L'Institut de Física d'Altes Energies celebra el seu 25è aniversari

July 10, 2017

The Institut de Física d’Altes Energies (IFAE), a consortium of the Generalitat de Catalunya and the Autonomous University of Barcelona, celebrates the 25th anniversary of its foundation. The celebration took place last Friday, July 7, with the participation of the Secretary of State for Research, Development and Innovation, Carmen Vela; the Secretary of Universities and Research of the Generalitat de Catalunya, Arcadi Navarro; the Vice-Rector for Innovation and Strategic Projects at the UAB, Francisco Javier Lafuente; and the president of the Board of Trustees of the Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology, Andreu Mas-Colell.

The keynote address was given by Professor Hitoshi Murayama, Director of the Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe at the University of Tokyo and MacAdams Professor of Physics at the University of California at Berkeley. Also present were the current director of the IFAE, Ramon Miquel, as well as the founding director, Enrique Fernández, the main instigator of the creation of the IFAE, Ramon Pascual, the former director Matteo Cavalli-Sforza, and the scientific director of the Severo Ochoa program, Manel Martínez. They all provided an insight into the past and present of the -Institut de Física d’Altes Energies, and its role in international research in fundamental physics.

IFAE: center of excellence in fundamental physics

For 25 years, the Institut de Física d’Altes Energies has been exploring the frontiers of cosmic and high energy, in order to solve the fundamental unanswered questions about the universe. The main lines of research, both experimental and theoretical, are particle physics, high-energy astrophysics and cosmology. The IFAE participates in 9 international collaborations in leadership positions, has twice obtained Severo Ochoa accreditation (2012 and 2016) and is a member of the Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology (BIST).

Secretary of State for Research, Development and Innovation Carmen Vela cited the IFAE as an example of the fact that, with work, effort and passion, the best science can be done and society can be improved. “This is an institution that allows us to be proud and has 25 more years of excellent results,” he said.

Technological innovation is present at the IFAE in applied physics projects. The IFAE develops new instrumentation, such as telescope detectors or cameras, medical application projects, such as new medical imaging systems, and offers mass data management solutions through the Port of Scientific Information (PIC), which manages in collaboration with CIEMAT.

The Secretary of Universities and Research of the Generalitat de Catalunya, Arcadi Navarro, mentioned the important results achieved over the quarter of a century of the IFAE’s history and recalled how, since its inception, the IFAE has served as inspiration for former councilor Andreu Mas-Colell to structure research centers in Catalonia

IFAE, attraction and generation of international talent

The celebration was attended by several people who worked at the IFAE and are currently developing their professional careers in international institutions and companies, inside and outside the academic world. Vicens Gaitan, for example, earned his doctorate from the IFAE and is now chief scientist at the AIA Group, an international company focused on mass data analysis; Lluís Miralles, worked at the IFAE as an engineer in various projects and is now head of one of CERN’s departments. Gaëlle Boix was a doctoral student at the IFAE and is now a partner in the consulting firm Egon Zehnder. Here are some examples of how the IFAE has been a school of top-notch professionals, and of the opportunities in physics beyond research.