Fabiola Gianotti appointed Honorary Professor

 © 2011 CERN
© 2011 CERN

Fabiola Gianotti, former spokesperson of the Atlas collaboration who co-announced the discovery of the Higgs boson at CERN in July last year, has been appointed an Honorary Professor in the School of Physics & Astronomy.

"I am very honoured and pleased to be appointed Honorary Professor at this prestigious School, which has such great historical traditions and excellent theoretical and experimental groups. I look forward to collaborating with the Edinburgh physicists, in particular with the very strong and lively ATLAS group". Fabiola Gianotti

Fabiola will be associated with the School's Experimental Particle Physics Group, which carries out research at both the ATLAS and LHCb experiments at the LHC. She will work with Edinburgh staff and PhD students based at CERN and visit the School for specialist lectures. 

Fabiola is a member of the International Advisory Committee of the Higgs Centre for Theoretical Physics at the University of Edinburgh, and has been a colleague of Peter Higgs himself for some time.

"We are delighted that Fabiola is now an Honorary Professor in our research group. Fabiola is very enthusiastic and we look forward to seeing her here in Edinburgh in the autumn." Peter Clarke, Edinburgh Particle Physics Research Group

"We are very excited Fabiola will be joining our ATLAS research team as a visiting professor. Her vast knowledge of the ATLAS experiment will be a great asset to our research on the Higgs boson and in searching for any new phenomena the LHC may reveal." Victoria Martin, Edinburgh Particle Physics Research Group

Distinguished career

Fabiola has had a distinguished career in particle physics. She gained her PhD in 1989 from the University of Milan. As a post-doctoral researcher her first project was the R&D for what later became the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). In 1996 she joined the ALEPH experiment at the LEP-II (Large Electron Positron) collider where she worked upon the search for evidence of supersymmetric particles, which are candidates for dark matter.

She became a CERN Fellow and then a member of the CERN staff in 1996. After a period of detector development she became involved in the many physics preparation studies needed in advance of the first proton beams at the LHC as well as work on the liquid Argon calorimeter. She was elected “Physics Coordinator” of ATLAS from 1999-2003, Deputy Spokesperson from 2004-2009, and then in 2009 she was elected as the Spokesperson of ATLAS, a position she held until she stepped down in March 2013. This position is one of the most senior leadership positions in the field of experimental particle physics, where she was responsible for a collaboration of nearly 3000 physicists from over 170 international Institutions. Her role has of course been central to the most recent high point of the LHC programme, the discovery of the Higgs boson.


In 2012 she was awarded the title of "Grande Ufficiale al merito della Repubblica" by the Italian President Giorgio Napolitano. She received the Special Fundamental Physics Prize (funded by the Milner Foundation), awarded jointly to the ATLAS and CMS Spokespersons for their leadership that led to the discovery of the Higgs Boson, and was elected as a member of the Italian “Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei” in 2012.

In 2013 Fabiola was awarded the Italian “Nonino Prize” and the Enrico Fermi prize of the Italian Physical Society.