A Chemical Engineering major conducted research on particle detectors at CERN in Europe

Paris Franz, a senior chemical engineering major, spent her summer in Geneva, Switzerland helping update a portion of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).

Franz was able to work at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, for 9 weeks through an REU, research experience for undergraduates, program.

Franz Research in Europe

Franz working on the NSW with other student         

This program, through the University of Michigan, allowed Franz to work with researchers at CERN, and learn more about the LHC through hands on experience. She was able to learn not only from the scientists and engineers she worked with, but from the other summer students from around the world that were in the program as well.

During her time there, Franz was able to work with a dedicated team of researchers on a small portion of the LHC called the ATLAS experiment. The ATLAS is one of the four main detectors on the LHC, and the team Franz joined was creating the New Small Wheel (NSW), an upgraded technology for the ATLAS detector.

This new technology is a part of an overall upgrade of the LHC. This upgrade will increase luminosity, meaning the number of collisions will increase. Higher luminosity will allow for researchers to better study previous discoveries and hopefully find new physics. Though she conducted a lot of research with the team she joined, the upgrade has yet to happen.  

Franz said the experience was very valuable and allowed her to get experience working on a real project, while receiving international work experience.

When she was not working, Franz spent her time exploring Europe with the other summer students. She traveled to France, Germany, and explored all around Switzerland. During her time there, she got to meet people from all around the world, and started to learn both French and Spanish.

If you are interested in attending this program apply at: REU Experience. The program is open to US citizens and permanent residents that are going into their junior or senior year in physics, engineering, or computer science.

By Maggie Cavanaugh, CEC Reporter