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October 10, 2016

Young Qatari Joins CERN Detector Technology Program

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Mechanical engineering student Fahad Al-Thani was awarded a place in a prestigious summer internship program at CERN in the Detector Technology Program in Switzerland for eight weeks. With funding from Qatar Foundation Research and Development (QF R&D), Al-Thani is the second Qatari student to travel to Switzerland for a CERN internship.
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Al-Thani revealed: “I think the internship was a great opportunity for me to see in person the testing and manufacturing of the CMS GEM detectors,” he said. “I have also enjoyed meeting and working with new people from all around the world, and gaining knowledge and experience from them.”

Al-Thani is an undergraduate researcher under the direction of Dr. Othmane Bouhali, research associate professor and director of research computing at Texas A&M at Qatar, leads Texas A&M at Qatar’s endeavors with CERN where he has contributed for the past 20 years. Bouhali’s research group — including Al-Thani — recently received an Undergraduate Research Experience Program (UREP) grant from the Qatar National Research Fund for a project that aims to conduct a comprehensive simulation program for charged particle detectors to be used in future medical and accelerator applications.

Bouhali said, “Last year our UREP project won first place in Qatar for the work we have performed with the CERN collaboration. This new UREP project involves four new students who will get introduced to detector technology, simulation programs and advanced experimental statistical analysis.”

The CERN summer program is offered to students studying physics, computing or engineering, and allows them the unique opportunity to join the day-to-day work of research teams in Geneva, Switzerland. CERN, founded in 1954, is the largest research center in the world for nuclear and high energy physics research.

Thanks to the Qatar team’s research endeavors, QF R&D recently signed an international cooperative agreement with CERN, and student training and internships such as Al-Thani’s is one outcome of the agreement.

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