This year, Austria celebrated sixty years as a CERN Member State. Historically Austrian physicists have always been strongly involved in various frontier experiments in a succession of CERN accelerators. Currently, the Institute of High Energy Physics of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (HEPHY) and physicists from both the University of Innsbruck and The Stefan Meyer Institute enjoy rich collaborations and involvement in the CMS, ATLAS, ALICE and AD experiments respectively. This year’s milestone was an opportunity not to be missed to establish and reinforce links with CERN Alumni in Austria.
Two CERN alumni, Tristan Bauswein (Chief Financial Officer at IAEA) and Melanie Krawina (Digital Consultant at McKinsey & Company) kindly took on the roles of co-founders and group managers and organised the first group meet-up on Thursday 28 November 2019 at the fabulous Infineon Hub hosted at the TU Wien. The Office for Alumni Relations had the immense pleasure of attending the event, along with twenty other CERN Alumni, all at various stages in their careers and from diverse professions, some of whom even wore their favourite CERN t-shirts for the occasion!
Diverse Career Trajectories
We were delighted to discover the wide-ranging career trajectories of those present; amongst the group were some CERN retirees, all with remarkable careers in computing and a professional experience spanning a number of years. Additionally some alumni have gone on to create their own companies, including a mathematician and ex member of the Survey group who has founded his own very successful 3D visualization product configurator company. A further three are now working in MedAustron in various roles and other alumni present that day are working in the domains of software development and data science. The group also included some younger members who are pursuing their studies in academia.
When asked about their expectations for the network, we quickly realised that these were diverse, but all participants shared the same eagerness to support CERN’s mission and were enthusiastic about maintaining a link with the Organization. The aspirations of the established career members of the network are to give back and share their experience with younger members of the community, “We gained a great deal from our experience at CERN and it would be nice to be able to give something back now,” explained Rob McLaren. Several mid-career professionals present expressed their desire to maintain a connection with the Organization and to network with like-minded people with a strong interest in STEM related subjects and with a shared CERN experience. Those in the earlier stages of their careers also shared the same motivations, with the additional hope of possibly finding their next professional opportunity on the alumni platform, as well as a supportive network of proffesionals.
With 90 CERN Alumni members so far based in Austria and 52 of whom located in Vienna, we are confident that the CERN Alumni Vienna group is on course for success. Several ideas for future events were raised during the evening, including a visit of the Medaustron facilities and an invitation to host the event in one of the alumnus’s premises. The Alumni Relations team is also liaising with the Head of the FCC Study, at CERN, who lectures in Vienna, to organise a presentation from him related to FCC. This first event generated many emotions; we witnessed one of the members expressing sheer joy at having discovered a couple of his ex-colleagues now live in Vienna! We were also treated to some LHC related poetry composed and recited by a CERN Alumna, Angela Brett. Tristan Bauswein, previously Head of Internal Audit at CERN and the perfect host for this event, expressed his fond memories of CERN in his speech “Since leaving CERN, I have not worked in another place with such a mixture of incredible people, passionate about their jobs ”.
If you are based in Austria and used to work at CERN, why not sign up to the Network and join the CERN Alumni Vienna group? This will enable you to be part of dynamic and intellectual gatherings and maintain your strong links with the Organization and the scientific community.