Internship at the Cockcroft Institute

Published on

During the last four months (May – August 2016), I became a member of the QUASAR group as an intern and helped Dr. Hao Zhang and Vasilis Tzoganis in their work on the Beam Profile Monitor. This internship at the Cockcroft Institute at the STFC Daresbury campus has been a valuable experience for me. I would like to express my gratitude to the group leader Prof. Dr. Carsten P. Welsch for giving me the opportunity to assist in the research and development work conducted by the members of the QUASAR group. I would especially like to thank Dr. Hao Zhang and Vasilis Tzoganis for their patient guidance during my time at the Cockcroft Institute. I would also like to extend my utmost appreciation to all the QUASAR group members for my internship would not have been exciting and rewarding without them.

During my internship I was able to work on different aspects of the Beam Profile Monitor. I helped building a setup which was aimed to test several BA gauges at once. I also worked on the mechanical design of the Beam Profile Monitor. I designed some parts of the monitor using CAD software and then helped installing the actual parts onto the monitor. The most challenging aspect was the electronics aspect of the whole setup. I used LabVIEW to monitor pressure values on one screen instead of checking on each measurement devices, and I used the same software to control a stepper motor. As an engineering student, these tasks I was given were very helpful in putting into practice what I learned at the Engineering school, and when that was not enough to complete a task Dr. Hao Zhang or Vasilis Tzoganis were there to give me advice.

The tasks I described allowed me to develop skills which are taught at my Engineering school, such as using a CAD software or LabVIEW. I could even acquire some new skills. Selecting the right component from an ever growing market and then read its datasheet intelligently is one of them. Personally, the most important skill I developed was my communication skills. I was given the opportunity by Dr. Ricardo Torres to participate in a series of outreach workshop days, during which I was supervising a group of pupils from year 9 from 11. The pupils had the chance to discover accelerator science through hands-on experiments and through talking to the scientists. This experience proved to be extremely rewarding and has been the highlight of my internship.

I was able to contribute to the work on the Beam Profile Monitor and to inspiring the next generation of scientist. I could not have expected a more rewarding and unforgettable experience. I would like to thank once more all the QUASAR group members for all the happy memories.


Kai Widmann, 30 August 2016