Dr Laura Gonella

School of Physics and Astronomy
Senior Lecturer in Particle Physics

Contact details

Physics and Astronomy
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Laura is a Senior Lecturer in Particle Physics at the University of Birmingham. She joined the University of Birmingham in 2015, having previously been Assistant Professor at the University of Bonn.

She is an expert on semiconductor detectors for High Energy Physics experiments, having worked on novel sensor concepts, radiation-hard CMOS technologies, hybridisation techniques, and powering schemes.

She is currently working on the upgrade of the Inner Tracker (ITk) of the ATLAS experiment at CERN. She co-leads the ATLAS ITk-UK module production. She is also working on a number of R&D projects on novel silicon detectors for future particle and nuclear physics experiments, and medical applications.

Laura manages the ATLAS and AIDA2020 irradiation programmes at the MC40 cyclotron in Birmingham.


  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, 2018
  • Post Graduate Certificate in Higher Education, University of Birmingham, 2018
  • PhD in Experimental Particle Physics, University of Bonn, Germany, 2013
  • MSc in Physics of Innovative Technologies, University of Turin, Italy, 2006
  • BSc in Physics, University of Turin, Italy, 2003


Laura’s career as a physicist started in the Electronics Systems for Experiments (ESE) group at CERN where she worked between 2005 and 2007 studying the radiation tolerance of the CMOS technologies used for the design of readout electronics at collider experiments.

In 2008, she moved to the University of Bonn, where she worked on technological improvements in power distribution schemes and detector module concepts to enhance the vertexing and tracking performance of the ATLAS experiment at the HL-LHC.

After completing her PhD in 2013, she became Assistant Professor at the University of Bonn and started working on the application of CMOS imaging technologies to the development of Depleted Monolithic Active Pixel Sensors (DMAPS), before moving to Birmingham in 2015.

She is a member of the ATLAS and RD50 collaborations, and of the Electron-Ion-Collider Users Group.


  • Y2 Electronics
  • Y3 Nuclear Laboratory
  • Y1 Physics and Communication Skills
  • Y1 Academic Tutorials
  • Y4 Projects

Postgraduate supervision

Laura supervises students working on the upgrade of the Inner Tracker detector of the ATLAS experiment at CERN, and on the development of the new silicon detector technologies for future collider experiments and medical applications.


Research interests

  • Silicon vertex and tracking detectors for particle and nuclear physics experiments
  • Radiation-hardness studies of silicon sensors and their associated microelectronics readout
  • Application of commercial CMOS technologies to the development of semiconductor detectors for collider experiments
  • Low mass, high efficiency powering schemes for semiconductor detector systems at high luminosity experiments

Research projects

  • ATLAS Inner Tracker upgrade
  • Precision Central Silicon Tracking & Vertexing for the EIC
  • Radiation-Hard Monolithic Active Pixels Sensors (MAPS) for Tracking in pCT and Beam Profiling
  • Development of radiation tolerant Low Gain Avalanche Devices (LGAD) for fast timing application
  • Development of a Reconfigurable Monolithic Active Pixel Sensor in Radiation-Hard Technology for Outer Tracking and Digital Electromagnetic Calorimetry

Other activities

  • Coordinator of the ATLAS ITk strip ASIC working group (2015-2019) and of the ATLAS ITk-UK module production.
  • AIDA-2020 Transnational Access facility coordinator.
  • PhD Admission Tutor for Particle Physics.
  • Laura regularly serves as expert on experiment review and grant evaluation panels.


A full list of Laura's publications can be found online.