Synopsis of Activities

I have been working at the forefront of experimental high-energy physics since my Ph.D. degree; specifically, my work has focused on detector design, construction, and commissioning. I have been a member of several large collaborations based in Europe and the US, where I always reached leadership positions. Throughout my carrier, I have complemented my work on detector innovation with a strong involvement in physics analyses. I have been an active reviewer for the most important journals of instrumentation and for several important grant programs.

Present: Detector design and CMS upgrade

In the period 2018-2020, I have been engaged in the evolution of the silicon sensor design to cope with extremely high fluences (above 1E16 neq/cm2). For this study, I was awarded the MIUR (Italian minister for research) PRIN grant (Piano di Ricerca di Interesse Nazionale), one of the most prestigious Italian research grants.

The overarching goal of my present work, and that of the people associated with my group, is the design of the best possible silicon tracker.  In the past 6-7 years, I have focused most of my activities on developing the time-tagging capability of silicon detectors and the design of silicon trackers able to perform space-time tracking, the so-called 4D-tracking and for medical applications. In the period 2017-2020, I have been in charge of the design and production of the silicon sensors for the CMS timing layer. In the years 2010-2013, I have been the coordinator of the development of the sensors for 4D tracking in the CT-PPS experiment of the CMS experiment at LHC.  During the UFSD development phase, I have patented two key design aspects: (i) a special doping ring to sharpen the time response of the sensors (2016, priority # 102016000092430), and (ii) metal pad coverage to allow sensor testing in the laboratory (2018, priority # 18000002821).

The investigation into 4D-tracking designs is now included in most detector conferences:  I presented more than 20 seminars at international conferences and 20 invited talks . Since 2019, the IEEE-NSS conference includes “fast timing” as one of the topical courses offered prior to the conference start, and they appointed me as the course organizer.

Since 2015 I have been a visiting professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC); there with two colleagues,  I patented the design of the AC-LGAD silicon detectors  (US 9613993 B2). For this idea, we were awarded the UCSC Inventor Recognition Program and the Office of Research IATC Award.

2010-2015: Physics coordination

I have been a strong proponent of cross-experiment collaboration to enhance the precision of the physics measurements performed by the different Large Hadron Collider (LHC) experiments:   I have been the co-chair of the Forward Physics Working Group,  formed by ~ 60 people from 20 institutions. This group had the task of coordinating the forward physics program of all LHC experiments summarizing the program in a CERN Report.  

2004-2010: CMS Construction, Commissioning and Operation – Physics Analysis

I devoted the period 2004-2010 to the construction, installation, and commissioning of the CMS experiment [10] and its Electromagnetic CALorimeter (ECAL), a key detector for the discovery of the Higgs boson. In 2012 I have worked on a review of the physics and results of the total pp cross-section and I presented it in several invited seminars.

1999-2004: CP Violation Studies at NA48, NA48, KOPIO

In 1999, I joined INFN to work within the NA48 collaboration on the study of the violation of the symmetry Charge – Parity (CP) in the Kaon sector. In 2003, on sabbatical, I joined the KOPIO experiment at Brookhaven National Lab, NY, US. In KOPIO I was in charge of the read-out group and I also developed a complete beamtest read-out system to measure the microbunching system for the KOPIO beamline.

1994 – 1998: Study of ep scattering at HERA – ZEUS

After my PhD, I started my career at Columbia University, NY, US, on ZEUS, one of the two general-purpose experiments operating at the HERA ep collider at DESY (DE). During that period, I served as physics coordinator for the diffractive group. I had major responsibilities in the key detector for these studies, the Leading Proton Spectrometer (LPS).

Teaching and outreach

I have published in 2015 a university manual with solved problems in particle physics

As a scientist engaged in society, I’m actively pursuing outreach activities. I believe that there are two very important aspects where physicists can make a difference: (i) presenting to high school students the wonderful opportunities in terms of self-satisfaction and creativity that a carrier in science offers, and (ii) the participation in civic forums on the value of science.