Freya Blekman

Freya Blekman - Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron DESY

Freya Blekman

Particle physics: CMS experiment at the LHC

Freya Blekman’s research interests include the search for signs of new physics using the Large Hadron Collider at CERN and future colliders. Herfocus is on the detection of new physics using precision measurements and direct searches, looking predominantly at the top quark sector. Sheworks in the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) and FCC-ee collaborations, where she is activecin top quark physics and the search for new particles that decay to top quarks.

The particle physicist has led many large international research teams at CERN and CMS, the most prominent probably the start of the physics outreach activities of the CMS Collaboration as first Physics Communications Officer, and as the first convener of the Beyond-Two-Generations (B2G) physics group, a dedicated physics analysis group focusing on using heavy quarks and W/Z/H bosons to search for new particles.

Blekman regularly appears in various media and is very active on twitter with her feed aimed at the technically-inclined general public.

Academic career

2021 - present Lead scientist at DESY with joint appointment with Universität Hamburg via the Helmholtz Distinguished Professor Recruitment Initiative
2019 - present Visiting professor at the University of Oxford
2019-2021 Full Professor (Hoogleraar) at Vrije Universiteit Brussel, CMS Experiment
2014-2018 Associate Professor (Universitair Hoofddocent) at Vrije Universiteit Brussel
2010-2014 Assistant Professor (Universitair docent) at Vrije Universiteit Brussel
2007-2010 Research Associate at Cornell University
2005 Ph.D University of Amsterdam (Nikhef), Thesis: Measurement of the top quark pair production cross section in the all-hadronic channel with the Dzero experiment. Supervisors: Prof. Frank Linde und Prof. Marcel Demarteau
2000 M.Sc. University of Amsterdam (Nikhef) 


Awards, memberships and roles

2021 Helmholtz Distinguished Professorship
2019, 2020 LHC Physics Center Distinguished researcher (Senior)
2016 “Jaarprijs Science Communication” of the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for the Arts and Sciences (KVAB) for Promotion of particle physics on social media, particularly twitter and YouTube  
2013 LHC Physics Center Distinguished Researcher
2012 Odysseus II Grant awarded by the Flemish funding agency FWO
1999 CERN summer student programme
  Chairperson of ATLAS-Canada Standing Review Committee, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), Canada
  IPPP Durham Advisory Board, UK
  Member of the Physics Coordination team of the CMS Collaboration 2018-present and 2012-2014
  Member and chairperson of physics or interdisciplinary peer review panels in Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, and Sweden
  Member of academianet of excellent female research leaders since 2017
  Member of the German Physics Society, Institute of Physics (UK), Belgian and Dutch physics societies