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Pierluigi Campana new coordinator of the EuPRAXIA ESFRI and PP projects

The EuPRAXIA ESFRI Collaboration Board and the EuPRAXIA-PP Collaboration Board have approved the appointment of Dr Pierluigi Campana as new coordinator of the EuPRAXIA ESFRI and PP projects.


EuPRAXIA is the first European project that develops a dedicated particle accelerator research infrastructure based on novel plasma acceleration concepts and laser technology. The preparational phase project EuPRAXIA-PP will serve a central role in the overall implementation plan of EuPRAXIA as a truly European Research Infrastructure.


Dr Pierluigi Campana takes over the coordinator roles from Dr Ralph Assmann, who has been leading the EuPRAXIA idea and collaborations since 2013, when the concept for such a European advanced accelerator facility was conceived at the 1st European Advanced Accelerator Workshop at Elba, Italy. Dr Assmann developed the idea into an EU funded Design Study (EuPRAXIA-DS) which ran from 2015 to 2019, delivering the conceptual design report of the EuPRAXIA facility. Subsequently he prepared and led the successful application to the government-endorsed roadmap of the European Strategy Forum of Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) and for a Preparatory Phase project (EuPRAXIA-PP). Ralph Assmann says: “It has been a privilege to promote and to develop the EuPRAXIA idea together with all our supporters in Europe and internationally over the last decade. Now it is time for me to move on to a new leadership position in German science at GSI/FAIR but I will remain connected scientifically to EuPRAXIA. I have known Dr Campana from years of intense collaboration, and it is excellent to see our project in the hands of such an outstanding scientist and leader.”


Dr Pierluigi Campana is an experimental high-energy physicist with extensive experience in the field of particle detectors. His research career began at Frascati National Laboratory of INFN. He participated in the ALEPH experiment at the CERN LEP accelerator and later in the KLOE experiment at DAFNE at LNF. Since 2002, he has been a member of the LHCb collaboration at the CERN Large Hadron Collider and served as the spokesperson from 2011 to 2014. In 2015, he was appointed Director of the National Laboratories of Frascati, a position he held until 2020 when he was appointed as a member of the Ministry of University and Research in the INFN Executive Board, a position held until the end of 2023.


Since 2021, Dr Campana is the Italian Delegate in ESFRI and in January 2024 he was appointed as chair of the International Committee for Future Accelerators (ICFA).

Dr Massimo Ferrario, Deputy Project Coordinator, said: “Pierluigi Campana knows the EuPRAXIA project from the inside out since its start. He has accompanied it in his various roles, has attended many of our meetings and is one of our strongest supporters. In the view of both of us he is an excellent candidate and will be an outstanding coordinator, bringing in his knowledge of EuPRAXIA, his senior management experience and his international standing.” 


“With EuPRAXIA we are trying to activate a strong network among the most important European Labs active in accelerators, high power lasers and plasma advanced technologies, not only to foster R&D in the field, but also to cooperate in building two European sites devoted, respectively, to plasma acceleration with beams and with lasers, and a series of nodes of excellence in specific technologies.” points out Dr Campana, “Entering the ESFRI 2021 Roadmap is rapidly stimulating this integration process, making EuPRAXIA a pivotal example of a distributed research infrastructure in the field of novel technologies, in strong connection with European high-tech companies. I’m honoured to take the lead from Ralph Assmann, who conceived the program in 2015.”

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