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  CHIPP-Home - Organization - Activities - CHIPP Prize
 

CHIPP Prize

 

The CHIPP Prize is to reward annually the best PhD student in Experimental or Theoretical Particle Physics. In the evaluation, emphasis will be given to the quality of PhD scientific work and to its relevance within the student's research group, as well as to novel ideas brought up by the candidate.

The applications are evaluated and assessed by the Selection Committee, at present composed of Adrian Signer (PSI, Chair), Aurelio Bay (EPFL), Maurice Bourquin (UniGE) and Ralph Eichler (ETHZ).

The announcement is sent to all CHIPP Members and follows the revised procedures as decided on 26 February 2016 by the CHIPP Board.


Prize 2017

The call for applications to the CHIPP Prize 2017 is open until 3 May 2017.

Prize 2016

Mohamed RAMEEZ (Uni. Geneva)

The CHIPP Prize for the best PhD student in experimental or theoretical particle physics is awarded for the 9th time. This year, the CHIPP Selection Committee decided to award the prize to Mohamed Rameez from the University of Geneva for his dissertation on dark matter searches with the IceCube neutrino detector in Antarctica. The laudatio says: "For his leadership in the searches for dark matter annihilation in the sun with the IceCube Neutrino Observatory and his contribution to their theoretical interpretation.". The presentation of his work is accessible here.

The versatility of Rameez, as he is commonly known, is reflected in his career path so far. He started by studying engineering at the Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS), one of India's most recognized universities. After having obtained a Bachelor he switched to physics and in 2012 he completed his Master in theoretical physics. Then he moved to the University of Geneva and joined the group of Teresa Montaruli as a PhD student.
The main work during his PhD was done within the IceCube neutrino observatory. If dark matter consists of WIMPs (weakly interacting massive particles) they can be gravitationally captured in the sun and, after annihilation, lead to an increased neutrino flux from the sun. Rameez was the driving force in searches for such a signal. Apart from his experimental work he collaborated with theoretical colleagues on the interpretation of the search results.
During his PhD he also worked on the search of astrophysical sources of high energy neutrinos and contributed to the CTA (Cherenkov Telescope Array) project. Rameez finished his PhD studies in spring 2016 and is now a postdoctoral researcher at the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen.

At the SPS/CHIPP Award Ceremony 2016 in Lugano on 23 August 2016, the CHIPP Prize winner, Mohamed Rameez, presents his diploma surrounded by the CHIPP Chair, Tatsuya Nakada (left), and by the Chair of the Selection Committee Adrian Signer (right). (Photo MT)

>> CHIPP-Prize 2016 article on "particlephysics.ch"


Prize 2015

Lilian WITTHAUER (Uni. Basel)

The CHIPP Prize for the best PhD student in experimental or theoretical particle physics is awarded for the 8th time. This year, the CHIPP Selection Committee decided to award the prize to Lilian Witthauer from the University of Basel for her dissertation (in prep.) on the η-photoproduction off quasi-free nucleons. The laudatio says: "For her comprehensive study of photoproduction of η-mesons on nucleons bound in deuterium and 3He with polarized beams and targets, which covered all aspects from data-taking with two different experimental set-ups at two medium energy electron accelerators to detector calibration and a challenging analysis". The presentation of her work is accessible here.

Lilian Witthauer did her undergraduate studies at the University of Basel, obtaining a Bachelor of Science in Physics in 2007 and a Master of Science in Physics in 2010. In her master thesis she started her studies of photoproduction of η-mesons off 3He in the research group of Bernd Krusche and stayed in this group for her PhD studies.
During her PhD she performed experiments at two different electron accelerators, ELSA in Bonn and MAMI in Mainz. In both cases she used polarized beams as well as polarized targets and measured the production of η-mesons off quasi-free nucleons. Compared to pion production, η-mesons offer a more selective view on the resonance structure of nucleons. These experiments offer insight into QCD in a regime, where pertubative methods are not applicable and theory has to rely on phenomenological models. In fact Lilian Witthauers results allow to discriminate between different theoretical models.
While working on her PhD she also embarked on advanced studies on medical physics and completed these studies with a master thesis related to radiation therapy for liver tumors. She obtained the Master of Advanced Studies in Medical Physics at ETH in 2014.

At the CHIPP Plenary session 2015 at Château de Bossey (29 June 2015), the prize winner Lilian Witthauer is surrounded by the CHIPP vice-Chair Adrian Signer (left) and the CHIPP Chair Olivier Schneider (right). (Photo MT)

>> CHIPP-Prize 2015 article on "particlephysics.ch"


Prize 2014

Marco PERUZZI (ETH Zurich)

The CHIPP Prize for the best PhD student in experimental or theoretical particle physics is awarded for the seventh time. This year, the CHIPP Selection Committee decided to award the prize to Marco Peruzzi from ETH Zürich for his dissertation (in prep.) on the measurement of the diphoton differential cross sections with the CMS detector at the LHC. The laudatio says: "For his original contribution to the development of novel topological algorithms to identify single photons in the electromagnetic calorimeter of the CMS experiment at the LHC and discriminate them agains abundant background from neutral pions". The presentation of his work is accessible here.

Marco Peruzzi received a master degree in Physics with honors at Scuola Normale Superiore and University of Pisa. In his master thesis he performed the first measurement of vector boson polarization at the LHC with the CMS experiment. He joined Prof. Dissertori's group at the Institute of Particle Physics of ETH Zurich in 2011 as a PhD student, working on the measurement of the diphoton production cross section with the CMS experiment.

 

At the CHIPP Plenary session 2014 in Fribourg (1st July 2014), the CHIPP vice-Chair (Gilberto Colangelo) hands over the diploma to the prize winner Marco Peruzzi. The CHIPP Chair (Olivier Schneider) joined for the group picture on the right (Photos JPR)

Diphoton production at hadron colliders represents an important benchmark for QCD predictions. The main background to this measurement consists of collimated diphoton decays of neutral mesons. A data-driven method to extract the prompt diphoton yield has been developed, making use of an isolation variable based on the Particle-Flow event reconstruction algorithm in a template fit. The small systematic uncertainty in the final result makes the measurement strongly sensitive to higher-order QCD phenomenology. Marco Peruzzi is also contributing to the operation and performance analysis of the CMS electromagnetic calorimeter (ECAL), and to studies for its future upgrades.

>> CHIPP-Prize 2014 article on "particlephysics.ch"


Prize 2013

Martin FERTL (PSI)

The CHIPP Prize for the best PhD student in experimental or theoretical particle physics is awarded for the sixth time. This year, the CHIPP Selection Committee decided to award the prize to Martin Fertl from PSI for his dissertation (in prep.) on the Hg co-magnetometer in the nEDM experiment at PSI. The laudatio says: "For his original contributions to the design and contribution of a new experiment planning to measure the electric dipole moment of the neutron at PSI". The presentation of his work is accessible here.

Martin Fertl studied physics at the Technische Universität München, Germany from which he graduated in 2009. For his diploma thesis he investigated and improved a cryogenic setup to increase the production rate of ultra-cold neutrons (UCN) at the Institut Laue-Langevin, Grenoble, France. In autumn 2009 Martin Fertl joined the UCN physics group of Prof. Klaus Kirch at the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI), Villigen as a Phd student (ETH Zürich).

At the CHIPP Plenary session 2013 in Campus Sursee (24 June 2013), the CHIPP vice-Chair (Gilberto Colangelo) hands over the diploma and the prize to the awardee Martin Fertl (Photos JPR)

During his PhD he implemented a new laser system for the mercury co-magnetometer which is a subsystem of paramount importantance in the neutron electric dipole moment (nEDM) experiment at PSI. The laser allows for an optimized signal generation, resulting in a more than a factor of five increased magnetometer sensitivity compared to the mercury discharge bulbs used so far as light sources. Systematic effects that might influence the measurement of the magnetic field can be controlled with the laser system, even on the level required for the next generation nEDM experiment. The new laser system allows several new measurement techniques relevant to this next generation experiment, which were not in reach with the old mercury discharge bulbs.

>> CHIPP-Prize 2013 article on "particlephysics.ch"


Prize 2012

Franz HERZOG (ETH Zurich)

The CHIPP Prize for the best PhD student in experimental or theoretical particle physics is awarded for the fifth time. Out of eight candidates and following the new procedure published on the CHIPP website, the CHIPP Selection Committee decided to award the prize to Franz Herzog from ETHZ for his dissertation (in prep.) on QCD corrections and non-linear mappings. The laudatio says: "For his contributions in developing a new method for NNLO perturbative calculations and its application to the phenomenology of the Higgs boson".

Franz Herzog received a Master of Physics with honours in mathematical physics from the University of Edinburgh. In his master thesis he investigated the potential of a computational method, developed originally to simulate rare events in condensed matter physics, to study Instanton production rates in Lattice QCD. He started his PhD position in theoretical particle physics with Prof. Anastasiou at ETH Zurich in 2008.

At the CHIPP Plenary session 2012 in Ittingen (13 September 2012), the CHIPP vice-Chair (Gilberto Colangelo) hands over the diploma to the prize winner Franz Herzog (Photos JPR)

During his PhD he developed a new method for the factorisation of overlapping singularities with a special non-linear mapping. Such singularities occur in higher order perturbative QCD corrections and make the computation of high precision Collider observables extremely challenging. He demonstrated the vast potential of the method by explicitly computing QCD corrections to observables important to Higgs boson phenomenology at the LHC, which had not previously been known at this perturbative order.


Prize 2011

Lesya SHCHUTSKA (EPF Lausanne)

The CHIPP Prize for the best PhD student in experimental or theoretical particle physics is awarded for the fourth time. Following the procedure published on the CHIPP website, the CHIPP Board selected Lesya Shchutska from EPFL for her dissertation (in preparation) on measurement of the cosmic-ray positron fraction with PEBS. The laudation says: "For her broad contribution to optimise the design of a balloon borne cosmic ray detector".

Lesya Shchutska did her Master thesis as a student of ITEP Moscow in the LHCb experiment, where she performed with simulated data a challenging analysis of measuring the time dependent CP asymmetry for the Bs->φγ decays. In 2008 she came to EPFL as a PhD student to Prof. Nakada’s group, where she first continued her work in the LHCb experiment – analysing real data. Eager to embark on detector development and design optimization in a project, which offered the possibility of acquiring hardware experience, she accepted to work for the Positron Electron Balloon Spectrometer (PEBS) experiment.

She performed very detailed simulations and optimisations of the PEBS electromagnetic calorimeter and participated in the prototype tests, where she extracted the prototype performance and compared it with the simulation, which was also developed by her. In parallel, she participated in a balloon campaign in cooperation with the Swedish Space National Board by joining the Aachen group. The PERDaix detector used for this campaign was a very scaled down version of the PEBS detector without calorimeter.

 

At the CHIPP Plenary session 2011 in Leysin (1 September 2011), the CHIPP Chair (Martin Pohl) hands over the diploma and the prize to the happy winner Lesya Shchutska (Photos JPR)

Presentation at the CHIPP plenary (1 September 2011)


Prize 2010

Alexander KISH (University of Zurich)

The CHIPP Prize for the best PhD student in experimental or theoretical particle physics was awarded for the third time. Out of three candidates and following the normal procedure, the CHIPP Board selected Alexander Kish from University of Zurich. The laudation says:" For his excellent experimental work and original contributions in the field of direct dark matter detection".

Alexander Kish joined the group of Laura Baudis at University of Zurich in January 2007. Prior to this he has worked at International Sakharov Environmental University and Belarusian National Academy of Science in Minsk, in the fields of nuclear physics, spin chemistry and radio-ecology. Since he was fascinated by dark matter research, he decided to move to Aachen, and then Zurich, and work on the XENON experiment. He has started to learn liquid scintillator and light detection techniques with XENON10 project, contributed to design and construction of the XENON100 detector, and currently working on PMT characterization, Monte Carlo simulations, and data analysis, aiming to finish PhD study in 2010.

At the CHIPP Plenary session 2010 in Gersau (23 August 2010), one of the CHIPP Vice-Chairs (Tatsuya Nakada), stepping in for Klaus Kirch (the CHIPP Prize responsible), hands over the diploma and the prize to the happy winner Alexander Kish (Photo JPR)

Presentation at the CHIPP plenary (23 August 2010)


Prize 2009

Pedro SCHWALLER (University of Zurich)

"For his deep understanding of quantum field theory and his important and original contributions to theoretical particle physics".

Presentation at the CHIPP plenary (25 August 2009)


Prize 2008

Michael RISSI (ETH Zurich)

"For his excellent experimental work and original contributions in the field of gamma-ray astrophysics".

Presentation at the CHIPP plenary (8 September 2008)



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