23 January 2008

Weina Ji

Nationality: Chinese

Weina Ji

The prospect of a life full of challenges is what brought Weina Ji to study physics at the University of Nanjing, in China. However besides the intellectual stimulation that physics provides, she also describes the field as 'useful'. "The logic that you develop while learning physics can also be applied outside this particular world if later on you don't continue in this career," she says.

Having finished her physics degree, Weina is now a graduate student at the department of high energy physics at Lund University in Sweden. Her PhD thesis involves research for various projects within the ATLAS collaboration.

When she learnt about CERN as an undergraduate student, Weina was immediately drawn to its impressive international network. She always kept that in mind, and her later choice of specialising in high energy physics was strongly influenced by the desire to, at some point, take part in this world-wide effort. It is for this reason that she has come all the way from China to Sweden: "Being based at Lund offered me the chance to be closer to the construction of the Large Hadron Collider and the experiments, such as the ATLAS detector," she says.

The Physics and Theoretical Physics Departments at the University of Lund have collaborative agreements with ATLAS and other experiments at CERN through various programs. Weina’s graduate training is funded by the European Commission.

Initially, moving from a large city in China to a small city in Sweden was a big change for Weina, but she has made good friends with her international colleagues, and enjoys her life in Lund, particularly the summer time. Weina is also finding her PhD in particle physics very stimulating: "Everything unknown is attractive, and I feel I'm learning new things every day," she says.

As a part of her PhD, she does short stints at CERN quite often. Weina says the most beneficial aspect of being based at CERN is the opportunity of exchanging information with friends and colleagues anytime -at lunch, coffee breaks. She also praises the top-level researchers and professors that are working at CERN, who can be easily contacted by students.

Weina’s advice for those who want to embark on a career in physics is clear: “You have to work hard,” she says. “But also, you have to be optimistic. Maybe you encounter a problem during your research, but you have to keep on going,” Weina adds, with a smile. When asked about her future plans, she does not hesitate: “I’d like to continue in this field, if there is any possibility, I’d like to work at CERN and ATLAS.”

Colin Barras


    Cristina Jimenez