"An international team, working together to discover the unknown and to create the uncreated." Meet Elpida, Fellow in the Radiation Protection group at CERN
Hello Elpida, tell us a little about yourself and how you came to CERN.
In my last year of my undergraduate studies in Physics at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, I chose 'Nuclear and Elementary Particle Physics' as a specialization field. I followed this with Master’s studies in the field of Medical Physics and Radiophysics in with the University of Athens in collaboration with the Greek Atomic Energy Commission, and in parallel, I did an internship at the University General Hospital of Thessaloniki, as a medical physicist. I chose to do all this because nuclear and particle physics enchant me. My participation in the CERN High School Teachers programme in the summer of 2014 had left me with the best of impressions. I was amazed by the fact that scientists from all over the world are working together to further our knowledge of the universe. After this thrilling experience, I applied for the Doctoral Programme of CERN and got accepted in February 2015 as a PhD student in the Radiation Protection group.
What is your role at CERN today?
Today, I work as a Fellow in the Radiation Protection group. My main task is to perform radiation protection design studies for the renovation project of the East Area, an experimental area of the Proton Synchrotron (link is external)(PS). I carry out simulations by means of FLUKA Monte Carlo code in view of the future renovation of the facility after the CERN Long Shutdown 2 (LS2) to verify the compliance of the ambient dose equivalent rates inside the East Hall with the limits from the Radiation Area classification. Another part of my job involves validating the results of the simulations by activation experiments at the CERN Shielding Benchmark Facility (CSBF, which is located laterally above the target of the CHARM facility in the EAST HALL) and also testing materials to be used in the shielding design studies for future accelerator installations.
One thing I have learned during the three years working here is that CERN is like nowhere I have worked before. An international team, working together to discover the unknown and to create the uncreated. What has struck me the most are the people: my team, friends and supervisors. I learned to work and fit perfectly in a multinational and multicultural environment, to work with all my heart ‘’under pressure’’ but without stress, because we all in our team have the same goals and dreams.
What is working at CERN like for you?
Working at CERN is a great experience because the research being done here is at the forefront. Coming to work here is a dream for physicists. I am really glad that I managed to enter in this scientific community and to contribute with my own way to the success of the organization.
What advice would you give to potential applicants?
Don't hesitate to apply and live your own myth at CERN!