Spotlight on the Project T.E.A.M. - Alexandra Welsch
The QUASAR Group Project T.E.A.M. deals with large international projects in accelerator science. It specializes in project management, interdisciplinary training, research dissemination and outreach to maximize the impact of projects.
In this Spotlight series we are bringing its activities and the role of our team members closer to you than ever before and hope that you get a better idea about the fascinating work of our Project T.E.A.M.
For this interview we have spoken to Alexandra Welsch who joined the QUASAR Group's Project T.E.A.M. as Web Developer in December 2011 and is now responsible for the development and administration of multiple large-scale project websites, the actualisation of the social media presence of these projects, as well as the creation and distribution of different newsletters and wider project communication.
How did you end up at the University of Liverpool / the Cockcroft Institute?
"When I joined the QUASAR Group 10 years ago, the two Marie Curie Initial Training Networks LA3NET and oPAC had just kicked-off and the Group was therefore expanding the Project T.E.A.M. They were looking for a part-time Web Developer to complement the T.E.A.M. As a mum-of-two, this was the perfect opportunity for me to return to work after caring for my children. Since then my role within the Project T.E.A.M. has changed and developed quite a bit."
What is your role within the Project T.E.A.M.?
"I am, among other things, responsible for the technical implementation of the QUASAR Group and several project websites, which we are coordinating or contributing to as partner, as well as the artwork, design and creation of the project newsletters.
To increase awareness of project outcomes, the QUASAR Groups R&D and our outreach activities we are always looking for new ways of improving our communication activities. In 2015, I got the opportunity to join the Accelerating News editorial board as UK editor, working closely with colleagues from CERN to highlights news and results from the biggest accelerator research and development projects, as well as interesting stories on other accelerator applications. The quarterly publication also announces and reports on upcoming accelerator research conferences and events.
In 2016, we decided to go social and one of my main tasks is the social media representation of all projects. Effective communication is crucial in maximizing success and impact of projects and in the last years, I got more and more involved in this important task through composing news articles and planning of social media campaigns. I am working closely with our project managers in developing strategic communication goals and assessing impact of past activities."
What is your responsibility during the numerous outreach events the Project T.E.A.M. has organized so far?
"Painstaking planning is essential to organize a successful event. It is much more than just a date and a venue and involves many tasks before, during and after the event. Once you have a goal and a vision, you need to think about the branding and look and how to best advertise it. One of my responsibilities within the T.E.A.M. during events is setting up the event registration pages and the creation of short videos, posters, badges, banners, logos and other artwork to support event communication and branding.
Once we have developed the idea for a new event, we are looking into ways how to best attract delegates and potential media coverage through strategic communication and social media campaigns, which involves the collaboration of all team members. During major outreach events, like our Symposia or Physics of Star Wars events, I am also responsible for high impact photographs, which can put you under quite some pressure, but seeing them on social media and published in national and international press afterwards is more than rewarding."
What do you like most about your work within the Project T.E.A.M.?
"I especially enjoy being part of a multi-national team and group. You meet and work with many different people and you get the chance to learn about other people's cultures, different perspectives and have the advantage of gathering different know-hows and ideas.
I love that my role is so diverse and multifaceted. No day is the same. During our events, work can be quite intense and stressful, but when I look back and see what we have achieved within the Project T.E.A.M. over the last years, it makes me immensely proud and happy."