SB JKU Linz goes CERN

CERN 2.0

W e are proud to announce that our IEEE Student Branch JKU Linz has this year organized another successful trip to CERN. The trip took place end of September (24.09.-28.09.). There were several unique highlights of this year’s trip and dare we say, better than our first one in 2012. First of all, it was CERN’s 60th year anniversary, so CERN was well prepared for guests coming to visit from all over the world. Second highlight was that we had American colleagues joining us from the MIT in Boston (our student branch partner). Even though are schedule was tightly packed and we had to rush through events, the whole trip was so well organized that each of the participants had a very enjoyable time. .

Wednesday, 24.09.2014
Our JKU group met up in front of Science Park Building 1 around 8pm and we took off with our 2 bus drivers at 9pm en route to CERN. The bus was very comfortable and there were spare seats which made it possible for us to have a comfortable sleep despite being on the bus all night long.We made several stops on the way (3 times) of which 2 were in Austria and one was in Switzerland.

Wednesday, 24.09.2014
n the early morning we arrived at the Geneva Airport to pick up our American guests and Mr. Peter Schmid. Unfortunately, the flight from the US had a delay of 2 hours. However, thankfully Mr. Schmid’s arrived the day before, so we could pick him up. Since we couldn’t wait for 2 hours we had to leave to CERN and our American guests were picked up 2 hours later when they arrived at Geneva. Before lunch we visited the ALPHA Magnetic Spectrometer and Magnets-Testing Hall where we were divided into three groups of which two were in English and one was in German. After these fascinating tours with lots of explained details and lunch at the CERN Restaurant, we went to the IBIS Hotel in France to settle in to our rooms. It was fun to be moving across the borders of Switzerland and France all the time for the hotel and partly due to CERN being located at the border of these two countries. At 4pm we went to the ATLAS Experiment where we were once again divided into three groups. We were lucky that the whole location was on hold until 2015 since this gave us the chance to go underground which would normally be shot down to access if the experiment was running. After our dinner at the CERN restaurant we went back to our hotel and had a well deserved rest.

Friday, 26.09.2014
After breakfast at our hotel, we took off to the Neutrino Experiment, Antiproton-Experiment/Computer Center at CERN. Here we were once again divided into groups of three (two in English and one in German). After lunch at the CERN restaurant we visited an exhibition and the Microcosm. Then we had a “discussion” which was basically all about summing up what we had learned at CERN. Our last stop at CERN was visiting the CMS before taking off to a sightseeing tour of Geneva where our guide was Mr Schmid. After a very fast walking tour of Geneva most of us had dinner at an Italian Restaurant. Then around 10pm we went back to our hotel to stay for our last night before taking off back home.

CMS Detector

Saturday, 27.09.2014
After checking out of the hotel, we departed to Zurich at 9am which took us around three and a half hours of driving time. Once we arrived at the bus parking place in Zurich, Michael Flankl was already waiting for us there. After finishing his bachelor’s degree in mechatronics at the JKU, he moved to Zurich for his master’s degree and now he is working on his doctorate at the ETH Zurich. We first went to have lunch at the Rheinfelder Bierhalle, where most of us drank a big glass of beer and had some traditional Swiss lunch. The atmosphere of the restaurant was traditional Alpine style and we had the whole second floor reserved just for us since we were such a big group. Then we climbed up the hill to ETH Zurich where Michael Flankl gave us a tour of his university and talked about his research field. Straight afterwards we had a sightseeing walking tour of Zurich with professional German and English speaking guides. Just before departing to Austria by bus, we said farewell to our American colleagues who were going to stay one more night at Zurich before leaving back to Boston on the next day. After the final goodbye, we took off by bus around 9pm to Austria.

Sunday, 28.09.2014
We arrived early morning at 5am at the JKU Science Park (the exact same location where our excursion started on Wednesday). After a short farewell (short because we were very tired and it was cold outside) everybody went back home. A special thanks goes to Mr Peter Schmid who joined us for his last time to give us a very insightful tour of CERN and Geneva, he used to work in CERN before going into retirement. The whole trip wouldn’t have gone so smoothly if we didn’t have Andreas Mittermair and Bernd Gruber organize it so well. We would also like to thank Michael Flankl, former mechatronics student at the Johannes Kepler University, for taking his time and giving us a tour of ETH Zurich. Also a thanks to our two bus drivers who made sure we traveled safely to and back from CERN. Last but not least, a special thank you to all of the participants to CERN, including our American guests, who made the trip memorable for all.