After 7 successful years as the director-general of CERN, Rolf Heuer duing the 178th session of the CERN Council handed over to Fabiola Gianottis, the incoming director-general who will resume duties at CERN’s headquarters on January 1, 2016.
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After the handover, Sijbrand de Jong also took over from Agnieszka Zalewska as the new CERN Council President after the 3-year term of Zalewska ended.
“I wish CERN a future rich in discoveries and innovations, and I wish the next President of Council, Sijbrand de Jong, every success in his new challenging position,” Zalewska, outgoing president of CERN Council.
“I would like to thank the CERN Council delegates for entrusting me with this responsibility,” incoming President of Council Sijbrand de Jong responded. “I wish to CERN a luminous and energetic year 2016.”
All the national delegates at the event appreciated Heuer for his dedication over his 7-year term as director-general of CERN, and appreciated his special efforts towards the commissioning of LHC which was completed and commissioned under his leadership.
The LHC serves the international scientific community with the opportunity to study fundamental laws of physics.
These have been seven fantastic years for science and international collaboration. I have enjoyed every single day of it, and I’m confident that CERN will continue to shine in the future,” outgoing Director-General Rolf Heuer said.
It was during Heuer’s tenure that a new particle proving the existence of the Brout-Englert-Higgs mechanism was discovered in 2012; before the LHC was shut down for two years to undergo substantial development. It was reopened thereafter to promote scientific and technical excellence globally.
Incoming Director-General Fabiola Gianotti thanked Heuer for his visionary leadership at CERN, and also appreciated the staff that worked with him as well as the member states that made it possible for him to serve. “We have a great legacy to build on, and a very bright future ahead.”
CERN during Heuer’s term was also able to extend its membership to Israel as a new Member State. Turkey and Pakistan already became Associate Member States earlier this year, while it is expected that Romania and Serbia would be joining over the coming years.
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To this end, LHC has been shut down for the year and would be fired up again in March 2016. It is hoped that next year will be a very rewarding year for the scientific community working at CERN, and the successes of 2015 might be an indicator that next year would be bright for all at LHC.