My name is Fernando Antonio Flor. I came into existence in Mexico City, but have lived a majority of my life in Texas. Very early in my life, my family moved to the region in South Texas known as “The Rio Grande Valley” — I later earned two Undergraduate Degrees in Physics and Maths from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. I then had the privilege of joining the Experimental Heavy Ion Physics Group at the University of Houston — where I am commencing my third year as a Ph.D. Student.
I officially became a part of the ALICE Collaboration fairly recently (circa October of 2017); primarily, I have been studying phenomenological strangeness data in small and large systems across various energy regimes. Currently, I am involved with the TPC Upgrade at CERN — where I have performed basic Quality Assurance of the GEM Foils which will be used for Run 3 and other various tasks, like transporting the GEM readout chambers to and from the TPC clean room in Point 2. On the software side of things, I have had the chance to produce preliminary Bad Channel Mappings for the EMCal and will — in principle — continue to do this throughout my membership in the Collaboration .
I wholeheartedly believe the Juniors constitute a paramount strata of the entire collaboration; as it goes without saying, the Juniors are responsible for analysis work of Herculean proportions. However, a dominant quality possessed by the Juniors is our overall enthusiasm for innovation and creativity. The aforementioned, in my most humble opinion, generate the cornerstone necessary to guarantee the progression of scientific thought for generations to come. Thus, I find it a personal duty to ensure that the voices of the Juniors are heard throughout the entire collaboration.
I have had the opportunity of sitting in for a Collaboration Board meeting — as a proxy voter during the ALICE Week this past Spring — and have acquired a small taste of what I would be like to communicate the overall Junior paradigm to the entire collaboration. During this meeting, it was brought to my attention that the needs of every member — which includes the Juniors — may not be fully met; this was made evident by the results gathered by the ALICE Diversity Task Force survey. Although the results were not overwhelmingly staggering, they did suggest that individual members of the Collaboration do not currently perceive ALICE to be absolutely inclusive. Given that we live in a decidedly progressive World, I will make it a priority to ensure that no member of the Collaboration experiences any type of discrimination based on (and not limited to) age, race and/or gender. As a first-generation College graduate of Hispanic descent, I am aware of the innate hardships faced by individuals possessing ”non-traditional” backgrounds as they ceaselessly attempt to pursue their lifelong dreams. I will guarantee the voice of every Junior in the Collaboration will be heard regardless of their background.
On a more personal level, I am typically very open to new ideas and perspectives — I possess an overwhelming amount of passion toward my colleagues’ well-being and the general welfare of those around me. I am quite convinced that my charisma, assertiveness and altruism will serve the Juniors in a most deserving manner. It would be an absolute pleasure for me to humbly serve such a phenomenal set of individuals.
2. Jan Anton Hasenbichler
My name is Jan Hasenbichler and I grew up in Austria. After attending an engineering school, I had the possibility to attend university. The academic environment did not seem very appealing to me and it actually scared me off many times, so I used the interim period to work at an international semiconductor company close to my hometown. This new environment sparked my interest and I enrolled at University of Technology in Vienna to study “Technical Physics” and finished my master in only 4.5 years while writing a thesis on dielectric laser acceleration at the Paul Scherrer institute. Once again, I explored my possibilities and started to work at a technology StartUp.
Getting back into contact with my master’s thesis supervisor and the FCC study leader Michael Benedikt, we talked about the possibility of spending 3 years at CERN with the Austrian Doctoral program. Not missing any possibility I applied and in the end, I was the lucky winner. Now I am working in a great team on the upgrade of the silicon sensors for the ALICE inner tracker with Luciano Musa and Werner Riegler being supervised by the EP department head Manfred Krammer.
Having seen several different organisational structures from small StartUps to huge companies and research institutes, I think I have a good overview on how juniors and seniors are supposed to collaborate.
Therefore, my first incentive in representing all of you is to try to make your PhD or your transition from Fellow to Staff or an outside position as flawless as possible. Sometimes tasks are assigned without considering the capacity or the knowledge of the junior. While it is important to get ALICE ahead, it is equally important that juniors do not suffer or are left out if they cannot finish their theses or paper submissions in time.
My second incentive is to be a contact person for your future decisions. Not everybody has her/his next steps planned and as I have struggled to make a decision on what to do in life several times, I hope to be able to enlighten and support you with my personal experience. My idea is to try to stay in contact with people leaving ALICE to show juniors other possible paths.
The last main incentive is to bring the juniors closer together. I founded a WhatsApp group for Austrians at CERN with regular meetups to stay in touch over a wider range of scientific groups, projects and experiments. I am of the opinion that such efforts should also be conducted in ALICE. Of course, I have other ideas as well and I would like to share them with you in a person.
It would be my greatest honour to represent you within ALICE for the next 2 years