by Iva Raynova. Published: 31 March 2016

The first ALICE run manager

During the final stage of the year-end technical stop the first run manager joined the ALICE run coordination team. His name is Massimiliano Marchisone and currently he is a postdoc. He completed his Masters in Turin, Italy, and his PhD at the University of Clermont-Ferrand, France, and in Turin. Now he works in South Africa for the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, and iThemba LABS in Cape Town.

The decision to study physics he made in high school. “I had a very good professor in physics and mathematics. I was really fascinated by physics and that is why I decided to start my career in the field – he remembers. – I want to understand the laws that govern the universe. I also try to share my fascination with my friends. I always explain that physics is not necessarily boring, that it is not just maths and formulas, but something way beyond that, something much more interesting.”

When he first joined ALICE in 2010, he started working on the muon trigger detector during the commissioning. “I still continue to take care of its performance. In view of its upgrade some new electronics has been developed and I study the performance of one resistive plate chamber (RPC), equipped with those new electronics.” Massimiliano is the deputy system run coordinator for the muon trigger detector and he is often an on-call shifter. In the past he analysed the upsilon production in lead-lead collisions and now – the muon production from open heavy-flavour mesons in proton-proton collisions. Currently he is one of the coordinators of the HFM physics analysis group.

In addition to all that he is run manager for two weeks. “Even before having stable beams and without taking data form collisions yet, it is quite busy in the control centre. In the period after the recommissioning there were still some interventions in the detector while we were trying to make ALICE ready for stable beams. There are a lot of activities ongoing, therefore a lot of things which require our attention” – he explains.

With all the responsibilities Massimiliano has in ALICE, he rarely finds any free time. When he finally manages, he makes sure that he does some sports: “I mainly like athletics, which I practiced when I was younger and I was also participating in competitions. Now, whenever I have the opportunity, I like to run. I also love cycling and when I am in Italy, I always ride my bike.”

Massimiliano’s dream for the future is to continue working in research: “What I am most happy about is that I have the opportunity to work on the detector. This is the work that I prefer. The other part, analysing data and studying the properties of the quark-gluon plasma, is also interesting. But what I like most is working on the detector, directly on the hardware. I would really like to continue doing that in the future.”