The Women who run the biggest machine ever built by Man
The complexity of LHC and the women in charge of it

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... first step after graduation did not took her very far: from the University of Rome "La Sapienza" di Roma to the INFN National Laboratories in Frascati. But after that, her life went on at a difference pace. A long adventure in the U.S., in Michigan and Boston, where she was among the privileged ones who observed the signals of the Supernova 1987A with the IMB experiment. Then Europe and Frascati again, joining the ICARUS experiment led by Nobel Prize Carlo Rubbia. And once again in the States, where Alessandra is now a researcher at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory (California). For several years, she has been working at the colossal project of an American "Superconducting Super Collider", which was then abandoned in favour of a participation to the LHC.
Since 1994, Alessandra has joined the ATLAS Collaboration - an example of the U.S. contribution to the "global" scientific adventure of the LHC. She has been involved in the development of the ATLAS silicon detector, and she moved to Geneva to coordinate part of its installation and commissioning.

"My two daughters, 17 and 12 years old, are my second "big scale" project, and the other aspect of my everyday challenge. Once they told me that I was driving nervously: they do not have the faintest idea of what it means to arrive on time for the piano lesson of your daughter after a full working day on ATLAS, which is not yet finished at 8 pm… As a physicist there are neither standard working hours, nor a difference between night and day: but I love this job nevertheless.
My little secrets? Coffee to go, chocolate readily available and a glass of water before an important meeting where you need lots of voice to be heard."