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Physik-Institut Group of Nicola Serra

Olaf  Steinkamp

Olaf Steinkamp, Prof. Dr.

  • Privatdozent
+41 44 63 55763
UZH Y36-J-05


The development, construction, commissioning and operation of detectors for particle-physics experiments has been at the core of my research interests from a very early stage. I studied physics at the University of Bonn and did my Diplomarbeit (Master Thesis) at Forschungszentrum Jülich on R&D for a novel type of wire-based tracking detector.  I moved to CERN for my PhD thesis, contributing to a scintillator hodoscope for the JETSET (PS202) experiment at the Low-Energy Antiproton Ring (LEAR) and searching for glueballs in proton-antiproton annihilations to two phi mesons. I then did a first PostDoc at CEA Saclay (close to Paris), contributing to the construction and commissioning of the tracking detectors for the NA48 experiment at CERN,  and a second PostDoc at NIKHEF (in Amsterdam), where I contributed to the design, construction and commissioning of the tracking detectors for the HERA-B experiment at DESY. I moved to Zurich on the first day of the third millenium and have been working here at the Physik-Institut ever since. I am a member of the LHCb experiment, where my largest contribution so far has been the development, construction and commissioning of the Tracker Turicensis ("Zurich Tracker"), a large silicon micro-strip detector that forms part of the main tracking system of the experiment. Currently I am contributing to the development of the Upstream Tracker, which is foreseen to replace the Tracker Turicensis as part of a major upgrade of the LHCb detector in 2019/2020.


I have been teaching various courses here at the Physik-Institut at graduate and undergraduate level, for physicists and for non-physicists. To a large extent, my teaching activities focus on areas of experimental techniques and methodology.  I regularly teach a course on data analysis techniques for undergraduate physics students. I am responsible for a lecture course on experimental methods aimed at graduate students in particle physics, and I supervise lab courses for particle physics students, including a two-week experiment at a beam line at the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI). A course I taught on experimental aspects of Flavour Physics formed the basis for my Habilitation, "Experiments in Beauty".