On 17 July 2016, Romania became the twenty-second Member State of CERN, 25 years after the first cooperation agreement with the country was signed. “CERN and Romania already have a long history of strong collaboration”, says Emmanuel Tsesmelis, head of Relations with Associate Members and Non-Member States. “We very much look forward to strengthening this collaboration as Romania becomes CERN’s twenty-second Member State, which promises the development of mutual interests in scientific research, related technologies and education,” he affirms.
Romania's scientific community at CERN has grown over the years and currently numbers around a hundred visiting scientists involved in the LHC experiments ALICE, ATLAS and LHCb as well as NA62, n_TOF, ISOLDE and the Worldwide LHC Computing Grid. Some of these physicists share their thoughts about this new stage for their community.
“I am very proud and honored to be a member of the Romanian team in this very exciting moment when we become a Member State,” comments Valentina Tudorache, a member of the ATLAS collaboration from the National Institute for Physics and Nuclear Engineering (IFIN-HH) in Bucharest. “I strongly believe that as a new Member State we will have the opportunity to contribute even more to CERN’s mission particularly at this important time of the year while many analyses are under way so that we can publish LHC Run 2 results,” she concludes.
“With Romania being a CERN Member State, we really hope that this will create the necessary conditions to enhance the synergies, with real benefits on both sides,” declares Mihai Petrovici, head of the Hadron Physics department at IFIN-HH and leader of one of the Romanian teams within ALICE. “The Romanian scientific community has the chance to become more coherent, competitive and visible within the various research activities carried out at CERN. Having access to all CERN facilities on an equal footing with other Member States will have a significant impact on the efficiency and motivation of many researchers and young talented students planning to join this field of research in Romania,” he remarks.
“From the very beginning, we have received a huge amount of support from the CERN administration and we have been greatly encouraged by our colleagues,” says Calin Alexa of IFIN-HH’s Particle Physics department, who is also Romania’s National Contact Physicist in ATLAS and head of his institute’s ATLAS group. What it will change is that the Romanian groups at CERN will benefit from greater stability, increased confidence and a formal support structure. This stability is of a primary importance, especially for the funding agencies.”
“The status of Romania as a Member State of CERN will have a major impact, especially for students, who will now have the opportunity to be much more involved in CERN experiments from a younger age thanks to the fellowship or summer student programmes,” states Ana Elena Dumitriu, a PhD student in the ATLAS collaboration and member of the Department of Elementary Particle Physics at IFIN-HH.
“I don't see this as reaching a final destination, but rather as an important milestone in a long journey that we started many years ago,” affirms Andrei Gheata, a member of CERN’s EP-SFT group. “Romanian researchers, computer scientists, engineers and technicians have been participating in many CERN projects for quite some time, and I have witnessed a constant increase in this participation during the last 15 years,” he continues. “I am confident that this will bring about many opportunities that will benefit both Romanian research and industry, while also contributing to CERN's mission to push the limits of knowledge and technology,” he concludes.