Former PhD student awarded Fellowship at leading particle physics lab
01 September 2010
Dr Paul Edwards, a former PhD student in the University of Reading's Infrared Multilayer Laboratory, has recently begun a prestigious Fellowship at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN).
CERN, situated in Switzerland, is the world's biggest particle physics laboratory, and is home to the Large Hadron Collider in which scientists are attempting to re-create the conditions just after the Big Bang. They are hoping this will answer fundamental questions about the workings of the Universe.
Each year, CERN offers around 70 Fellowships, available to anyone from one of its 20 member countries.
Dr Edwards said: "I am delighted to have been awarded a Fellowship at CERN. I will be looking at ways of developing special coatings to reduce the emission of electrons from the walls of particle accelerators. These electrons are a major problem as they can form clouds which disrupt the particle beam."
Dr Edwards' PhD research was carried out in the University's Infrared Multilayer Laboratory, under the supervision of Dr John Bowen and Dr Gary Hawkins. During his time in the Laboratory he contributed to the development of infrared components for the NASA Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and the James Webb Space Telescope. He was awarded his PhD in 2006.
Dr Edwards said: "I enjoyed my time at the University of Reading enormously and it's a period of my life I'll always treasure. I'd like to thank my supervisors, John and Gary, as well all the staff at both the Multilayer Laboratory for the first-class tuition and guidance I received."
Dr Pedro Costa Pinto, senior division member of the Technology Department at CERN, said: "The Technology Department is responsible for technologies which are specific to existing particle accelerators, facilities and future projects. We believe Paul's experience in thin film coatings will be of great value in finding and implementing a solution to eradicate electron multipacting in these machines."
Dr Edwards added: "It is well worth students being aware of CERN's programme since their Fellowships and also their Graduate Engineer Training Scheme, provide an excellent opportunity for engineers and physicists alike to gain work experience in a very exciting and cutting-edge field."