ATLAS: Now under new management


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Andreas Hoecker, new ATLAS Spokesperson. (Image: CERN)

Andreas Hoecker is just the fifth person to serve as ATLAS Spokesperson since the collaboration was established in 1992. Since joining ATLAS in 2005, he has taken on several coordination roles, including Data Preparation Coordinator and Physics Coordinator. Andreas enters his newest role with great familiarity, having served for the past four years as Deputy to Spokesperson Karl Jakobs (Freiburg University).

Indeed, the new management team has several familiar faces. Continuing on in their roles are Deputy Spokesperson Manuella Vincter (Carleton University), Technical Coordinator Ludovico Pontecorvo (CERN), Resource Coordinator David Francis (CERN) and Upgrade Coordinator Francesco Lanni (Brookhaven National Laboratory). Joining them is Deputy Spokesperson Marumi Kado (University of Rome I and INFN Rome), who previously served as ATLAS Physics Coordinator.

“Karl has been a fantastic Spokesperson for the collaboration,” says Andreas. “He also recruited an extremely competent and dedicated team; I’m pleased they’ll all be continuing on in their roles and I welcome Marumi’s fresh perspective. We’re embarking on an exciting but challenging period for the collaboration, as we continue to prioritise critical developments of the experiment alongside data analysis. Success will require us to fully commit and focus our forces.”

The new management team will guide the ATLAS collaboration over a two-year term, overseeing the final push before Run 3 of the LHC begins in 2022 as well as preparations for the High-Luminosity LHC (HL-LHC). “We have a lot of tasks to complete before we can return to data-taking,” says Ludovico Pontecorvo. “Foremost among them are the final installation and commissioning of the Phase I upgrades of the detector, which will improve, among other things, the trigger capabilities of ATLAS.”

The coming years will then see work for the HL-LHC kick into full gear. The upgrades will require a lot more than clicking ‘install and restart’. “Every layer and system of the ATLAS experiment is impacted, with work ranging from complex new electronics installations to the complete replacement of the inner detector,” says Francesco Lanni. “Just like the original construction of the experiment, this work has been distributed throughout ATLAS institutes around the world. This is a colossal endeavour, and ensuring its success is one of our highest priorities.”

Alongside these extensive detector priorities, ATLAS management remains committed to maintaining the pace of high-quality physics analysis. “The data we collected during Run 2 of the LHC (2015-2018) has proven a veritable treasure trove,” says Andreas. “We will continue exploring it, probing rare and new processes, and conducting ever-more detailed studies.” These findings, combined with the upcoming Run 3 data, are a source of great anticipation for the physics results yet to come.

That the management team starts their new term during a global pandemic – with many colleagues still working from home – is an unfortunate reality. Nevertheless, they remain optimistic. “I continue to be impressed by the dedication and resilience that ATLAS members have shown during these difficult times,” adds Andreas. “As Spokesperson, I look forward to open engagement with members, as they continue to bring new ideas to the field and accomplish wonders for this experiment.”

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