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Summer at CERN for STFC apprentices

Four STFC apprentices are having a unique summer experience, as they spend seven weeks working and learning at CERN.

CERN has offered summer work placements to STFC apprentices for several years, with the aim of broadening skills that the apprentices already have, while also giving them the chance to make new contacts and build their confidence.

We caught up with them to find out what they will be doing while they are in Geneva.

Meet the apprentices

  • Alex Headspith: Mechanical, Metrology and Technical Engineering Group at Daresbury Laboratory
  • Geoffrey Morris: Detector Systems Group at Daresbury Laboratory
  • Jack Day: Electronics Apprentice at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory
  • Christopher Robinson: Electronics Apprentice at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory

Which team are you joining at CERN, and what will your role be for the summer?

Alex: I am going into the Beam Instrumental Group. This is in the Materials and Logistics Section.  I will also be getting the chance to work on the Large Hadron Collider (LHC)

Geoff: I’ll be part of the Electrical Power Group – specifically within the Converter Controls Electronics / Mechatronics Section.  I am designing and building a validator for an interlock concentrator that will be used in LINAC 4, PSB, PS and SPS – all accelerators at CERN.

Jack: Christopher and I will be part of the Converter Controls Electronics / Mechatronics Section with Geoff, working on electronics and programmable electronics development that is used in converter control systems, powering thousands of magnets in the CERN accelerator complex.

What are you looking forward to seeing or doing the most at CERN?

Jack: It will be a great opportunity to see how different scientific campuses around the world operate, whilst gaining skills that will be helpful for my apprenticeship with STFC. It will also be interesting to see the different experiments around CERN, and how the work we complete will be used around the site.

Geoff: I worked on the ALICE Internal Tracking System (ITS) upgrade project back at Daresbury. So I can’t wait to have a tour of the ALICE experiment and see how my work has contributed to it, as well as learning more about the experiment itself.

Chris: I’m looking forward to working with lots of new people in and around the facility. I am also excited to further develop my skills and learn new techniques from the groups I will be working alongside. The site is home to many world leading experiments and facilities which I hope to get an opportunity to experience. I am also looking forward to practicing my French!

Alex: I am looking forward to working with scientists and engineers from all over the world and getting to experience the LHC of course!

Do you have any plans outside of work?

Alex: Hopefully I’ll get to see some of the Alps.

Jack: I’m hoping to be able to go to some of the free events organised by staff at CERN, such as the Hadronic Festival, as well as the other public events in Geneva whilst we’re out there! I’m hoping to be able to see Geneva, Mont Blanc and experience the culture.

Chris: I look forward to experiencing the culture and seeing many of the sites such as Geneva, Lausanne and Mont Blanc - whilst viewing many landmarks along the way such as the Broken Chair and the Jet d’Eau.

Geoff: I’ve a lot I want to fit in! Montreux Jazz Festival, Mont Blanc, BERN, Annecy...and more.

Helen Johnson, Head of STFC Apprenticeships said: “A summer work placement at CERN is a huge opportunity for our apprentices; providing many benefits including the experience of working in a different facility with a different work culture. Not only are they learning new skills which they can bring back with them and use on our sites, they are meeting like-minded people from across the world, working with colleagues at a technical and personal level in a foreign language!”

They will also have the opportunity to see facilities and experiments outside of their working area, as they will join tours of the immense site.

Find out more about our apprenticeship scheme here.

Visit the CERN website.  

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Last updated: 07 August 2019


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