Communication skills, teamwork and programming

Jul 23, 2020

CERN alumna: Nada Alghamdi
At CERN: 2019 Summer Student
Today: Incoming Physics Master's student for fall 2020 at EPFL

OAR: When did you come to CERN as a Summer Student and what did you work on?
Nada: I came to CERN in 2019 and I worked on the tile crack scintillators upgrade in the TileCal group. I helped in assembling the new crack scintillators, optimizing and running the strontium-90 scans to assure their quality before their installation on ATLAS detector.

OAR: What is your best memory of working at CERN?
Nada: I often find myself nostalgically flipping through the pictures that I have taken at CERN. I have many great memories, among which I would like to mention that having the opportunity to share our work in the summer student presentation and poster sessions was very enriching.
This experience allowed me to practice science communication and I am happy that a record of my talk is still available at CERN document server (See ).

Conducting the Strontium-90 scan on a tile crack scintillator.

OAR: What are you currently doing and where are you located?

Nada: I am currently in my hometown in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. I am working part time on computational material science project affiliated with a research group at KAUST (King Abdullah University of Science and Technology). I hope to start my Physics Master’s in the fall of 2020 at EPFL, but of course because of COVID-19 I am not sure if this will go as planned or not.

OAR: What skills did you develop during your CERN Summer Student experience which have been particularly useful in your subsequent career trajectory?
Nada: The ones that stand out are communication skills, teamwork and programming.

OAR: What skills did you need to develop further when you left CERN to face your next challenge?
Nada: Mostly skills related to writing and publishing research.

OAR: Would you recommend the CERN Summer Student programme to other people?
Nada: Absolutely, yes!

OAR: Do you still follow up on what is going on at CERN?
Nada: Yes, I read the weekly alumni activity digest emails and I follow CERN on social media. I am also interested in following the updates on the future collider proposed projects and the European Strategy for Particle Physics.

OAR: In your opinion, what is the unique value of the CERN Alumni Network?
Nada: I am happy to be part of the High-Energy network, it keeps me connected to CERN, and it gives me the opportunity to learn about other alumni and their careers after CERN.

OAR: What is your proudest achievement?
Nada: Giving two public speeches in 2014 and 2015, each of them was in a big theatre in front of around 300 people. I was a high school student back then and it was a little bit intimidating but I am extremely proud that I managed it very well!


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