PhD position on novel intelligent algorithms for real-time reconstruction for the HL-LHC

PhD position on novel intelligent algorithms for real-time reconstruction for the HL-LHC

Published Deadline Location
12 May 1 Jun Amsterdam

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Job description

PhD position on novel intelligent algorithms for real-time reconstruction for the HL-LHC   
The Nikhef organization
Nikhef is the national institute for subatomic physics in The Netherlands. At Nikhef, approximately 190 physicists and 80 technical staff members work together in an open and international scientific environment. Together, they perform theoretical and experimental research in the fields of particle and astroparticle physics. The Nikhef institute is a collaboration between six major Dutch universities and the Dutch Foundation for Scientific Research (NWO).
Nikhef participates in large research collaborations, including the ATLAS, LHCb and ALICE experiments at CERN, the KM3NeT neutrino telescope in the Mediterranean, the VIRGO interferometer in Pisa, the Xenon1T dark matter experiment in Gran Sasso, the Pierre Auger cosmic ray observatory in Argentina and the eEDM research programme in Groningen. Nikhef also hosts a group in theoretical physics, and groups for Physics Data Processing and detector R&D, excellent electronic- and mechanical engineering groups, all with good connections to the experimental programs.

The position offered here is part of an NWO-funded research program: “FASTER - Fast sensors and Algorithms for Space-time Tracking and Event Reconstruction”, which will comprise 7 PhD positions and 3 postdoc positions in the period 2023-2028, all focused on research of fast-timing tracking systems for the ALICE, ATLAS and LHCb and future experiments. Fast-timing tracking detectors, consisting of billions of pixels will precisely measure the time at which particles pass our detectors. Use of this information will enable the experiments to cope with the fierce environment of the high luminosity LHC where they will see unprecedented hit rates and levels of radiation. The consortium members bring together expertise on sensor technologies, detector hardware and advanced pattern-recognition algorithms.

In the FASTER program, we will research and develop novel fast-timing sensors, develop methods and algorithms to calibrate the time measurement at picosecond level. We will also research pattern recognition algorithms that make use of the time measurements to execute more efficiently and on heterogeneous computing architectures such as GPUs.
The position
We are looking for a PhD candidate for the study of novel intelligent algorithms for real-time reconstruction to be deployed at HL-LHC. The successful candidate will start by studying the physics requirements and constraints of the various use cases, namely track reconstruction in ALICE,LHCb and a test-beam setup for prototype sensors. Requirements such as reconstruction efficiency and fake-rate as a function of particlemomentum will be considered together with constraints such as magnetic field configuration and detector geometry. Existing algorithms will be evaluated and expanded to incorporate timing information into the states of the Kalman filter. In addition, the PhD student will work in close collaboration with other FASTER PhDs and postdocs on the implementation and study of calibration methods that utilise reconstructed particle trajectories or groups (in time) of trajectories. The knowledge obtained will be applied to provide a demonstrator of reconstruction and calibration algorithms for a test-beam setup. The successful candidate is expected to become member of the ALICE Collaboration at CERN-LHC.




What are we looking for?
We are looking for PhD candidates with an (almost) completed Master degree in high-energy physics, applied physics or in a closely related fields. The ideal candidate has a strong interest in computing, has excellent software skills (C++, Python) and preferably has (some) experience on parallel architectures such as GPUs and (some) experience on LHC physics.

Conditions of employment

The candidate will be employed by the NWO-I-foundation and will obtain the status of junior scientist. While the candidate will be based at Nikhef in Amsterdam, he/she will obtain the PhD degree from Utrecht University. Frequent travel to Utrecht are foreseen for teaching duties. She/he will receive a 4-year contract with a competitive salary. The conditions of employment are excellent, and can be found on the website of the employer NWO-I. Apart from this, non-Dutch applicants may be eligible for the so called ’30% tax ruling’, which results in a net income advantage.
The educational program of the Dutch research school for subatomic physics offers annual graduate schools for PhD candidates, as well as frequent series of lectures on advanced topics in (astro)particle physics.

Information and Application

Qualified applicants are encouraged to apply by clicking the 'apply now' button below. Please be prepared to upload a curriculum vitae and a motivation letter, and provide the email address of two referees who are willing to send a letter of recommendation on your behalf. The deadline for applications is June 1st, 2023.
For further information on these openings, feel free to contact dr. Hella Snoek via


  • PhD
  • max. 40 hours per week
  • 1210179


Science Park 105, 1098 XG, Amsterdam

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