Dr. Oliver Noll (Photo: ON/private) has received the PANDA PhD Prize 2021 for his doctoral thesis "Digital Signal Processing for the Measurement of Particle Properties with the PANDA Electromagnetic Calorimeter" at GSI, FAIR and Mainz University. His doctoral advisor was Prof. Dr. Frank Maas from Mainz University. The award was announced by the spokesman of the PANDA Collaboration, Ulrich Wiedner from the Ruhr-University Bochum, at the most recent Online PANDA Collaboration meeting.

The PANDA Collaboration has awarded the PhD Prize once per year since 2013 in order to honor the best dissertation written in connection with the PANDA Experiment. In his dissertation, Physicist Oliver Noll worked on the development of the PANDA electromagnetic calorimeter, which is one of the main subsystems of the PANDA experiment. Prior to Oliver Noll’s work no specific algorithm for the digital processing of the APFEL readout chip signals existed. In the thesis work, a detailed study of the APFEL pulse shape and noise components was performed. Within the PhD work also major contributions to the development, construction and operation of EMC prototypes, were carried out and which were used in beam tests for proving the functionality of the PANDA EMC design and optimizing its performance. Finally, several contributions to the design and to the construction of the backward end-cap EMC have been made, ranging from mechanical solutions for holding and encasing the detector components to the development of a system for the calibration of the temperature sensors or the implementation of various parts of slow-control software.
The PANDA Collaboration awards the PhD Prize to specifically honor students’ contributions to the PANDA project. Candidates for the PhD Prize are nominated by their doctoral advisors. In addition to being directly related to the PANDA Experiment, the nominees’ doctoral degrees must have received a rating of “very good” or better. Up to three candidates are shortlisted for the award and can present their dissertations at the PANDA Collaboration meeting. The winner is chosen by a committee that is appointed for this task by the PANDA Collaboration.