Programme for Polish students: first results

News, 28 December 2018

Team for the Future of NICA, or TeFeNICA, is a programme for students from Poland that provides an opportunity to complement theoretical knowledge with practice in a real experiment and then defend the Bachelor or Master thesis. It was launched last year, and now it is possible to speak about positive results, the growth of its popularity among young scientists. Everything started in 2015 when in the frames of the event “NICA days in Warsaw” a meeting was held at which JINR Director Academician V.A. Matveev and Vice-Rector for Research of the Warsaw University of Technology (WUT), professor Rajmund Bacewicz signed the agreement on cooperation between JINR and WUT.

Professor Adam Kisiel (WUT Physical Department) said that in November 2017, an additional framework agreement was signed, and the programme implementation started that would give an opportunity for WUT students to have training at JINR, carry out research connected with the NICA project, design and test their developments. Financing of the programme is provided on a parity basis by both scientific centres. “In 2017, 13 people visited JINR in the frames of the programme, this year, this number is twice larger – 26. Most of them are students of WUT, but we attract students from other universities as well. The programme has two groups. The first one includes students who have defended the Bachelor degree. They come to JINR for three months. The second part includes students with Master degrees; these students can come for a year. Now, only Bachelor students have worked at JINR; since the next year, Masters will also come.”

Krystian Rosłon and Daniel Dombrowski are among those who had trained at JINR, graduated from the university and came to Dubna for work. Now, in addition to their scientific activities, they are engaged in heading the TeFeNICA programme. “Many students who have had the TeFeNICA practice write their Bachelor theses on this topic,” K. Rosłon said. “I have seven such students. Some of them, who were here in 2017, have already defended their theses.” Answering the question about whether Polish students want to come to the Institute, Krystian Rosłon firmly said: “Yes, of course, some of them have already visited JINR facilities in the frames of the training organized by the UC, and then they came here for the programme just because they liked it. It is true especially for those who worked in the Polish group in the Veksler and Baldin Laboratory of High Energy Physics.”

Marek Peryt (JINR, WUT) shared more details about this group: “Our sector is called “Engineering support of the facility”. At first, it was a Polish group, now it is international. In the NICA project, there is a lot of research demanding engineering support. Firstly, the gas system for the MPD project: it is necessary to make a mixture of three gases and let it go through the detector under a certain pressure. Another direction is a facility that will be placed next to the main detector and control all initial parameters. It is important that many new technologies are used in it. The most important aim is decreasing of optics, using photowires. There will be a lot of them, about 100 thousand, all of them should be installed, plugged in, tested. As far as it will be operated at the facility under radiation, it will demand a remote control, it will be necessary to develop a system that will allow controlling parameters on the screen. There are various technological tasks tackled by students in these large-scale fields of activities. Now, jointly with students, we develop the project “Mechatronic works in the great physical experiment”. As it is known, a robot can be used in dangerous for a human conditions. For example, liquid helium is used at the NICA collider. It has very low temperature. Moreover, there are electrical circuits that can be overheated and lead to a short circuit. It is possible to develop equipment that will be placed in the accelerating hall and warn of a possible emergency. It is just like a lunar rover or a drone. It is worth mentioning that these decisions are not just prototypes. These are decisions we will implement then in the MPD project.”

The programme includes the full cycle of scientific research: from development and testing to the report and publication. After the training programme in VBLHEP, a seminar is organized at which students report on what and how they have done. It is initial, preliminary work. In November, when trainees return, the Slow Control Warsaw Conference is held in Poland. At the Conference, reports agreed with WUT supervisors are presented. This year, 87 people participated in the Conference, including invited students from Russia. As a result, a collection of publications will be issued.

A. Kisiel commented on the structure of the programme, leaders and assistants: “Each student has his own supervisor from WUT and from JINR. Students study at various faculties, and each faculty has a relevant supervisor. The topic of a scientific work given to a trainee at JINR is accorded with a supervisor from the university. Marek Peryt, Daniel Dombrowski, Krystian Rosłon, Vyacheslav Golovatuik, Oleg Rogachevsky, Marchin Belevich, Mikhail Kapishin work with students in Dubna. Wladislaw Chmielowski greatly helps with the programme’s organization. Students know exactly that when they will come to Dubna, there will be assistance with documents, accommodation, workplace. Our students are engaged in slow-control, the cooling system of the detector, the gas system. There are students performing tasks that can be used in the experiment: measure radiation, the magnet field and etc. The TeFeNICA programme greatly interests other teams of the MPD project. There is an opportunity to sign similar agreements with other Polish universities.”

“We want our youth from Russia and other countries to join the programme as far as there are numerous centres engaged in science,” M. Peryt added. “However, JINR pays much attention to work with school and university students. Our WUT, in its turn, is engaged in science, engineering, and work with students as well. All this is a perfect combination.”

Galina Myalkovskaya, JINR Weekly Newspaper