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Lucio Rossi receives a prize from the European Physical Society

The High-Luminosity LHC project leader has been awarded the EPS-AG Rolf Widerøe Prize for his major contributions to the field of applied superconductivity for accelerators


Lucio Rossi in buildings SM18 and SMA18
Lucio Rossi in front of one of the new superconducting dipole magnets for the High-Luminosity LHC being tested in the SM18 hall (Image: Michael Struik/CERN)

The accelerator group of the European Physical Society (EPS-AG) announced the winners of its 2020 prizes during the International Particle Accelerator Conference (IPAC’20), organised by the GANIL laboratory in Caen, France, which took place remotely.

Lucio Rossi, the leader of the High-Luminosity (HL-LHC) project, was awarded the EPS-AG Rolf Widerøe Prize for his outstanding contributions to the accelerator field. The jury recognised his “pioneering role in the development of superconducting magnet technology for accelerators and experiments, its application to complex projects in High Energy Physics, including strongly driving industrial capability, and for his tireless effort in promoting the field of accelerator science and technology”.

Having begun his career in plasma physics, Lucio Rossi moved into the field of applied superconductivity for accelerators in the early 1990s. He contributed to the development of the superconducting magnets for the superconducting cyclotron at INFN Catania, the solenoid magnet of the ZEUS experiment at DESY’s HERA accelerator and the ATLAS superconducting toroid magnet. He headed the INFN-LASA team, which in 1990 began work on the first prototype superconducting dipole magnet for the LHC, which was delivered to CERN in 1994.

In 2001, he became the leader of CERN’s Superconducting Magnets and Cryostats group, which was responsible for developing and launching the industrial production of the superconducting magnets needed for the LHC. No less than 300 000 km of superconducting wire had to be produced for the 1700 or so main superconducting dipole and quadrupole magnets and for the several thousand corrector magnets, whose manufacture involved the transfer of complex technology to industry. With tireless energy, unfailing optimism and contagious passion, he led his team to meet that challenge, surely one of the most epic feats in CERN’s history.

Since 2012, Lucio Rossi has been the leader of the High-Luminosity LHC project, where the complex implementation of niobium-tin superconducting technology poses a fresh challenge for the field. He is also a tireless promoter of science and technology, as the EPS jury recognised in its award citation.

To find out about the other EPS-AG 2020 winners, see the article in the CERN Courier.