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Outreach

The HEP@VUB initiated and was strongly involved in a vast range of successful valorisation projects, mostly in the science communication part of valorisation. Some recent highlights mentioned below provide us with an outstanding experience to continue to deliver also in the future prosperous valorisation outcomes. 
 

  • Jorgen D’Hondt was awarded the annual prize for Science Valorisation of the VUB in 2014 (value of 150k euro) as well as one of the year prizes in 2013 of the Royal Academy of Belgium (KVAB) for Science Communication. He obtained as well two external funds (2 x 5k euro) from the Brussels region dedicated to outreach events. One of these grants was to sponsor the documentary “Kwantumrevolutie” which was selected for the 360° Science Film Festival in Moscow. 
     
  • Petra Van Mulders is member of the jury of CanSat Belgium (2015-2017), and provided workshops for about 80 children aged 8 to 12 at Technopolis as well as a keynote speech on curiosity-driven research at the first VUB conference with over 600 participants. 
     
  • Petra Van Mulders and Seth Moortgat have been invited keynote speakers at the annual forum of the Belgian nuclear community.
     
  • Freya Blekman was awarded for her continuous science communication via social media one of the year prizes in 2016 of the Royal Academy of Belgium (KVAB) for Science Communication. She organised as well a “Career in Industry” seminar for our PhD students and postdocs. She was the invited CERN speaker at the prestigious London International Youth Science Forum in 2013, 2015 and 2016 (http://www.liysf.org.uk/).
     
  • Freya Blekman and Steven Lowette are regularly judges during the yearly wetenschaps-ExpoSciences Science fair in Brussels.  
     
  • In 2014, our HEP@VUB team in IceCube organised several presentations of an IceCube 3D movie at the Brussels planetarium. In the same year they produced as well a short movie explaining our GRB research. They organized an IceCube exhibition at the "Printemps des Sciences" in 2014. A substantial and novel outreach program was developed in view of the South Pole trip of Gwen de Wasseige in the period Dec 2016 to Jan 2017. The program involved a scientific competition among classes at schools and pedagogical exhibitions illustrating life at the South Pole and scientific activities at the IceCube observatory.
     
  • Ben Craps and Alexander Sevrin are involved, via the International Solvay Institutes, in the organization of yearly high-profile Public Lectures attracting audiences of many hundreds. 
     
  • Simona Toscano and Gwen de Wasseige organized in 2016 a public lecture (more than 200 participants) to celebrate the discovery of gravitational waves, followed by a dedicated symposium. 
     
  • Stefaan Tavernier is member of and was previously spokesperson (1995-2010) of Crystal Clear, an international collaboration active on research and development on inorganic scintillation materials for novel ionizing radiation detectors, for high-energy physics, medical imaging and industrial applications. Recent publications are “Validation of a highly integrated SiPM readout system with a TOF-PET demonstrator” (just accepted in JINST) and “A new method for depth of interaction determination in PET detectors” (Phys.Med.Biol.61(12):4679-98, 2016).
     
  • We will continue to participate in the International Masterclasses organised by IPPOG for LHC collisions physics as well as organise Masterclasses for IceCube related physics. 
     
  • We initiated the Belgian part of the CERN Teacher Programme, providing about 10 Flemish teachers every year the opportunity to get educational and science training at CERN.

 

Towards the future we are committed to remain very active and successful in reaching out to the society at large with high-energy physics results and our achievements in general. 

On a national and international scale we are strongly involved in training (typically young) researchers in our methodologies. These skills can be used in academia as well as outside academia. 

  • Jorgen D’Hondt was the organiser of the 2016 CERN Computing School (Aug-Sept 2016, at Mol, Belgium) and was member of the advisory board of the CMS Data Analysis Schools of which the training model was published in conference proceedings.