More opportunities for University of Bath students through new agreement with CERN project

September 26, 2019

University of Bath students studying subjects ranging from computer science to architecture are to benefit from a new agreement with a long-running experiment group based at CERN, the world-leading physics research organisation.

Under the agreement, the university’s Faculty of Engineering & Design has become an affiliate member of the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment, which aims to investigate a range of fundamental particle physics questions. 

The CMS is one of the key parts of CERN’s Large Hadron Collider complex, pictured, the most powerful particle accelerator on the planet whose work attracted worldwide interest in 2012 when it confirmed the existence of the previously theorised Higgs Boson elementary particle, also known as the God particle.

Collaborations planned between the CMS and several university departments including Mechanical Engineering, Electronic & Electrical Engineering, Architecture & Civil Engineering and Computer Science.

Among these will be a PhD project supervised in Bath to investigate parts of the cooling systems that will be needed when the CMS is upgraded in 2024.

Second, third and final-year Mechanical Engineering students will also consider improvements to the underground CMS cavern, automated monitoring of the facility and how waste heat can be reused.

The affiliation will also lead to the creation of additional placement opportunities for Bath students, furthering the university’s links with industry and wider academia.

The agreement was formally signed by the university’s vice-chancellor and president Prof Ian White FREng on a visit to CERN, where he met senior CERN and CMS staff.

The university’s six-strong delegation also toured the facility, which is located 100m underground and crosses the border between Switzerland and France, where they met Bath graduates working at CERN, as well as two current students on placement there.

Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering Dr Alexander Lunt, who has previously worked at CERN and will co-ordinate the partnership, said: “We already have students on placement at CERN and several alumni working at the organisation, but this broadening of the relationship will present several exciting new opportunities that we are eager to embrace.

“We are extremely keen to begin working closely with staff at the CMS to support them in increasing human understanding of some of the most fundamental physics questions.”

Prof Ian White added: “Working with a world-leading scientific organisation such as CERN will create first-class opportunities for University of Bath students and research staff and reaffirms our place among the UK’s leading engineering institutions.”

The University of Bath is one of the UK's leading universities both in terms of research and its reputation for excellence in teaching, learning and graduate prospects.

Last weekend the university, which has just over 15,000 students, was named the best in the South West – and the 11th best in the UK – in the prestigious The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020.


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