del Valle, a researcher at the IPN Orsay and convener of the ALICE heavy flavour group, recently won the prestigious CNRS Bronze Medal for particle and nuclear physics in recognition of her work at the ALICE experiment.

The Bronze Medal rewards the first piece of research of a scientist, which has made that person a talented specialist in a particular field. Thus, the CNRS (National Centre for Scientific Research, France) encourages researchers to continue working on a project that has already produced fruitful results. The eligible candidates come from different institutes across France and are nominated by their team leaders.

Zaida won the ALICE Thesis Award in 2008 for her outstanding thesis: “Performance of the ALICE Muon Spectrometer. Weak Boson Production and Measurement in Heavy Ion Collisions at the LHC”. She continued working in ALICE as a research fellow and is an expert in charm production in heavy ion ultrarelativistic collisions. In addition to her research, she is also involved in education and the dissemination of scientific culture with her participation in “La main à la pâte” Foundation and  in masterclasses, which aim to develop inquiry-based science education in primary and lower-secondary schools.

The CNRS Bronze Medal is a special honour for Zaïda for her hard work and scientific achievements, as well as for ALICE as a recognition of the importance of the field of heavy ion physics. The award ceremony, presided by Françoise Bettencourt Meyers, will take place later in spring 2015.