Lesya Shchutska wins EPS Young Experimental Physicist Prize

Lesya Shchutska © EPFL

Lesya Shchutska © EPFL

Professor Lesya Shchutska has been awarded a Young Experimental Physicist Prize from the European Physical Society.

The European Physical Society (EPS) is a not-for-profit association whose members include 42 National Physical Societies in Europe, individuals from all fields of physics, and European research institutions. Each year, the EPS High Energy Particle Physics Board awards a Young Experimental Physicist Prize "for outstanding work by one or more young physicists (less than 35) in the field of Particle Physics and/or Particle Astrophysics."

This year, one of the awardees is Professor Lesya Shchutska, who directs EPFL's High Energy Physics Laboratory. Shchutska is an internationally acclaimed and highly innovative young scientist whose research focuses on the search for physical phenomena beyond the standard model of particle physics.

To this end, she had been exploring energy frontier with the collaborative CMS experiment at CERN's Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Geneva. With no evidence for new heavy particles produced at the LHC, Shchutska initiated searches for light feebly interacting particles (like heavy neutrinos) within the large volumes of data delivered by the LHC, and she came to EPFL and the LHCb experiment to challenge standard model predictions with the precision measurements in bottom quarks, and is searching heavy neutrinos in B meson decays.

The EPS has awarded Shchutska "for outstanding contributions to experimental activities in particle physics, from the design and simulation of novel experiments, test-beam operations and analyses, to data analyses and their final theoretical interpretations."

Shchutska is one of two winners of the Prize, the other being Josh Bendavid (CIT/CERN).

Full EPS citation (PDF)

Lesya Shchutska (EPFL) has made significant contributions to a large and varied spectrum of particle physics and particle astrophysics experiments. Among these are searches for physics beyond the Standard Model at the LHC with CMS and B-physics analyses with LHCb, detector development for CMS and balloon-based experiments studying cosmic rays, as well as feasibility studies for the proposed beam-dump experiment SHiP at CERN for the detection of hidden particles that are expected to interact only very weakly with known Standard Model particles. Lesya has several outstanding research achievements to her credit. These include publications that were elaborated under her leadership as convenor of the Supersymmetry analysis group of the CMS experiment, and her own proposals for promising searches for new physics phenomena. The latter include a search for new heavy neutral leptons [see Reference], in particular massive Majorana neutrinos.


Search for Heavy Neutral Leptons in Events with Three Charged Leptons in Proton-Proton Collisions at √s =13 TeV, CMS Collaboration, PRL 120, 221801 (2018)