Dorothea Pfeiffer

Physicist Engineer

Research Interests

Dorothea Pfeiffer, is a senior instrumentation engineer with many years of experience in the operation of accelerator devices, beam instrumentation and detectors, as well as in project management and implementation. She worked for five years as shift supervisor in accelerator operations at GSI (Germany), the leading research laboratory in the world for heavy ion physics. There she was responsible for running various particle accelerators to deliver high intensity/high quality ion beam with the requested properties for physics experiments.  Due to her excellent software development skills she was deployed to CERN to work on FESA 3, the CERN particle accelerator control system. As part of the FESA 3 core developer team at CERN she took the leading role in the design and implementation of the system and the adaptation of the framework to the GSI specific environment and requirements. As a member of the CMS collaboration, at the University of Canterbury/New Zealand, she was responsible for the Medipix project of CMS (one of the large multi­purpose experiments at the LHC) and published a study on mixed field radiation measurements in the CMS cavern with Medipix-MXR pixel detectors. 

Later on she was awarded a prestigious CERN fellowship. During her fellowship she served as project engineer for the new mixed-field irradiation facility GIF++ in the CERN North Area. Additionally as liaison engineer between the LHC machine and the LHC forward detector experiments, she planned and organized the work and interventions during technical stops of the accelerator. During the first year of CERN Long Shutdown 1 (LSl) she was responsible for the planning and synchronization of machine work related to the consolidation and upgrade program of the TOTEM experiment (Total elastic and diffractive cross-section measurement).

Since September 2013 she has been employed by the European Spallation Source (ESS) as detector engineer/physicist. She has been deployed to CERN to work in the Detector Technology group of the Physics Department (PH-DT), where she has joined the activities of the Gas Detectors R&D Lab. The research aim is to find detector technologies that can replace He3 detectors for the detection of thermal and cold neutrons, in particular, the study of various solid thin-layer neutron converters (in particular 10B4C and Gadolinium) and converter geometries in combination with Micro Pattern Gas Detectors like GEMs and Micromegas.

  • Neutron detectors
  • Advance detectors systems
  • Detector Simulations
  • Beam monitoring
  • Software Engineering

Current Projects and Collaborations

  • (2013--) RD51: Micro-Pattern Gaseous Detector Development
  • (2011 --) CMS collaboration at the LHC

Selected Publications


  • Charge Transfer Properties Through Graphene Layers in Gas Detectors
  • The μTPC method: improving the position resolution of neutron detectors based on MPGDs
  • Overcoming High Energy Backgrounds at Pulsed Spallation Sources
  • 2014
  • Neutron Position Sensitive Detectors for the ESS
  • CERN-GIF++: a new irradiation facility to test large-area particle detectors for the high-luminosity LHC program
  • Transverse-momentum distribution and nuclear modification factor for neutral pions in the forward-rapidity region in proton-lead collisions at sNN‾‾‾‾√=5.02 TeV
  • 2012
  • The CMS Beam Conditions and Radiation Monitoring System
  • 2011
  • The performance of the Beam Conditions and Radiation Monitoring System of CMS
  • CMS Collaboration
  • Design, implementation and first measurements with the Medipix2-MXR detector at the Compact Muon Solenoid experiment

Complete list on INSPIRE HEP.

Career History

  • 2013 - present  Researcher in Neutron Detection, ESS/CERN, Switzerland
  • 2011 - Engineering Fellow, CERN, Switzerland 
  • 2010 - Scientific Engineer, CERN, Switzerland
  • 2004 - Engineer Accelerator Operations, GSI, Germany
  • 2010 - Dipl.-Ing. Electrical Engineering, University of Hagen, Germany
  • 1995 - Dipl.-Ing. (FH) Technical Computing, University of Applied Science, Muenster, Germany