Eleven Early Stage Researcher (ESR) have been hired by the European beneficiaries of the Marie Curie ITN INTENSE between 2021 and 2022. The ESRs are working on Research and Development for experimental particle physics, particle accelerators and particle detectors including e.g. neutrino, flavour, dark matter, or BSM searches.

This is the list of the hired Early Stage Researchers:

  • Closed: ESR position at the University of Pisa (Italy) intended to lead to a PhD degree (Job Announcement, Link reserved to the Applicant to proceed with the Application, Link reserved to the Referees to upload the Recommendation Letters). The selected student was Ms. Namitha Chitirasreemadam. Namitha was born in Kerala, India in 1997. She completed my High School in 2015 at Navy Children School, Kochi. She pursued the Integrated MSc. Course in Physics at S. V. National Institute of Technology, India from 2015-2020. During this period, she participated in summer internships at the Kupcinet Getz Summer School in Weizmann Institute of Science Israel, DAAD WISE program at the University of Giessen, DESY Summer School in Hamburg and HZDR, Dresden. These internships provided her with the opportunity to work on short projects in different fields of physics, be part of research groups, understand how they function and meet students, researchers from all parts of the world. She did her master thesis project on developing a data-directed approach to search for any significant electron-muon asymmetry in the data collected from the ATLAS experiment, under the guidance of Dr. Shikma Bressler at the Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel. For her doctoral research, she is now working under the guidance of Prof. Simone Donati on the Mu2e experiment, which is being set up at Fermilab, to search for the neutrinoless muon-to- electron coherent conversion in the field of a nucleus, an example of Charged Lepton Flavour Violation. Namitha has developed a custom offline event display for Mu2e using TEve, a ROOT based 3-D event visualization framework. Event displays are crucial for monitoring and debugging during live data taking as well as for public outreach. Namitha is also studying the background due to the residual antiproton contamination of the muon beam to the conversion electron search.
  • Closed: ESR position at INFN (Italy) intended to lead to a PhD degree at the University of Pisa (Job Announcement, Link reserved to the Applicant to proceed with the Application, Link Reserved to the Referees to upload the Recommendation Letters). The selected student was Mr. Hicham Benmansour. Hicham was born in Paris, France where he obtained his High School Diploma with the highest honours. After two years of preparatory classes with advanced courses in physics, mathematics and chemistry, he pursued a Bachelor and a Master in Engineering Sciences at Ecole Centrale de Lyon. Being particularly interested in physics courses, he applied for a Master’s programme at Queen’s University in Canada to deepen his knowledge in particle physics. There he worked with the team of Prof. Di Stefano and the DEAP-3600 collaboration, a direct detection dark matter experiment. He specialized in experimental particle physics and gained hands-on experience on scintillation properties and detectors. He also managed a full course load with Nuclear and Particle Physics but also Computational Methods for Physics and Astronomy. After successfully defending his Master thesis, he joined the MEG collaboration at University of Pisa to strengthen his skills in experimental particle physics and became a member of the team of Dr. Angela Papa. He is now working on the commissioning of the experiment at the Paul Scherrer Institute and on the assessment of the cylindrical drift chamber performances.
  • Closed: ESR position at the University of Padova (Italy) intended to lead to a PhD degree (Job Announcement, Link reserved to the Applicant to proceed with the Application, Link reserved to the Referees to upload the Recommendation Letters). The selected student was Ms. Maria Artero Pons. Maria was born in Sabadell, Spain in 1997. She started her education in physics at the Autonomus University of Barcelona, where she became deeply passionate about particle physics. To deepen her knowledge in this field, she did a master’s degree in theoretical physics at the University Complutense of Madrid. In there she had the opportunity to do my master’s thesis on the “Analysis of light detection with the ProtoDUNE double-phase liquid argon experiment at CERN”, introducing her to the world of neutrino physics. After that she was determined to continue her career in that field of research, hence on January 2021 she joined the ICARUS Neutrino Group working at the University of Padova to pursue her doctoral research. Under the supervision of Prof. Daniele Gibin, they are currently working on the calibration and data analysis of the detector within the framework of the Short Baseline Neutrino (SBN) program at Fermilab. In particular ICARUS is the far detector of this project, aiming to search for evidence of eV-scale sterile neutrinos. The first stage of the research has allowed to qualify the detector performance and master the exploitation of all the physical information for different systems. As a further goal, Maria is focussing on the analysis meant to clarify the recent NEUTRINO-4 claim of a substantial disappearance of neutrinos from a nuclear reactor.

  • Closed: ESR position at the Paul Scherrer Institut (Switzerland) intended to lead to a PhD degree at the ETH Zurich (Job Announcement and Application procedure). The selected student was Mr. Giovanni Dal Maso. Giovanni was born in Cuneo. He obtained both his bachelor degree in Physics (2018) and his master degree in Fundamental Interactions (2020) at the University of Pisa with 110 cum laude. In summer 2019 he joined the PSI Summer School program and the MEG Collaboration to characterize two high intensity muon beam detectors based on plastic scintillators coupled to SiPMs. His master thesis work was a continuation of this program, consisting in the implementation of their simulation using Geant4 as well as a simulation of the new Liquid Hydrogen target used t calibrate the response of the Liquid Xenon calorimeter for the MEG II experiment. In March 2021 he joined the Muon Group at the Paul Scherrer Institut where he has been working on the High Intensity Muon Beamline project, designing next generation beamlines for PSI, and on the beamlines serving the MEG II and Mu3e experiments. His PhD project includes also exotic physics searches exploiting the MEG II apparatus to measure the X17 anomaly in the Li(p, gamma)Be reaction.
  • Closed: ESR position at the University of Bern (Switzerland) intended to lead to a PhD degree (Job Announcement and Application procedure). The selected student was Mr. Shivaraj Mulleria Babu. He was born in 1996 in one of the remote villages named Mulleria, located in the Kerala state of India. After completion of his basic education in the local government schools, he did his undergraduation (B.Sc in Physics) at Government College Kasaragod. Later, he did his master’s course (M.Sc Physics) at Central University of Karantaka. During his Master’s studies, he unexpectedly came across a book named Neutrino Hunters, written by Dr.Ray Jayawardhana. The book made him a big fan of one of the mysterious particles in the universe, the neutrinos. That curiosity made him to choose the field of neutrino physics to work further. he did summer internship on ‘Neutrino Oscillation and quantum entanglement’ at Manipal Center for Natural Sciences, Karnataka and another one at India Based Neutrino Observatory (INO) – IICHEP campus at Madhurai, where he worked on the construction and assembling of mICAL detector. His master thesis was on the study of matter anti-matter asymetry using leptogenesis at IIT Guwahati under the guidance of Prof.Dr. P. Poulose. Now, He is pursuing my PhD studies at the Laboratory for high energy physics at University of Bern on Microboone and Short baseline near detector (SBND) experiments, under the guidance of Prof. Michele Weber. Microboone and SBND are liquid argon neutrino detectors situated in the Booster Neutrino Beam (BNB) at Fermilab as part of the Short-Baseline Neutrino Program, which will study neutrino oscillations and neutrino-argon interactions in the GeV energy range with unprecedented precision. The physics of these interactions is an important element for future neutrino experiments that will employ the LArTPC technology, such as the long-baseline Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE). Shivaraj is currently developing UV-calibration system for the SBND detector.
  • Closed: ESR position at the University of Manchester (United Kingdom) intended to lead to a PhD degree (Job Announcement and Application procedure). The selected student was Ms. Claudia Alvarez Garcia. Claudia was born in the south of Spain (Malaga) in 1997. She studied in Bezmiliana High School before she moved in 2015 to start her degree in Physics at the University of Granada, Spain from 2015-2019. It was during this time that she discovered the world of high-energy physics, group theory and quantum field theory and she developed a strong interest in this field. For this reason, she decided to study a Master in Particle and Astroparticle Physics at the University of Granada (2019-2020). During her Master’s Thesis (“Measurements of the physical properties of neutrinos through oscillation experiments”), she was able to do an in depth study of the quantum-mechanical effect of neutrino oscillations and how they are influenced by matter effects and then study which is the most appropriate experimental strategy to measure a possible violation of CP symmetry in the lepton sector. After she finished her studies, she started working as a research assistant at the University of Granada in the Short-Baseline Near Detector (SBND) experiment at Fermilab where she was able to broaden her knowledge in neutrino experiments focussing her work on Light Simulation until she started her Phd at the University of Manchester under the guidance of Prof. Mark Lancaster on the Mu2e experiment. The aim of this experiment is to search for neutrino-less coherent muon conversion into an electron in the field of a nucleus, a project which is also hoped to give new clues about beyond standard model theories and in particular, Maria is involved in the development and commissioning of the X-Ray Stopping Target Monitor (STM) detector.
  • Closed: ESR position at the University of Cambridge (United Kingdom) intended to lead to a PhD degree (Job Announcement and Application procedure).The selected student was Ms. Natsumi Taniuchi. Natsumi Taniuchi was born in Tokyo, Japan in 1996.  She obtained both her bachelor’s degree in 2019 and Master’s degree in Physics in 2021 at the University of Tokyo in Japan. During this time, she had the opportunity to join the collaboration of the Super-Kamiokande, which is operating as both neutrino detection and nucleon decay experiments. The topic of her master thesis was on the search of proton decay phenomena focusing on the decay channel into an eta meson and a charged lepton with improved estimation on meson interaction inside oxygen nucleus. This experience led her to pursue PhD degree in the same field on MicroBooNE and DUNE experiments. They utilise liquid argon TPC detectors enabling detection of various particles with fine tracking image. Besides the precise measurement of neutrino oscillation, one of the primary physics goals of DUNE is to search for signals of proton decay, especially accompanying a kaon. Under supervision of Dr. Melissa Uchida, she is currently working on the measurement of kaon production cross section with neutrino beam on MicroBooNE and expects to apply the result to DUNE for future proton decay detection.
  • Closed: ESR position at the University of Mainz (Germany) intended to lead to a PhD degree (Job Announcement and Application procedure). The selected student was Mr. Haris Avudaiyappan Murugan. Haris Murugan is from Madurai, India and call it home since his birth in 1999. After his schooling, he completed hus BS-MS dual degree in physics from IISER Berhampur in 2021. While he pursued his BS-MS degree, he was awarded the Inspire scholarship by the Department of Science and Technology (Govt. of India). He got the opportunity to work on various topics in the field of high energy physics. He was involved in the fabrication, installation and commissioning of the mini-ICAL (Iron Calorimeter) detector at the India-based Neutrino Observatory (INO). Also, he gained experience in theory and phenomenology of ultra-relativistic heavy-ion collision while he was working on a project to implement a framework to extract the freezeout parameters using the Hadron Resonance Gas model and study the fluctuations in the freezeout hypersurface of the Quark-Gluon Plasma (QGP) fireball. During his master’s thesis, he worked as a research member with the STAR experiment at RHIC, Brookhaven National Laboratory for his thesis titled “Searches For Pentaquark States With The STAR Experiment” and he was supervised by Prof. Sonia Kabana, Universidad de Tarapacá. He analyzed the data collected by the STAR detector at RHIC with gold nuclei collisions of beam energy equivalent to 39 GeV to search for lambda K-short pentaquark state. The lambda K-short decay topology was reconstructed in his thesis work and the topological cuts were optimized to obtain the signal to background ratio for the invariant mass distribution of the pentaquarks states. At present, he has joined as Marie-Curie Early Stage Research Fellow at Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz to pursue my PhD in physics. He is part of Prof. Niklaus Berger’s research group and a member of the Mu3e collaboration. For his PhD research he has been working towards the commissiong of the Mu3e filter farm as well as to develop calibration algorithms and frameworks for online particle tracking.
  • Closed: ESR position at CERN (Switzerland) (Job Announcement and Application procedure). The selected student was Mr. Lorenzo Uboldi. Lorenzo was born in Italy. He obtained his Bachelor Degree and his Master Degree in Physics at the University of Milano. He is very interested in neutrino Physics. His Bachelor Thesis was dedicated to the Borexino experiment. In particular, he focused on the characterization of a radioactive detector background, the 201Bi-210Po, in order to approach a measure of the CNO solar neutrino flux. As Master student, he was an Erasmus Student at the University of Edimburgh and a Summer Student at Fermilab.He was at Cern for  Master Thesis dedicated to the experiment ProtoDUNE, developing a semantic segmentation network aimed to run on a FPGA. Its goal was to implement an intelligent trigger directly in the data acquisition system with the aim to recognize particle physics events directly online. He attended Courses on Particle Physics, Experimental Particle Physics, Quantum Information, Statistical Physics, Computational Physics, Machine Learning, Statistical Data Analysis and Physics of the Atmosphere.  He has been an INTENSE Early Stage Researcher between January 2021 and January 2022 working on the analysis of the ProtoDUNE data at CERN.
  • Closed: ESR position at CAEN S.p.a (Italy) (Job Announcement and Application procedure). The selected student was Mr. Mattias Simonetto. Matías Simonetto was born in Argentina. He obtained both his bachelor degree in Physics (2018) and his master degree in Condensed Matter (2019) at the Balseiro Institute. In 2018 he joined the QCL project of the Atomic Center of Bariloche, dedicated to the development of quantum devices based on semiconductor heterostructures. His bachelor final project as well as his master’s thesis were on this topic, focusing on characterization and computational simulation of this type of quantum devices. The characterization of semiconductor heterostructures gave him the opportunity to familiarize himself with a wide variety of experimental techniques, especially of the optical field. On the other hand, the simulation of electronic transport properties led him to specialize in the development of scientific software. His objective as ESR in CAEN S.p.a. is to design and develop software control systems for DAQ electronic setup which can be deployed for future 10 kt scale Liquid Argon Time Projection Chamber (LAr-TPC) detectors.
  • Closed: ESR position at the University of Pisa (Italy) (Job Announcement and Application procedure); The selected student was Mr. Hussain Kitagawa. Hussain Katagawa was born in Japan. He obtained his bachelor degree in Physics (2020) and his master degree in Physics (2022) at the Okayama University (Japan). Hussain had a number of collaborations with the neutrino experiments Super-Kamiokande and T2K in Japan and the ATLAS experiment at CERN. In Super-Kamiokande he measured the water transparency of Cherenkov light by using the decay electrons from cosmic-ray muons, in T2K he measured the hadron multiplicities produced in proton and carbon interaction for the T2K neutrino flux production. In ATLAS he performed studies of hadron jets for the search of Axion-like particles and performed background studies for the study of diphoton events. His Master’s final project was the measurement of the charge ration of cosmic-ray muons in Super-Kamiokande. For his PhD research he will work on the development of high-performance data acquisition systems for particle physics experiments and on the study of lepton flavour violation at Fermilab experiments.
  • Closed: ESR position at CERN (Switzerland). The selected student was Mr. Atharva Dange. Atharva is a PhD student at the University Texas Arlington and is working with Prof. Jaehoon You (University Texas Arlington) and Dr. Francesco Pietropaolo (CERN) on the detector development for ProtoDUNE at CERN and data analysis for ICARUS at Fermilab.

All nodes, e.g. beneficiaries and partner organisations, will contribute to the ESRs training. The ESRs will participate in the numerous specific training events, workshops, introductory lectures and seminars by internationally known experts organised by the beneficiaries and partners organisations, and training events, like summer schools, organised by the international community. The ESR research effort will also focus on collaborations throughout the network. The ESR positions will include long secondments in another European beneficiary and/or in our partner organisations: at least at one major world laboratory or University. ESRs are also expected to participate actively in the outreach events organised by the network for the general public.

The salary consists of a Monthly Living Allowance pondered by the EU correction coefficient; in addition, researchers recruited within an ITN are entitled to receive a Mobility Allowance and also possibly a Family Allowance depending on marital status. The family status of a researcher will be determined at the date of their (first) recruitment in the action and will not evolve during the action lifetime. The net salary results from deducting all compulsory (employer /employee) social security contributions as well as direct taxes (e.g. income tax) from the gross amounts in line with national legislation.

The candidates must demonstrate a high level of accomplishment and excellence in her/his previous academic and professional experience.

By EU requirements, eligible candidates may be of any nationality and at the date of recruitment (means the first day of the employment of the researcher for the purposes of the action) should comply with the following rules:

All researchers recruited in an ITN must be Early-Stage Researchers (ESRs) at the date of recruitment by the beneficiary, be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research careers and have not been awarded a doctoral degree.

Mobility Rule: researchers must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of the recruiting beneficiary for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the recruitment date. Compulsory national service, short stays such as holidays, and time spent as part of a procedure for obtaining refugee status under the Geneva Convention (1951 Refugee Convention and the 1967 Protocol) are not taken into account.

The ITN INTENSE complies with an equal opportunity and gender balance policy.

For more information, please contact the INTENSE Principal Investigator

Simone Donati (University of Pisa)