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Award of an honorary doctorate to Fabiola Gianotti, Director General of CERN

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Award of an honorary doctorate to Fabiola Gianotti, Director General of CERN

Tuesday, 27 November 2018 at 11 a.m., Denis Varaschin, president of the Savoie Mont Blanc University, will present, at LAPP, an honorary doctorate to Fabiola Gianotti, Director General of CERN. Fabiola Gianotti will be sponsored by Giovanni Lamanna, director of LAPP.

Conduct of the ceremony

  • Opening speech delivered by Denis VARASCHIN, President of Savoie Mont Blanc University
  • Praise of Fabiola GIANOTTI by Giovanni LAMANNA, director of the Annecy Laboratory of Particle Physics,
    Lucia DI CIACCIO, professor at Savoie Mont Blanc University
    and Isabelle WINGERTER, Director of Research at the CNRS
  • Insignia and diploma by Denis VARASCHIN, President of Savoie Mont Blanc University
  • Thanks of Fabiola GIANOTTI
  • Closing remarks by Jean-Luc RIGAUT, mayor of the new Annecy municipality

About Fabiola Gianotti

Fabiola Gianotti earned her Ph.D. in experimental particle physics from the University of Milan->] in 1989. She has been a physicist since 1994 in the Physics Department at CERN, where she is working on several experiments including ALEPH on the Large Electron-Positron Collider, which was the precursor of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) and ATLAS at the LHC. She took part in several aspects of the experiments: detector R&D, construction, software development and data analysis.

In March 2009, she was elected Project Leader (Spokesperson) of the ATLAS Collaboration, one of four major experiments bringing together more than 3,000 scientists from 181 institutes, representing no less than 38 countries. The collaborations of the LHC, ATLAS and CMS, made it possible to discover the Higgs boson.

On 4 July 2012, Fabiola Gianotti announced the discovery of the particle, which had been proposed as part of the Standard Model of Particle Physics to explain how fundamental particles acquire mass. Her deep understanding of many aspects of ATLAS, coupled with an inspired leadership, is recognized as a determining factors in the discovery of the Higgs boson.

On 1 January 2016, Fabiola Gianotti became the first woman to hold the position of Director General of CERN. Under his leadership, with the increasing number of collisions between its proton beams, the LHC will continue to take more data on fundamental physics, potentially helping physicists to answer crucial questions such as the nature of the dark matter or why nature prefers matter to antimatter.

Fabiola Gianotti is the author or co-author of more than 500 publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals and has been invited to speak at more than 30 plenary sessions at major international conferences in her field.

She is, or has been, a member of several international committees such as the Scientific Council of CNRS (France), the Consultative Committee for Physics of Fermilab (United States of America), the Scientific Council of the Laboratory DESY (Germany) or the Scientific Advisory Committee of NIKHEF (Netherlands). She is also a member of the Scientific Advisory Board to the UN Secretary-General.

Fabiola Gianotti’s honours

Fabiola Gianotti has received honorary doctorates from the University of Uppsala, the Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne, McGill University (Montreal), University of Oslo, University of Edinburgh and University Paris-Sud.

She is a foreign member of the French Academy of Sciences, corresponding member of the Italian Academy of Sciences (Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei) and Associate Foreign Member of the United States National Academy of Sciences. Fabiola Gianotti has also received the title of "Cavaliere di Gran Croce dell’ordina al merito della Repubblica" from the President of the Italian Republic, Mr. Giorgio Napolitano, as well as the Fundamental Physics Special Prize of the Milner Foundation (2012), the Enrico Fermi Prize from the Italian Society of Physics (2013) and the Medal of Honour from the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen (2013).

In 2011, The Guardian (UK) ranked her as one of the "100 greatest women of inspiration"; in 2012, Time Magazine (USA) named it the fifth person of the year; In 2013, Forbes magazine (USA) ranked her as one of the "100 Most Influential Women".

The close collaboration between Fabiola Gianotti and the LAPP

For nearly 30 years, LAPP has collaborated with Madame Gianotti. The odyssey began when the research team involved in the ATLAS project worked closely with Ms. Gianotti in the nineties on the first tests of the electromagnetic calorimeter prototype. It continued with the design and construction of the calorimeter of this experiment in the 2000s. In the 2010s, and particularly in 2012, the LAPP team was in close contact with Ms. Gianotti, then spokesperson for the ATLAS collaboration, during the discovery of the Higgs boson. In the late nineties, Ms. Gianotti worked in the international collaboration at the ALEPH experiment at the CERN Positron Electron Collider (LEP), which also included LAPP. The LAPP ATLAS team is very proud to welcome Ms. Gianotti as Doctor Honoris Causa from Savoie Mont Blanc University.

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