I am a postdoctoral research associate at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in Menlo Park, California, USA, but I am permanently based at CERN, the European Particle Physics Laboratory, where I work on the ATLAS experiment.
I was born in Bolton, a town in the North-West of England, on what was by all accounts a glorious day in the summer of 1976. My first exposure to physics came in high school, where, through a combination of good teachers and friendly classmates, I was convinced to follow the path of least resistance to University and take a degree in the subject. My undergraduate years were spent at Lancaster University, where I benefitted from the excellent teaching and research there to graduate with an MPhys degree in Physics and Cosmology in 1998.
By this point I had tasted the sweet nectar of high energy physics which led me, inexorably, to graduate school. In search of a new adventure, I left the UK and headed for British Columbia on Canada's west coast where I joined the physics department at the University of Victoria.
I received my MSc and Phd from University of Victoria, working on the BaBar experiment based at SLAC. I researched many varied topics, in particular searching for rare B-meson decays where there are leptons and/or missing energy in the final state, a subtle method that can provide hints of new physics effects, beyond our current knowledge.
After graduating in 2004, I accepted a job at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, USA, to work on building and testing parts of the innermost sub-detector of the ATLAS experiment, the pixel detector. It proved really exciting, and I gained the 'hands-on' experience of building and testing hardware for the detector itself. In 2006 I moved to Italy, where I took a position at the Universita di Roma "La Sapienza" as an INFN research fellow. Having studied Italian language and culture during my undergraduate degree back in England, it was always an ambition of mine to spend time living in Italy. I returned to work on the BaBar experiment, continuing as an analysis working group convener, muon system commissioner and supervisor of numerous analyses.
In 2008, I joined the SLAC ATLAS group and almost immediately moved to CERN. As a member of the ATLAS collaboration, I continue working on the pixel detector, helping prepare the system for first collisions (hopefully!) in 2009. I'm readying myself to analyze the first data as they arrive to us, and also preparing for an upgrade to the current inner detector technology in the not too distant future.
Outside of the working world, I ran my first marathon this year, heading back to Rome for the experience. The marathon itself was made much easier by having trained in the foothills of the Jura mountains during a particularly snowy winter. This spring, I've been hard at work trying to grow various herbs and vegetables in my small garden patio. Other than that, I am always keen to mix a variety of cocktails, including some personal creations, in the bar at my home in France.