CERN

I started working at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, in October 2014. After 20 years at Deutsche Bank I wanted to do something completely different. I wanted to do something good, something I can believe in. I liked my job at DB and I found plenty of friends there but I did not agree with the strategy and had some serious ethical conflicts with the managements decisions. And there was this attempting place to work which sounded really cool and different: CERN. I was looking for a suitable position for 2 years and finally got the job as Operations Manager for an Open Access project. Well, I had no idea about Open Access, about scientific publishing or academic work but I was keen to learn something entirely new. Now I am responsible for SCOAP3 and ensure that the scientific work of High-Energy Physicists all over the world are freely available to everybody. I love my job as it helps scientists in almost 100 countries to publish their work. SCOAP3 is a partnership of 3,000 libraries and institutions from all over the world and it is really exciting to coordinate such an enormous collaboration. If you want to learn more about my project, watch my presentation at this years Munin Conference in Tromsø or send me an e-mail.

But this page is more about all other exiting things going on at CERN. As I am really passionate about this fascinating place, I became a CERN guide. This means I explain (mainly German speaking) tourist groups the history, the general ideas and practical applications of CERNs fundamental research and show them around to many different visit points.

Me explaining the magnet intersection at SM18.A typical visit at CERN consists of 3 parts, one hour each. First a host (could be me) presents different aspects of CERN. I particularly like this part as I can share my excitement for CERN a place where scientists from all over the world work together for the advancement of humanity, leaving all conflicts and political problems aside. If you want to flip through my presentation (in German), you can find it here: CERN Besucherpräsentation

This introduction is followed by two visits to the CERN visit points that include the first CERN accelerator (Synchrocyclotron or simply SC), the magnet test facility (SM18), the CERN Control Center (CCC), the Data Center and other cool places where the visitors can experience live the CERN research activities. My personal favourite is the SC as it explains very well the general ideas of a particle accelerator and how it works. These principles are still the same even with the big LHC today. So it is actually a perfect start of a CERN visit.

As I am neither a physicist nor an engineer, I are limited in my detailed knowledge about the physics and technics behind CERN. But I discovered that this is rather an advantage for a CERN guide. I can speak a language that a random visitor will understand. Some of of guide colleagues tend to explain things far too detailed and quickly lose the attention of the visitors. But of course, I also face the situation that I can not answer a detailed question. But this was not a problem yet. I simply note down the question and answer it later via e-mail with the help of the experts.

The story continues…

Magic does not happen at CERN, magic is being explained at CERN.