by Chiara Bianchin. Published: 27 April 2012

On 21st March 2012 I defended my PhD at the Physics Department “Galileo Galilei” of Padova University, Italy. My thesis title was Charm production at the LHC via D0 ? K? reconstruction in ALICE: cross section in pp collisions and first flow measurement in Pb-Pb collisions. All members of the Padova ALICE group attended to support myself and Davide, the other PhD student of the group defending at the same time. Two ALICE members, Anton Andronic and Raimond Snellings, were part of the jury, as experts. After the duties, the deserved celebration followed!

Chiara Bianchin

Chiara Bianchin

The way towards this touching day was not easy, but always enriching, both in life and work. My first step in ALICE was in 2005. I received a grant from the Alpha Project, which allows student exchanges between Europe and Latin America, and spent 3 months at the Center of Applied Technologies and Nuclear Development in La Habana, Cuba. It was a wonderful experience!

In 2007 I defended my Master thesis at Torino University, Italy. I developed my thesis work within the Inner Tracking System (ITS) group in Torino. The subject was the preparation of the measurement of the Ds meson; an interesting probe for the charm and strange content of the Quark Gluon Plasma. I then spent 4 months in the Muon group at the Laboratoire Subatech in Nantes, France, where I worked on the study of the noise from the muon chambers. At that moment I was still unsure whether I wanted to continue in research or not. I think I was feeling that together with the exciting side of research, many compromises and sacrifices were requested as well! Finally I decided to go ahead and I looked for a PhD grant.

By Christmas 2008 I obtained a grant for three years at Padova University. In January 2009 I moved there and I met a fantastic working group. I started with Monte Carlo studies in preparation of the measurement of the D0. Once the LHC delivered the first collisions I could analyse real data for the first time!

I think I'm very lucky with all the possibilities I had during these years. I travelled in many countries for conferences, schools, and workshops and I met so many people!

Now, what's next...? I've just been welcomed in the ITS upgrade group at CERN and I hope I'll be able to give a valuable contribution. What I wish the most is to learn at least as much as I did during the past years and to continue enjoying my job.