Petra Merkel is new Fermilab detector R&D coordinator

Petra Merkel

Petra Merkel

Petra Merkel, a scientist in the Fermilab Particle Physics Division, was recently appointed the laboratory’s detector R&D coordinator. She takes over from scientist Erik Ramberg, who served in the position for seven years.

In her new role, Merkel will coordinate the research and funding for Fermilab’s many and varied detector R&D projects, from tried and true technologies to new, fledgling developments that would not otherwise be investigated.

Merkel will be at the helm of both generic and some early-stage directed detector R&D, which involve employees and outside scientists and engineers. She will oversee the various groups’ activities and look for ways to bring people together on different projects to take the best advantage of the laboratory’s various facilities, such as the Fermilab Test Beam Facility and SiDet, as well as ASIC development and thin film and cryogenic capabilities.

She’ll also look for opportunities to advance unknown but promising technologies, perhaps to a level of maturity that Fermilab experiments could make use of them.

“We should always keep an eye out for new ideas, independent of experiments’ specific needs,” Merkel said.

Merkel is a scientist on the CMS experiment at CERN. She currently works on the CMS phase 1 upgrade, specifically on the silicon pixel detector, and analyses related to Higgs physics.