First ‘Gentner Doktor’ finishes PhD at CERN

In 2007, the CERN Doctoral Student Programme saw the addition of the Gentner Doctoral Student Programme, named in honour of the celebrated nuclear physicist, Wolfgang Gentner. Four years later, on 22 June 2011, Marcel Schuh finished his PhD with a thesis in the field of accelerator technology and became the very first ‘Gentner Doktor’.


Marcel Schuh, first 'Gentner Doktor', celebrates completing his PhD. (Photo by Carsten P. Welsch)

Marcel Schuh became a Gentner student in April 2008, after completing a physics degree in 2007 at the University of Heidelberg. His thesis allowed him to gain exposure to CERN and the LHC, as he worked on monitoring and control systems for trigger and readout electronics on the ALICE detector at the LHC. With the support of university supervisor, Carsten P. Welsch, Schuh applied for a Gentner Doctoral Studentship on the Superconducting Proton Linac (SPL) project. “My task was to evaluate whether dedicated higher order mode (HOM) couplers are needed in the superconducting cavities to ensure stable operation under various conditions,” explains Schuh. “I was a member of the BE-RF-LR group and today I am still involved as a project associate. My supervisor, Frank Gerigk, did a fantastic job.”

In early 2007, only two German doctoral students were part of the CERN Doctoral Student Programme, but today the Gentner programme has given rise to a total of 35 doctoral students at CERN entirely funded by Germany, plus an additional six German students funded by the regular CERN Doctoral Student Programme. “The programme is a unique opportunity to benefit from a high-level education at one of the world’s leading institutes in accelerator science and technology,” says Schuh. “The key to the success of the programme is Michael Hauschild, who put in a lot of effort in order to set it up, get it funded and continuously improve it.”

Schuh began a new position as a research associate at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) on 1st April 2011 and is currently working on beam physics at ANKA, a synchrotron light source in Karlsruhe.

by Jordan Juras