AVA Fellow Interviews – Spotlight on Bruno Galante

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Bruno Galante

Now the formal period of the project has come to an end, this is a good moment to look back at the Fellows’ time with AVA. We have asked the Fellows a few questions as part of the AVA Spotlight Interview series; this will give you a more personal insight into their motivation, achievements and outlook.

For this interview we have spoken with Bruno Galante who joined the AVA Network as a fellow at CERN, in October 2017. There he has been part of a project involved in the generation of cold electrons for the cooling of an antiproton beam due to reduce or eliminate the emittance blow-up caused by the deceleration process.

What did attract you to the AVA network? Has it fulfilled your expectations?

“I was attracted by several aspects of this network. First of all, I was attracted by the project itself in terms of my personal interest, but also AVA in general. My own subject on “Generation of Cold Electrons for an eV Electron Cooler” was extremely interesting and challenging, but by being member of the network I also had the chance to receive periodical news about all the other projects which proved to be extremely fascinating.

Within the AVA framework we could gain expertise, or at least basic knowledge, about most of these topics and this would have been impossible otherwise. Secondly, the possibility to work at CERN while at the same time being connected with many more institutions and people working all around Europe on related subjects are of great interest to my personal background. This, as expected and hoped for, gave me the possibility to build a strong and big network that would have been impossible otherwise to build in such a small timeframe.”

Why did you choose to go to CERN?

“Because as a physicist it was a dream to work in such an important research centre as CERN. Moreover, I was lucky enough to apply for a project that was also the best match for my previous background. I would say that it was a bit of a lucky strike from this point of view. I am very happy that things worked out this way.”

Can you explain in a few words what your project was about and what have you achieved?

“The aim of my project was to study and design an electron gun for the ELENA (Extra-Low ENergy Antiproton facility) complex, in particular for the electron cooler of ELENA. In ELENA’s electron cooler a thermionic cathode is used and my goal was to try and study the feasibility of using field emission for the electron beam production instead. The former uses temperature to excite and extract the electrons and an electric field is then used to guide them, while the latter is only based on the application of a strong electric field, thus removing the temperature from the equation. The reason for this is to reduce the transverse energy spread of the electron beam, while at the same time making the gun layout as simple as possible. Especially since currently a few workarounds have been used in order to keep the transverse energy spread value as low as possible. During my time with AVA I have studied a material called carbon nanotubes, to be used as a field emitter for the purpose mentioned above. Carbon nanotubes are an extremely new material, therefore needed an extensive characterization for what concerns emission performance and stability. We proved that stable emission is possible for hundreds of hours and established a best practise in order to make them perform at their best. The design of the gun, despite being still ongoing, reached its final phase during the AVA timeframe thanks to numerous simulations regarding all its components.”

What has AVA provided you professionally?

“I think AVA gave me a lot from a professional point of view. First of all, it gave me the possibility to do a PhD that I am now still working on and hope to finish in the next year or so. This is of course a big step ahead for my professional career. At the same time, I was also a fellow at CERN which meant that I had the possibility to almost have two different careers progressing along.

Moreover, through AVA resources I had the possibility to attend a number of courses spanning from language courses to technical courses regarding simulation tools, physics notions or even soft skills. This has been extremely useful during the project as well as for the future. Lastly, but not least, I was able to take part in various secondments. These enriched my knowledge by gaining expertise on processes and techniques that could not be performed in my host institution.”

Can you say something about your next career move?

“First, I need to finish my PhD, and this alone will surely prove to be extremely challenging! Afterwards there are a few options that I am considering. I am still undecided on whether trying and continue in the academia sector or moving to the private sector, but for what I could see both of them would be suitable choices for me.”

What will be your most cherished memory from AVA?

“Surely all the schools and events with the other AVA fellows. I think we had a great time together and we all became friends other than colleagues during these past three years.”