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A Star is Born from the Physics and Engineering Honors Programs

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Achille Nicoletti!
Achille Nicoletti, CERN
On December 4, 2017, Achille Nicoletti defended his PhD dissertation at the Ecole Polytechnic Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne), ranked among the best in the world for engineering, above Harvard University, California Institute of Technology, Princeton and Georgia Tech.
This two-time CSU alumnus was born and raised in Montréal, Québec. After narrowing his college search to Northeast Ohio, Dr. Nicoletti concluded that his most dynamic option was CSU. He was a student of the University Honors program, now the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Honors College. Interestingly, he started his physics career in the algebra-based course for non-majors with Dr. Jeffrey Mackey and then continued into calculus-based physics with Dr. Alla Zilichikhis who recommended him to Honors Physics in his sophomore year. From there, Achille became fully engaged in physics major courses. Dr. Nicoletti says the guidance he received from his professors at CSU paved the way for his success. 
During his undergraduate studies, Dr. Nicoletti took advantage of CSU’s engagement opportunities, attaining an internship at Philips (Mayfield Village, OH) where he worked with the power group in R&D. He also participated in an extensive research experience with Dr. Zhiqiang Gao. His senior design project on radio frequency cavities of linear accelerators involved collaborating with the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory in Michigan. The project resulted in a peer reviewed publication before matriculating to graduate school. 
Dr. Nicoletti earned a Bachelor of Science in Physics (Honors) and a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering (Honors) from CSU in 2011. While pursuing a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from the Washkewicz College of Engineering, Philips recruited him to lead control systems engineer for the R&D department while working on the next generation computed tomography products. Nicoletti developed a considerable interest in the theoretical aspects of control engineering while employed at Philips. 
In 2014, Nicoletti started the doctorate program at EPFL and doctoral fellowship at CERN, the European Council for Nuclear Research, the top laboratory in the world for particle physics. CERN is the birthplace of the World Wide Web and home of the Large Hadron Collider and other particle accelerators. There, a high-tech demolition derby involving collisions between matter and antimatter moving at nearly the speed of light is yielding groundbreaking insights into the fundamental laws of nature. 
At CERN, Nicoletti was responsible for developing algorithms that control the trajectories of the particles that travel through the accelerators. During his doctoral studies at EPFL and CERN, he worked on many important projects related to power converter control for the Super Proton Synchrotron (SPS) and other fast-pulsed applications. He successfully designed multiple controllers for meeting the challenging requirements set by various applications in order to achieve the desired particle trajectories in the particle accelerators. His dissertation, “A Data-Driven Frequency-Domain Approach for Robust Controller Design via Convex Optimization” includes all of his work with both CERN and EPFL. He has published some 11 articles, book chapters and peer reviewed conference proceedings. 
Dr. Nicoletti was recently awarded a new CERN fellowship and will continue working in the field of power converter control for particle accelerators where he will take on new challenges for upcoming projects involving the Large Hadron Collider.
Photo courtesy of Sophia Elizabeth Bennett/CERN