Prof. Emmanuel Tsesmelis

Invited Talk: The Importance of Large Physics Research Infrastructure for Technology and Innovation


The core mission of large physics research infrastructure is typically basic science. Yet, the technology required by basic science finds applications in a variety of fields and can have a societal impact going way beyond their initial scope and expectations. In this presentation, CERN will be used as a case study in underlying the importance of large physics research infrastructure for technology and innovation on a global scale. Transferring CERN’s know-how and technology to other fields, and thus maximising the societal impact of the Laboratory’s research, is an integral part of CERN’s mission, as spelled out in the Organization’s Convention. A well-known example is the World Wide Web, invented at CERN in 1989 to meet the demand for digital information-sharing between scientists in universities and institutes around the world and which has moved on to impact society in general.

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  Head of Associate Member and Non-Member State Relations


Short Bio

Emmanuel Tsesmelis is an experimental particle physicist with a career spanning scientific research, academic teaching, science communication, international relations and management at CERN and at several universities. He is a Senior Physicist and Deputy Head of International Relations in CERN’s Directorate-General Unit and a Visiting Professor in Particle and Accelerator Physics at the University of Oxford. He is an elected Fellow of the Australian Institute of Physics and a supernumerary member of Jesus College, Oxford.

He undertook his studies in Athens, Melbourne and Dortmund. He completed his Ph.D. studies in experimental particle physics at the University of Dortmund, where he worked on the search for the charged Higgs boson at the UA2 experiment at CERN. From 1993 to 1998, he worked within CERN’s neutrino programme searching for quantum mechanical oscillations between neutrino flavours with the NOMAD and SPY experiments and also on the design team for the CERN neutrino beam to Gran Sasso, CNGS. In 1998 he joined the CMS Collaboration at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC), one of the two experiments that have announced the discovery of the Higgs boson, and for the period 2005-2008 he was Head of the LHC Experimental Areas. As a result of his research, he has co-authored a large number of scientific papers in refereed journals together with international collaborators.

Emmanuel Tsesmelis was a member of the CERN Directorate Office during the period 2009-2013, and played a key advisory and support role for the Director-General and Senior Management by providing a source of policy and strategy counsel. As of 2004, he has also been providing strategic advice to CERN Directors-General on international relations of the Organization. In this capacity, he has been responsible for bringing into collaboration with CERN scientists from countries that are in the process of developing their particle physics communities. In 2013 he was appointed CERN’s Deputy Head of International Relations.

He also lectures in physics and contributes to public engagement events in science, technology and innovation, most notably related to CERN’s Non-Member State Summer Student Programme and High School Teacher Programme, as well as to public science events internationally.

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