by Ian Randall. Published: 03 November 2010

The Mexican Physical Society has honoured Paolo Giubellino, ALICE’s spokesperson elect, with the Medal of the Division of Particles and Fields, for his work with Mexico in the study of high energy physics.

Giubellino is the first European to receive this medal. The award was presented during the 5th International Workshop on High-pT Physics at LHC, which was held at the end of September this year in Mexico’s Instituto de Ciencias Nucleares.

Isabel Doninguez/Instituto de Ciencias Nucleares (ICM) of UNAM

Paolo Giubellino with Guillermo Contreras Nuno, the President of the Particles and Fields section of the Mexican Physical Society

A major promoter of cooperation between European and Latin American researchers, Giubellino also played a pivotal role in bringing Mexico into the ALICE collaboration – where they constructed both the cosmic ray detector and part of the V0 detector.

“I'm very happy to have been instrumental to this,” Giubellino says, adding: “Mexico is a fairly large member in ALICE, it has four institutions [involved] and they have actually built significant hardware. They are making an impact on physics.”

Explaining that, previously, Mexican particle physicists tended to work separately, Giubellino says: “This is the first time they have actually managed to coalesce into a common enterprise. This has been a process which has been fairly complicated across the years, but is now bearing its fruits.”

“I think it is a sign of the times, of the role that CERN is now playing, by becoming a world laboratory,” he added.

At the award ceremony, a presentation was given showing the fifteen-year history of Giubellino’s work alongside Mexico. “It was amazing to see… all the sequence of all these years past and all these various things we have done together and gone through,” he said.

Giubellino, however, hasn’t quite finished working with Mexico yet. “We will have a new, big cooperative project with the four major Latin American countries, called E-planet,” he says. This new project, between ALICE, Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Mexico, has just been approved by the European Union.

Giubellino adds: “We hope that this will start soon and we will see more flourishing.”