Earlier this month, Fermilab scientist Petra Merkel stepped into the role of co-chair of the Coordinating Panel for Advanced Detectors in the American Physical Society Division of Particles and Fields. She co-chairs the panel with Yale University’s Karsten Heeger for a two-year, renewable term. They succeed Marcel Demarteau of Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Ian Shipsey of Oxford University, who have led the panel since its inception in 2012.
Merkel is the Fermilab detector R&D coordinator and a member of the Fermilab Scientist Advisory Council. She is a scientist on the CMS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider and and heavily involved in the CMS detector upgrade program. She is also a graduate of the University of Chicago Strategic Laboratory Leadership Program.
The Coordinating Panel for Advanced Detectors, known as CPAD, is responsible for promoting excellence in the research and development of instrumentation and detectors to support the national program of particle physics in a global context. With advances in artificial intelligence and quantum sensing taking place throughout the science and technology sector, particle detector technologies are likely to evolve rapidly in the coming years, with great potential for technological breakthroughs.
Merkel will help guide the scientific community in navigating this changing landscape of instrumentation for particle physics experiments. She will also work to keep abreast of developments in instrumentation in communities both inside and outside particle physics.
In the APS DPF April newsletter, Merkel and Heeger said, “We are looking forward to refreshing the CPAD membership and its various committees and to working closely with the outstanding instrumentation community in the U.S. We are very grateful to Ian and Marcel for their guidance and leadership and are determined to continue the impactful way in which CPAD has helped shape the field.”