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Wits scientist appointed to a position of leadership at the European Laboratory CERN

- Wits University

Professor Bruce Mellado has been elected Chairperson of the Institutional Board of the Tile Calorimeter of the ATLAS experiment at CERN.

Professor Bruce Mellado of the School of Physics at the University of the Witwatersrand has been elected Chairperson of the Institutional Board (IB) of the Tile Calorimeter of the ATLAS experiment at European laboratory CERN.

The vote was casted by the representatives of 25 research institutes from all over the world, predominantly from Europe and the USA. The IB Chairperson is also a member of the management body that runs the detector.

The detector is managed, maintained and operated by several hundred scientists, engineers, technicians and graduate students.

These activities represent an invaluable opportunity for South Africa to train students and to conduct technology transfer to local industry. South African students routinely graduate with training gained through their work at the Tile Calorimeter.

The upgrade of the detector is scheduled for 2025. In partnership with local  electronics industry, South Africa will manufacture and deploy radiation hard and fast high-throughput electronics to meet the requirements of the upgrade.

The detector measures the energy and position of energetic particles that emerge from collisions between particles in the Large Hadron Collider. These measurements were used for the discovery of the Higgs boson in 2012, for which the theorists that predicted the particle were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2013.

“This appointment is in recognition of the growing role of South Africa at CERN, which has established itself as a world class community of scientists. This would have not been possible without the sustained support and leadership from the DSI, the NRF and iThemba LABS, to whom I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude,” says Mellado

Mellado is a Professor at Wits University and a Senior Scientist at iThemba LABS of the NRF and serves as the Director of the Institute for Collider Particle Physics. He is also the National Contact Physicist of South Africa at the ATLAS experiment at CERN and is the co-Chair of the Nuclear Particle and Radiation Division of South African Institute of Physics.

Mellado is an Internationally acclaimed, B1 rated researcher of the National Research Foundation of South Africa and has received several awards and fellowships.

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