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Pam Klabbers

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Pamela Klabbers

I am an Associate Scientist at the University of Wisconsin, Madison (UW). I work for the portion of the UW Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) group responsible for constructing the Regional Calorimeter Trigger (RCT) for CMS at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN.

I was born August 31, 1967 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, the first of 3 children. We moved from Pittsburgh to Harrisburg to Boston, and then finally to Palm Springs, California, where I attended Jr. High and Sr. High School. My parents, sister, and brother still reside in the Palm Springs area, and I go back at least once a year for a sunny and warm winter holiday!

I graduated from the University of California, Irvine (UCI) with my B.S. in Physics in 1989. I continued at UCI for Graduate School and graduated with my Ph.D. in 1997. For my thesis work, I relocated to beautiful northern New Mexico and studied cosmic-ray air showers at the CYGNUS Extensive Air Shower Array at Los Alamos National Lab in New Mexico. I studied an abundance of horizontal cosmic-ray particle air showers using an array of light-tight scintillator modules (called shmoos) and several buried muon detectors to measure the quantity and timing of the particles. My first serious foray into electronics was helping maintain our CAMAC/NIM based trigger and data acquisition (LAMPF Q system).

My thesis included studies of deep-inelastic neutrino scattering (neutrinos that penetrate the protons and neutrons in a nucleus) as a possible source of the horizontal air showers, and during the course of my research into this, I became intrigued by the HERA accelerator at DESY. I was very happy to be hired as a postdoc by New Mexico State University (NMSU) and to live in Hamburg, Germany where I worked on the HERMES experiment at DESY. HERMES used the positron/electron beam of the HERA collider on a fixed gas target. NMSU was responsible for the HERMES trigger, a mostly NIM and CAMAC based system (though later we installed VME prescalers), and I helped maintain and upgrade the system. I also studied the polarization of the lambda and lambda-bars particles produced by the positron/electron beam on our gas target at HERMES.

In June 2000, I took my current position as a scientist at UW to work on the RCT at CMS. This was my first experience with a trigger made of custom electronics. The trigger is the system that makes a decision on whether or not an event is interesting based on the electronic signals from the CMS particle detectors.

I started off doing Monte Carlo studies of the system and then moved on to working on the associated hardware. Now I am responsible for the installation of the hardware underground at CMS and working with the other groups to integrate it into the complete CMS Level-1 Trigger. It has been exciting to put a system like this together and to make sure it all works! Things are gradually coming together and we'll be ready for beam in 2008.

Currently I reside in nearby France with my husband Greg (also a physicist working at CERN) and two slightly overweight cats. I enjoy cooking, wine, decorating my apartment, and 19th century literature (Miss Austen particularly). My husband and I run (slowly) to stay fit, and are currently training to run the Lausanne marathon in October.