CERN — The European Laboratory for Particle Physics

The second set of prizes for outstanding contributions of early career scientists were awarded on June 16th 2017. Twenty-nine nominations were submitted and considered by the committee formed by Patrick Robbe (chair), Rolf Lindner (technical coordinator), Monica Pepe-Altarelli (deputy spokesperson), Stefan Roiser (computing coordinator), Silvia Borghi (operations coordinator) and Vincenzo Vagnoni (physics coordinator).
- Elena Dall’Occo
For the evaluation and assessment of the silicon sensors that will be used in the upgrade of the LHCb VELO detector. Elena implemented tests in the laboratory and in test beam, using novel techniques, to measure the key parameters of the sensor performance, such as the charge collection and response to irradiation, especially at the edge, a very critical area. These measurements led to the choice of the sensor technology and vendor for the VELO upgrade.

- Giulio Dujany
For the real-time alignment and calibration of the vertexing and tracking system of the LHCb experiment. Giulio developed the monitoring tools and automatic checks which are mandatory to be able to update automatically, in real-time, the alignment and calibration of the detectors. This led to stable and precise alignment of the detector, allowing to achieve the best possible performances for physics analyses. He also implemented the automatic procedure to verify that the result of the online alignment and calibration are propagated correctly in the offline processing. This guarantees to have the same performance in the trigger and offline reconstruction.

- Claudio Gotti
For the development of the CLARO chip, the front-end ASIC of the LHCb RICH detector upgrade. Claudio is the main designer of this chip that will be used in the future RICH detector to read out single photons at 40 MHz. He successfully accomplished the highly challenging task to build an extremely low noise chip having low power consumption and capable of tolerating the radiation expected for the RICH upgrade. This was a key element of the success of the RICH upgrade design.

- Lucia Grillo
For the development and operation of the online real-time calibration and alignment of the LHCb tracking system. Lucia proposed, developed and commissioned the real-time calibration of the tracking stations of the LHCb experiment, maintaining a strong link between the online system where the calibration is performed and trigger system where it is used. This is now part of the daily running of the LHCb experiment, and is a crucial step towards the operation mode foreseen for the LHCb detector upgrade.

- Renato Quagliani
For the development of a new seeding algorithm for the tracking software of the LHCb detector upgrade. Renato wrote a new standalone track reconstruction algorithm for the scintillating fibre tracker, improving the performances of the track reconstruction under the running conditions foreseen for the LHCb upgrade, where the particle multiplicity will be high. This algorithm shows a large gain in efficiency to find low momentum tracks, a large reduction of fake track rate and a faster execution time. Furthermore, he strongly contributed to the migration of the tracking software to the new computing framework currently in preparation for the upgrade. This is an essential element to study the trigger performance for the upgrade.
On September 15 2016, the LHCb collaboration awarded the first set of prizes for outstanding contributions of early career scientists. Twenty-five nominations were submitted and considered by a committee formed of Patrick Koppenburg (chair), Rolf Lindner (technical coordinator), Monica Pepe-Altarelli (deputy spokesperson), Stefan Roiser (computing coordinator), Barbara Storaci (operations coordinator) and Vincenzo Vagnoni (physics coordinator). The choice was made particularly difficult due to the high quality of all nominees. Also, as it was the first time these prizes were awarded, the considered period of the work to be rewarded had to be defined. The committee decided to consider work that had a significant impact within the last year.
- The HLT Team: Roel Aaij, Sean Benson, Conor Fitzpatrick, Rosen Matev and Sascha Stahl
For having implemented and commissioned the revolutionary changes to the LHC Run-2 high-level-trigger (HLT), including the first widespread deployment of real-time analysis techniques in High Energy Physics. These allow for offline quality selections to be deployed in the HLT, leading to a significant increase of the data yields at constant data volumes, and a better use of CPU resources. The offline quality of the trigger output data (Turbo stream) allows for fast analysis without further offline processing, as shown in the first 13 TeV cross-section measurements. Together the five awardees have been responsible for almost all the technical aspects of the HLT, including the implementation and commissioning of the Turbo stream, the commissioning of the offline reconstruction in the HLT, the implementation and commissioning of the luminosity and fixed-target physics triggers, the implementation of the HLT in simulation, and the overall maintenance of the HLT software infrastructure and monitoring.

- The Starterkit initiators: Kevin Dungs and Tim Head
For having launched the Starterkit initiative, a new style of software tutorials based on modern programming methods. “Starterkit is a group of physicists who want to improve the working lives of young researchers working on the LHCb experiment” ( Kevin and Tim have developed the idea, convinced enthusiastic young colleagues to join the effort and set up a first – very successful – tutorial in 2015. Tutees are encouraged to become tutors in the next iteration of the workshop, and indeed now the third generation is preparing for the next tutorial. This project has successfully replaced the old tutorials designed top-down by experts. It allowed many new and not-so-new LHCb members to understand the LHCb software.

- Manuel Schiller
For speed improvements in the tracking of LHCb, enabling the full event reconstruction in the HLT. Manuel used advanced numerical methods to provide mathematical tools (optimised for SIMD processor architectures) that speed up the tracking by large factors, and can be used elsewhere in the LHCb software. Manuel has also studied and solved another important numerical issue in the LHCb software related to the precision of packing and unpacking of covariance matrices.

- Claire Prouvé
For the development of the automated RICH mirror alignment within the Online framework. Claire's work has ultimately led to RICH mirror alignment taking 20mins to complete, and being able to be run each fill, compared to many days which it took before, offline. In turn this will allow the RICH group to study the stability and reproducibility of the alignment to a degree not possible before.

- Paolo Durante
For the development of the software and firmware of the PCIe40 board, the corner-stone of the LHCb upgrade. In close collaboration with the engineering teams, he managed the extremely challenging task to get sustained speed out of the FPGA interfaces towards the host PC, which practically are at the physically possible line-rate. He wrote the firmware and the Linux driver to go with it. He demonstrated also the feasibility to do this without the help of a rather expensive auxiliary chip. Paolo's contributions were crucial to demonstrate the overall superiority of the PCIe40 based-architecture over the original approach. This made the LHCb upgrade technically possible, with a solution that is significantly less expensive than the original plan.
The explanation of the prize and the nomination procedures are explained on this web site: Early career scientist awards