28 October 2008

Seda Persembe

Nationality: Turkish

Seda Persembe

Last summer, Seda Persembe joined the CERN Summer Students after receiving the Engin Arik fellowship, which was set up last December in memory of Turkish professor Engin Arik. After this unique experience, this fresh Physics graduate from Ankara University is now back at CERN as a research student working with Metin Arik, Engin’s husband.

Seda feels very honoured to have been one of the first three recipients for this fellowship (See previous e-news article): “I had the privilege to get to know her, and it was Engin who motivated me to take on the challenge of doing research in experimental high-energy physics.”

“She impressed me a lot at a personal and at a professional level. As I always say, her blue-eyes light is always over my shoulder.”

One of the highlights of Seda’s summer school was the opportunity she had to have a chat with John Ellis, after one of his lectures: “It was amazing, he is a legend at CERN and among physicists!” In fact, Professor Ellis is the Head of CERN relations with non-member states, and was also directly involved in setting up the Engin Arik fellowship.

Seda just came back to CERN in early October for a two-month period. She is involved in an ATLAS upgrade project on readout electronics in the MicroMegas group. Seda is now applying for Master’s and PhD programs: “I’d like to find a PhD program that allows me to be based at CERN most of the time; it’s the first question I ask prospective supervisors: ‘How often will I be at CERN?’

Seda is so much into CERN that she prefers to live in St Genis rather than in Geneva, because it is closer to her office. But she is a very social person too: “I go out for dinner with my friends and then get back in the lab to work a little bit more!” she laughs. “It is easy to go back to St Genis by bike at 2am, but I could not do that if I lived in Geneva!”

Besides cycling, Seda has practised many other sports in her life. She had been a professional tennis player back in Turkey till she reached 18, when she injured her knee and had to put tennis courts aside. This summer, she relived good “tennistic” moments while playing good matches against fellow students. She has to be careful when she plays, but her philosophy is: “If you are too careful, then life gets boring!”

After a wonderful summer at CERN, Seda has decided that she wants to work at CERN for everything it offers, its working atmosphere and also its social life. And there is something else that is very clear in Seda’s mind: “I want to work on ATLAS; I’m an ATLAS fan!”




Cristina Jimenez

ATLAS e-News