After ten years as the High-Luminosity LHC (HL-LHC) project leader, Lucio Rossi, who will leave CERN this autumn, is passing the baton to Oliver Brüning, who has been his deputy since the project was launched in 2010.
Oliver Brüning began his career in particle physics at the DESY laboratory in Hamburg, Germany. Having completed a PhD on particle dynamics in the HERA storage ring, he took part in the commissioning of the accelerator. He joined the SPS-LEP accelerator physics group at CERN as a fellow in 1995, and later became a staff member. He became the leader of the AB-ABP-LOC (Accelerators and Beam Physics – LHC Operation and Commissioning) section in 2003 and then, two years later, of the BE-ABP group. From 2008 onwards, he was in charge of the accelerator systems side of the work towards a possible large hadron–electron collider (LHeC). From 2009 to 2010, he was deputy head of the BE department. And from 2015 to 2019, he led the LHC Full Energy Exploitation study, which set out the preparatory and consolidation work required for the LHC to run at an energy of 14 TeV in Run 3 and, beyond that, for the HL-LHC.
The HL-LHC is now entering the crucial installation phase: as civil engineering work progresses, the first components have been inserted into the accelerator (see here and here). “Over the last few months, the HL-LHC project has passed some significant milestones,” says Oliver Brüning. “The underground structures of the High-Luminosity LHC were connected for the first time to the LHC tunnel at Point 1 and Point 5 in December 2019 and the second connexion took place in May and June 2020. Recently, a superconducting electrical transmission line developed for the HL-LHC set a new record.” The next major step for the project will be the installation, this winter, of an 11 tesla dipole magnet that uses the superconductor niobium–tin (Nb3Sn).
Lucio Rossi will leave CERN at the end of September, having devoted more than 19 years to the LHC and its successor. After taking over the leadership of CERN’s Superconducting Magnets and Cryostats group in 2001, he put all his energy and enthusiasm into guiding the team responsible for developing, building, constructing, assembling and installing the thousands of superconducting magnets that make up the LHC. He is one of the main supporters of and driving forces behind the High-Luminosity LHC project, which he has led since the very beginning. As of October, the multi-award-winning physicist will be a professor at the University of Milan and an associate of INFN-LASA, his home institute. He plans to devote himself to teaching and to medical applications.