CERN Accelerating science

Keep the CERN smile on!

by Maria Brigida Brunetti

How did you decide to apply for the summer student programme?

I first heard about CERN's summer student programme a few years ago while looking for interesting opportunities for a summer research project. Later, I discussed about CERN's summer students programme with students from my University who had previously been here and I applied without hesitation. I was sure that it would be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

What is your previous background?

I am a master student in subnuclear and astroparticle physics at Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II.
I had previously visited CERN with my University. I was therefore familiar with CERN's research programme, andsince then I have been looking forward to coming to the place where so many scientific frontiers are being pushed forward.

Tell us a few words about your project...

My project is related to the characterization of novel active silicon sensors, produced with HV-CMOS processes, with edge-TCT setup. Both the sensors and the technique have been developed very recently and are very promising. They could possibly pave the way to more efficient pixel and strip detectors.

What I like most is experiencing each and every step of the characterization process, from the realization of hardware necessary for the setup, to the measurements and analysis I am going to perform later in the programme.

Is your experience so far close to what you were expecting?

The summer student experience has way overcome my expectations and hopes. CERN has quickly become like home to me. The summer student team takes great care of us and it is making our stay as comfortable and enriching as possible.

The lecture programme has been very wide and satisfying, covering many very interesting advanced topics and providing us with new useful insights. My supervisors and everybody who is helping me at work are extremely nice, experienced and passionate about their research.Last but not least, I made many friends from different countries who are making my time here unique and unforgettable.

Did you have time to travel around Geneva?

Despite spending most of my time on CERN site, every now and then I visit Geneva, which is a beautiful and lively city. During weekends me and my friends are also having many nice trips and excursions. We visited Lausanne, Montreaux and Gruyères, and are planning to visit more cities. Hiking is also on schedule. Swimming in the lake, having walks and riding a bike are activities that I don't often have time for at home, so I am trying to make the most of my time here. When I feel like relaxing, CERN restaurants and green areas, enclosed in a stunning mountainous scenario, are excellent places to have nice conversation with friends.My summer at CERN turns to be one of the best I ever had!

From my time as a summer student at CERN I will certainly remember...
One thing I noticed is that everybody seems to be smiling all the time, at work, with friends or even when walking on their own. That made me realize how fulfilling a life spent on research would be. I really hope to keep that CERN smile on me when I go back home, and in my future life and career!


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