The prestigious CERN School of Computing takes up its summer quarters at SCK•CEN


It’s back to school for around 50 basic physics students who have been admitted to the prestigious CERN Computing Summer School. Over a period of two weeks, these researchers from all over the world will have the privilege of taking part in a high-level study programme given by renowned professors. CERN selected the SCK•CEN research centre in Mol as the host location for this 2016 edition. On Monday 29 August, Professor Eckhart Elsen, CERN Director of Research & Computing, came to inaugurate this summer university and to underline the importance of knowledge sharing between these two research centres.

Every year, CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research in Geneva (Switzerland) attracts the best physicists, computing and engineering students from all over the world, who are selected to participate in an internationally renowned programme of classes. Via conferences, debates, workshops and visits to research installations these young scientists have the unique opportunity of perfecting their knowledge in the fields of computing and experimental and theoretical particle physics.

The 2016 edition of the CERN Computing Summer School, organised jointly by SCK•CEN and the VUB, will welcome around 50 students over a period of two weeks at its centre in Mol. The ideal occasions for these young scientists to visit the laboratories and state-of-the-art installations of the Research Centre and to build relationships with Belgian researchers.

“We are very honoured to have been chosen by CERN to host this prestigious summer university”, said Eric van Walle, director-general of the SCK•CEN. “For several years now, we have been involved in CERN research projects on accelerators and in particular the MYRRHA project. Thanks to our efficient research facilities, we, like CERN, use highly advanced techniques to further fundamental research and the technological applications that emerge from this. One particular advantage of our BR2 research facility, which is unique in this context, is that it enables us to test a revolutionary technology aimed at detecting new elementary particles called sterile neutrinos. A promising field of research that is directly linked to the 2015 Nobel Prize for Physics. We also place a great deal of importance on training new generations of researchers. Thanks to the SCK•CEN Academy, we are able to offer young people a selection of courses in nuclear sciences. We are particularly enthusiastic therefore about welcoming these CERN students.”

"Belgium is one of the founding states of CERN and brings a profound contribution to our organisation since its creation", says Alberto Pace, Director at the CERN School of Computing. "We work together in all domains of particle physics. CERN and the physics department of VUB have proposed the SCK•CEN to host the CERN school of Computing. Its long tradition of research in fundamental physics, the expertise it has developed, and the infrastructure of its campus make the SCK•CEN an ideal candidate to host a summer school for students of the third cycle. Our school received candidatures from 25 nations and 28 different institutes. The 50 best students were selected and have the chance to discover all scientific activities of the SCK•CEN during a two week course."

A consortium for developing particle accelerators

Thanks to a large number of Belgian and European consortiums, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research has been able to acquire considerable expertise in the field of accelerator-driven technology.Together with several Belgian universities, SCK•CEN participates inresearch projects initiated by CERN, the world authority on accelerators.

In 2013, the two research centres decided to enhance their knowledge sharing and signed a cooperation agreement on accelerator and spallation source technology.The experts from the two countries will share their knowledge and experiences in order to ensure the parallel advancement of CERN’s HIE-ISOLDE facility as well SCK•CEN’s ISOL@MYRRHA project. Created as part of the MYRRHA project, the ISOL@MYRRHA research facility will be deployed for new experiments in fundamental interactions, nuclear and atomic physics, the physics of solid matter, biological and medical applications such as new types of radio isotopes.

For information and the programme of the CERN Computing Summer School:


More information:

Partnership agreement between the SCK•CEN and CERN

Research into sterile neutrinos

SCK•CEN Academy