Jacinta Yap successfully completes PhD

Published on

Jacinta Yap, a Fellow in our OMA project, based at the Cockcroft Institute has successfully passed her PhD viva last week. Jacinta carried out research into „Characterisation Studies of Proton Beamlines for Medical Applications and Beam Diagnostics Integration“.

Jacinta’s thesis describes several methods to characterize and model a particle beam for novel beam diagnostics development. Namely, the VELO beam halo monitor was adapted into a standalone system and optimised for implementation into the Clatterbridge Cancer Center’s ocular proton therapy beamline. As the detector provides beam information based on non-destructive measurements of the halo, a comprehensive overview of the cyclotron, beam transport and treatment delivery system at the facility was performed.

In order to fully exploit the beamline, the propagation and behaviour of the beam must be well understood. Therefore, simulation studies and experimental measurements were required to precisely model and completely characterise the facility. Jacinta developed several computational tools to accurately reproduce the current state of the facility and detailed properties of the treatment beam, which also supported the development of novel instruments such as the Medipix3 and MiniPIX-Timepix detector. Measurements were performed to explore their capabilities in a clinical proton environment and to determine the transverse beam profiles and LET. Her work could also be carried out at similar facilities to study aspects which are necessary for beamline upgrades, optimization and for the efficient integration of diagnostics.

Jacinta’s work provides a versatile basis for a complete simulation framework to integrate realistic simulation models and advanced beam diagnostics for the enhancement of particle therapy treatments.

Jacinta was supervised by Dr Javier Resta-Lopez, Dr Jason Parsons and Professor Carsten P Welsch. She has already started a Postdoc position at the University of Melbourne and we look forward to collaborating with her!