Dr Sanja Damjanović - Minister of Science
Dr. Sanja Damjanovic was born on 5 June 1972 in Niksic, Montenegro, where she finished elementary and high school in 1991. She then studied physics at the Faculty of Physics in Belgrade and graduated there in 1995. She was awarded on both graduations with prizes for the ‘Best Student of the Year’.
In Belgrade, she continued with Master studies in theoretical particle physics and gravitation, working in parallel as a teaching assistant at the Faculty of Physics. In 1997-1998, she worked as a teaching assistant at the University of Montenegro (UCG).
From the UCG she went on in 1999 with doctoral studies at the Faculty of Physics and Astronomy, Ruprecht-Karls University, Heidelberg, Germany. The title of her thesis was ‘Electron-Pair Production in Pb-Au Collisions at 40 AGeV’, reflecting basic research in experimental physics of high-energy nuclear collisions within the CERES/NA45 Experiment at CERN. She received her Dr.rer.nat. in physics in 2002 with the Grade ‘Magna cum laude’. Her thesis supervisor was Prof. Dr. Hans J. Specht. She also worked as a teaching assistant in parallel to research.
This period was then followed by a post-doctoral position on the basis of a joint contract between the University of Heidelberg and the GSI Institute in Darmstadt, though now fully stationed at CERN. In 2006, she obtained an award-type position, a CERN Fellowship. During all the time since 2003, she continued with basic research in experimental physics of high-energy nuclear collisions, but now within the new NA60 Experiment at CERN.
Since 2009 she got intensively engaged in applied research in accelerator-related radiation fields, working in parallel for CERN and for GSI-FAIR projects. From 2011 onwards, she held an award-type ‘Scientific Associate’ position at CERN in collaboration with the GSI Institute. In 2014 she obtained a staff position in the Accelerator Department of GSI and was first stationed in Darmstadt, but returned to CERN since 2015 on the basis of an Associate contract at CERN in conjunction with the staff position at GSI.
Summary of Professional Activities
Since 1999 embedded in international teams, working in two large International Organizations, CERN (Geneva, Switzerland) and GSI-FAIR (Darmstadt, Germany),
both in basic and applied research in the field of high-energy nuclear physics.
Basic research: Studies of the Quark-Gluon Plasma formed in High-Energy Nuclear Collisions with direct relevance for the early Universe 1 millionth of a second after the
Big Bang. Main tool dilepton production as a probe of chiral symmetry restoration and
as a Lorentz-invariant thermometer for the medium. Most important result (from NA60, mostly based on her personal analysis work): complete melting of the rho and first identification of Planck-like radiation with the proof of QGP formation at SPS energies (CERN Courier 11/2009, 31-34)
Applied research: Studies of the radiation fields created by high-energy beams of accelerators with the main goals of machine protection, of numerous aspects of beam diagnostics and of radiation protection of personnel. Best known at CERN: During LS1,
first major upgrade of the large area shielding above the critical injection and extraction regions of the CERN PS since its inauguration in 1959. Highlight at GSI: Beam loss monitors for general diagnostics and quench prevention of superconducting magnets.
About 100 publications in refereed journals and conference proceedings. About 50 technical reports. About 50 colloquia, seminar and conference talks all around the world.