CI welcomes new cohort of students

2020 has been a difficult year but that hasn’t stopped our new cohort of PhD students beginning their studies with us this autumn. While they haven’t been able to join us at Daresbury yet, they are all hard at work calling in to the online graduate lectures and settling into their research. We are delighted to have 15 talented students joining us this year, and although they haven’t been able to say hello to colleagues in person we’re very pleased that several of our new students have taken the opportunity to introduce themselves here. Do get in touch and say hello!

Sam Byrford-Eyre – My name is Sam Burford-Eyre and I’m from Halifax in West Yorkshire. I’m currently studying at The University of Manchester and Christie Hospital, working on evaluating the deliverability and biological effectiveness of proton arc therapy. Whilst undertaking a Master’s degree in Physics at The University of Manchester I really enjoyed taking the medical physics and programming modules and decided to apply for a Summer project combining the two by investigating the feasibility of using machine learning techniques to determine patient specific treatment parameters. I was able to continue this on as my final year project, enjoying the work so much that I applied to work on a similar project for my PhD. I’m mostly looking forward to working on something completely unique and collaborating with my colleagues in the PRECISE group. Outside of work I enjoy hiking, particularly in the lake district where I am aiming to complete all the Wainwright hills. samuel.burford-eyre@postgrad.manchester.ac.uk

Luana Parsons Franca – I’m Luana, a PhD student from the University of Liverpool.  I am a part of the QUASAR and LIV.DAT research groups. My research is focused on applying machine learning techniques to improve the calibration of the SEMs used in the slow extraction lines of the SPS. My research is split between the University of Liverpool, the Cockcroft Institute and CERN. I was introduced to accelerator science via a module in my undergraduate course. Having enjoyed the module, I was curious to learn more. I’m excited to have the opportunity of working in an international science collaboration and to meet researchers from around the world. In my free time I enjoy hiking, yoga, playing board games and eating all of the cheese! I really look forward to meeting you all in person when we can do so again. L.Parsons-Franca@liverpool.ac.uk

Jonathan Christie – Hello! My name is Jonathan Christie and I am a 1st year PhD student at the University of Liverpool working on femtosecond synchronisation for an externally injected laser wakefield accelerator at CLARA. I grew up in Plymouth and completed a Masters in Physics at the University of Oxford. At the end of the 2nd year of my undergraduate degree, I took part in an internship at CERN where I worked on the CLIC project. This experience was my first introduction to novel accelerators and I thoroughly enjoyed the whole internship, especially working on what could potentially be the next generation of accelerators. I am very much looking forward to working on laser wakefield acceleration with other PhD students and world-leading researchers at Daresbury, and hopefully my research can help make externally injected laser wakefield accelerators a viable alternative to RF accelerators. In my free time I like to row with a local club in Liverpool, having gotten into the sport back in Plymouth when I was 16. Beyond that, my hobbies include playing electric guitar and music in general, especially going to concerts to see my favourite bands (although that is difficult nowadays…), and I have recently gotten into cocktail making, which was very useful for surviving lockdown! Jonathan.Christie@liverpool.ac.uk

Adam Steinberg – Hello! I’m Adam, a PhD student just starting out at the University of Manchester, though I am also a Joint Student with the University of Melbourne. Back home, I live quite near Elstree Film Studios, where they filmed Star Wars (among many other things). My first taste of Accelerator Science was just after my first year of Undergraduate studies, when I emailed some people on a whim about possible internships – expecting to be turned down – and was surprised to hear that I might be able to spend some time at Cornell, and I ended up going there for the Summer. Since then, I have become interested in the use of Particle Accelerators for cancer therapy, which is the main focus of my PhD: we’ll be investigating possible designs for a future ion therapy accelerator, which would use the particular properties of particles with higher mass to treat cancer. Outside of work, I also enjoy doing various outreach activities, trying to bring some of our excitement and enthusiasm for Science to new audiences. adam.steinberg@manchester.ac.uk

Hannah Norman – Hey, I’m Hannah. I’m from Bristol, but I spent 4 years at Royal Holloway in Egham (Egg). My PhD is at Manchester and Melbourne in accelerator physics with a focus on hadron therapy (like radiotherapy but uses protons and heavier ions). My project involves working on a superconducting magnet design for a gantry (basically a big robot arm that delivers the beam to the patient), so that it can potentially be made to be more efficient and hopefully a bit smaller! I got into physics in general because I found medical physics so interesting in school, and by following a physics degree I discovered I really love particle and particle accelerator physics. When I did a bit of digging I found that there was a whole field dedicated to applying accelerator science to cancer treatment, so I’ve been sold on it ever since. I’m most looking forward to getting involved with the design and to hopefully make a prototype- a lot of my research up to now has been simulation so it would be a nice change to actually make something! Outside of work I love to bake (I recently learned how to make sourdough so it’s my current obsession), lift heavy in the gym, run and go fell walking. I also play the piano when I’m not internally and externally screaming at code :D hannah.norman-3@postgrad.manchester.ac.uk

Matthew Southerby – I was born in England however have lived in mid-wales for over ten years – giving me the benefit of supporting whoever wins when Wales play England in the six nations. I completed a Masters in Physics at the University of Bristol earlier this year and started my PhD in October on the topic of Accelerator Physics, specifically the design of a 3GHz RF linac cavity for Proton radiotherapy. I first became interested in accelerator physics during the final year of my undergrad. My final year project actually concerned improving the detector response in the potential addition to CERNs detector cohort; CLIC (of which I’m certain you’re all familiar). I found the accelerator science more interesting than the optimisation of the CLICdet detector design, and decided to pursue further education in this area. Potentially lazily, I found a very interesting looking project on FindaPhD.com – and the rest is, as they say, the worst 4 years of your life. I am a keen runner and hiker, and have recently rekindled my enjoyment of chess (no, I’ve not got a rating – but if you do fancy a game, you can add me on chess.com :LinacApprentice:). In addition, and probably unsurprisingly, I enjoy a computer game or two. I am looking forward to meeting you all in a more personal setting in the new year.  m.southerby@lancaster.ac.uk

Sam Smith –  Hi Everyone! My name is Sam, and I’m from the South East coast of the UK. I started this October at Lancaster University under the supervision of Graeme Burt. For my project, I will be focusing on the design of electron linacs for cargo inspection and medical applications. I started becoming interested in accelerator science during my second year at university (Lancaster again) and I then got the chance to do a year in industry at Fermilab working on resonance control for SRF cavities. When I returned, I finished my bachelor’s with a project on the design and implementation of high power phase shifters for the CLIC collaboration at CERN. I then completed an M.S at the University of New Mexico working on low-energy proton linacs and high-power microwave devices before returning to start a Ph.D. program this fall. Outside of work, I enjoy reading, rock climbing, hiking, and being outdoors in general.  I’m very excited to be doing research in such a fascinating interdisciplinary field that has so many practical applications! s.smith26@lancaster.ac.uk