A brief history of a high-energy physicist: from aeronautics to consumer goods

Charlotte Waltregny

Our next inspirational speaker, Charlotte Waltregny, has truly had an extraordinary career journey. While working for the ATLAS Collaboration and finishing her Master’s degree in Particle Physics, she discovered a new passion for Data Science, which then determined the future professional trajectory.
We asked Charlotte to tell us more about her beginnings at CERN as a Master student in Particle Physics and to explain how the knowledge and experience she acquired led her to the next steps to work in data science.

“I was born in Belgium but have been living in Geneva since 2016. I originally came only to complete a Master in Particle Physics at the University of Geneva, which I did, and ended up falling in love with the city and never wanting to leave.
During that time, I worked in the ATLAS group of UNIGE with Pr. Giuseppe Iacobucci and Dr. Steven Schramm on a new tagger for diboson identification that combined the usage of an additional substructure variable with a new technique that leverages the power of the ATLAS calorimeter and tracker information together, called TCC.

I developed a true passion for CERN and its mission to understand what is at the basis of our Universe while at the same time contributing massively to the world with new development in science in many sectors. I loved it so much that I became a CERN guide (the best student job I ever had), being driven by the wonder in the eyes of the general public that saw CERN facilities for the first time.

My time at CERN formed the basis of my career as a data scientist: I analysed data for the first time ever. I became proficient in identifying patterns in data, leveraged the coding course I followed and familiarised myself with Machine Learning.  But it went even further than that - I learnt how to use the terminal, how a (very big) data collection system worked, the infrastructure necessary behind to store all of them and this I reused every day in the jobs I got afterwards. CERN triggered this will to use these newly developed (so-called) data science skills for a greater good.

After this amazing experience, I started to use these skills in industry: at AKKA Technologies for Airbus, then at Eurosense on very high precision aerial photography and now for P&G which serves consumers all around the world. I’m thrilled to share my story during the CERN Alumni Second Collisions event! I think it’s an amazing opportunity to bring together people with a common background that drove in completely different directions, but with the same goal: to contribute to society and learn from each other. I am very much looking forward to listen to these great career paths and life choices!

If you, like Charlotte, are curious about CERN Alumni’s varied and exciting career paths, and wish to discover the impact they are having in their fields, as well as those of many other CERN Alumni tuning in from all over the world, we invite you to register for the CERN Alumni Second Collisions event!
Use this opportunity to reconnect with your old colleagues while visiting well-known CERN buildings via our virtual event platform and make new connections over interesting conversations happening in the networking area of virtual R1 and much more!

Join us from 1-3 October for a weekend like no other!

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