Press Release

Day: 22 August 2022

FIT intern at CERN is developing particle accelerator monitoring software


It started with an interest in nuclear physics, chemistry and energy, and continued with an internship at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva. Since March, FIT student Silvie Němcová has been working as an intern in a team developing software that is part of CERN's critical infrastructure. "For me, it is a great opportunity to combine IT with my other interests, while participating in a project which includes interesting experiments," she says.

At CERN, Silvie is working in the section responsible for power converters. These supply energy to various parts of CERN's accelerator complex. "I am currently working on a project to ensure good energy supply for the Super Proton Synchrotron particle accelerator. The accelerator is used for researching many different particles - from the 'usual' ones, such as sulphur or oxygen nuclei, to individual protons. The W and Z bosons, for which CERN researchers won the Nobel Prize, were also discovered there," says Silvie Němcová.

Silvie considers being close to unique technologies and knowledge the greatest benefit of her stay in Geneva. "There are countless opportunities for learning. I can go on commented excursions led by colleagues from different disciplines to places restricted to CERN members only, every two weeks there are educational seminars, I am free to use the experimental facilities and the library materials. For me, as an IT student, it is inspiring to work in the environment that gave birth to the World Wide Web, a technology we are now absolutely reliant on in our everyday lives," she says. 

In addition to the hard skills, the internship also enhances her soft skills. "Living abroad in itself is very enriching. Thanks to my previous experience, the supervisor gave me full responsibility for my own project, which allows me to gain valuable practice in project planning, people management, communication and decision-making," explains Silvie Němcová. 

At CERN, she is currently developing CI/CD infrastructure which helps electrical engineers to verify the software for programmable logic controllers that ensure and monitor the operation of particle accelerators. "The software we develop is part of CERN's critical infrastructure. The goal is to have a stable CI/CD infrastructure for this software throughout the entire complex," she explains.

However, Silvie almost did not send her application. "The decision to apply was probably the hardest part of the entire process. I did not think I could stand a chance. Therefore, my advice for anyone considering any internship, conference or competition would be: don't be afraid. It doesn't matter that you're not a straight A student or that you don't have a lot of friends, what matters the most is that you're interested," she says, smiling. 

Author: Horná Petra, Mgr.

Last modified: 2022-09-22T14:29:11

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