The new faces of the QUASAR Group Part 2 - CI

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The Cockcroft Institute is the UK’s largest educator of accelerator science and technology PhD students, and offer exciting studentships in both physics and engineering. The QUASAR group welcomed three new PhD students, Thomas Primidis, Amir Salehilashkajani and Benjamin Hounsell.

Thomas Primidis received his Diploma in Physics from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece in 2015. During his studies he worked on a neuroscience project in the Medical Physics laboratory and for his thesis, he simulated the properties of spherical nuclei in the relativistic mean field theory framework and compared the results to tabulated data.

After that, Thomas pursued a MSc in Medical Physics in the University of Surrey in the UK in 2016 and for his dissertation he built and tested a prototype multiple-antenna apparatus for active RFI suppresion in low-field NMR applications.

Thomas is funded by the STFC within the Accelerators for Security, Healthcare and Environment (ASHE) project. His research will focus on Monte Carlo simulations on the design and optimisation of ultra-compact, high resolution x-ray imaging systems made by Adaptix Ltd.


Amir graduated with a master’s degree in Particle Physics and Cosmology from Lancaster University in 2017. His master’s project was titled “Commissioning of Readout Systems for the ATLAS Pixel Upgrade” which investigated the feasibility of using FE-I4B chips in conjunction with CMOS sensors for the inner tracker of ATLAS.

 Amir will be investigating the optimization of non-invasive methods for monitoring the beam profile, using a supersonic gas jet that could be implemented in HL-LHC


Ben Hounsell graduated from the University of Liverpool in 2017 with an MPhys degree. His master’s degree was on the topic of the linear optics of the recirculating arcs of PERLE (Powerful Energy Recovery Linac for Experiments) a proposed energy recovery linear accelerator.

Ben’s PhD is cofunded between the University of Liverpool, ASTeC and LAL Orsay and he will be working on energy recovery linac injectors focusing specifically on the PERLE injector.