News story

Coal Authority scientists visit CERN

Four scientists from the Coal Authority have visited CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, in Geneva, Switzerland.

Coal Authority scientists pictured at CERN

Cara Callingham, Alice Mellor, Abby Moorhouse and Megan Nicholson pictured with the Hadron Collider.

Geochemists Abby Moorhouse and Alice Mellor together with R&D Technical Manager Cara Callingham, and hydrogeologist Megan Nicholson, were representatives of the BEIS Science and Engineering Network (BSEN) at the international event.

It was absolutely fantastic,” said Abby “It was a ‘once in a lifetime’ trip to one of the most incredible collaborative scientific research projects in the world, which is part funded by Britain. It gave us the opportunity to see numerous experiments associated with the Large Hadron Collider up close and the chance to talk face-to-face with the academics, scientists and industry professionals working there.

We were all immensely proud to be representing BEIS and the Coal Authority. Plus, as women in STEM, the visit showcased the investment the Coal Authority has made in our training, wellbeing and careers.

Organised by a group of departmental networks of the Government Science and Engineering Profession, including BSEN, the 4 women had exclusive access to some of the most exciting parts of CERN and included an underground tour of one of the Large Hadron Collider experiments (ALICE) and visits to the Data and Control Centres and the Antimatter Factory. The 2-day visit included a dinner with expert guests.

CERN was set up in 1954 and plays a large part in the UK’s science landscape. In 2019 the UK, the second largest contributor after Germany, will have contributed £145 million to CERN, where the world’s largest and most complex scientific instruments are used to study the fundamental particles that make up the universe.

The Hadron Collider is an example of a big collaborative scientific project that includes an academic community of over 12,200 scientists. They are made up of 110 nationalities from institutes in more than 70 countries as well as hundreds of PhD students from the UK and the rest of the world.

Published 23 October 2019