William H. Bell

Personal biography

I started to work on particle physics during my undergraduate studies. My first project was to measure the thermal conductivity of different araldite glues before and after irradiation at CERN. This research was carried out at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory. I was responsible for writing the data acquisition software and performing data analysis.

During the following summer, I joined the CERN RD39 collaboration, studying the behaviour of heavily irradiated silicon at cryogenic temperatures. I was responsible for writing the data acquisition and monitoring software for several test beam experiments, where the research continued into the first year of my PhD.

During my PhD I was a member of the Colider Detector at Fermilab (CDF) collaboration, initially working at the University of Glasgow and then latterly at Argonne National Laboratory. Following my work at CERN, I was involved in testing the SVX3D silicon readout chip and associated electronics for the CDF Run II detector upgrade. I then relocated to Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (FNAL), where I worked as a student of Argonne National Laboratory. During this project I was responsible for the construction of hardware and software used by the CDF collaboration. My work concluded with a PhD analysis, "Searching for Bs -> J/psi eta with the Collider Detector at Fermilab".

I left FNAL and moved to the University Glasgow to work on the European DataGrid project. During this time I studied simulated datagrids in pursuit of optimal replication algorithms and worked on data management services. I then rejoined physics research as a member of the ATLAS collaboration.

During the years proceeding the initial LHC data taking, I was heavily involved in the construction and testing of the ATLAS silicon microstrip (SCT) detector. I was responsible for overseeing module production (visual inspection, wirebonding and electrical tests), writing supporting database software, constructing additional test and measurement hardware, and performing visual and electrical tests. After the successful construction of more than 300 SCT modules and the completion of production at Glasgow, I started to work on soft-QCD measurements in preparation for the first LHC collisions.

From the outset of my soft-QCD studies it was clear that the triggering strategy, charged-track reconstruction and analysis needed to be improved. I coordinated the Minimum bias trigger signature for three and a half years, defined the menu migration strategy, wrote trigger algorithm and analysed their performance. To improve the reach of these measurements, I implemented low transverse momentum track reconstruction and studied its performance. Before and after soft-QCD analyses, I studied simulated beam background events, by interfacing FLUKA input files with the ATLAS Geant4 detector simulation.

At the start of LHC operation I joined l'Université de Genève and prepared a charged-particle multiplicity spectra analysis. This work culminated in leading the first charged-particle multiplicity analysis with data recorded at centre-of-mass energy of 900 GeV data. I then contributed to the following measurements at a centre-of-mass energy of 7 TeV.

Following initial soft-QCD measurements, I joined the top quark working group and measured the top quark cross-section at 7TeV inclusively and as a function of the number of reconstructed jets. As part of these studies, I coordinated the fake-lepton estimate sub-group and designed supporting triggers for studies in higher luminosity environments. I led the design of new top quark fiducial measurements, publishing papers on the unfolded differential cross-section measurement with respect to the number of associated jets and other observables connected to top quark kinematics.

Leaving CERN and the l'Université de Genève, I returned to Glasgow and worked as an Engineering Consultant. During this work I designed and implemented commerical software for a range of different clients. The software was implemented using Agile development techniques. The packages constructed included user interface design, database development, embedded software development, web services, microservices, and deployment on Windows and Linux.

Leaving Engineering Consultancy, I joined the University of Stathclyde and the Computer & Information Sciences department.