Carsten Welsch

Favourite Thing: Improving our understanding of nature.



Universities of Frankfurt and Berkeley


Physics Diploma, economics undergraduate (Vordiplom) and PhD

Work History:

Frankfurt – RIKEN – Heidelberg – Geneva – Liverpool

Current Job:



University of Liverpool

Me and my work

I design and build particle accelerators to help understand nature in all its facets and develop new ways to treat cancer.

I have studied physics and economics at the Universities of Frankfurt (Germany) and UC Berkeley (USA). I finished my diploma thesis on spiral loaded rebunching radio frequency cavities in 1999 at the institute of applied physics before realizing a three months research stay at RIKEN (Japan), where I worked on the layout of a magnetic chicane for the CSM project. Back in Germany, I started my doctoral thesis on the technical and particle optical design of compact ion storage rings, which I finished end of 2002.

My further career brought me to the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg (2003-2004) and as a Fellow to CERN (Switzerland, 2005-2007). I founded the QUASAR Group in the frame of a Helmholtz YIG Award in 2007 and have been leading the Group ever since.

Since November 2008, I am a faculty member at the University of Liverpool and a member of the Cockcroft Institute of Accelerator Science and Technology. In October 2011 I was promoted to Professor of Physics and I also lead the Liverpool Accelerator Physics Group.

I am specialized in accelerator design and optimization, the development of underpinning technologies – in particular novel beam diagnostics – as well as fundamental science and industry applications of accelerators, from high energy discovery machines, to antimatter facilities, medical accelerators and ultra-compact accelerators-on-a-chip.

I have been a partner in numerous national and international research projects and have been coordinator of 7 EU projects to date, amongst which the large scale networks DITANET,LA³NET and oPAC. I am a member of numerous international advisory committees and a frequent speaker at international workshops and conferences.

My Typical Day

Research – Admin – Teaching – Vision – International Collaboration: in a healthy mix.

As an academic I need to do many things in parallel: carry out cutting edge research, train students and researchers, work with partners internationally, write grant applications to attract funding for our research, publish our results in recognized journals, give talks at workshops and conferences, help running or institute and department, establish partnership with industry…and much, much more – it never gets boring !

What I'd do with the money

Produce short videos about the latest accelerator R&D (medical applications, antimatter studies and novel acceleration)

My Interview

How would you describe yourself in 3 words?

reliable, cheerful, determined

Who is your favourite singer or band?


What's your favourite food?

Züricher Geschnetzeltes

What is the most fun thing you've done?

Diving at the Great Barrier Reef

What did you want to be after you left school?

A bio-chemist

Were you ever in trouble at school?

I had a really bad mark in physics in year 9

What was your favourite subject at school?


What's the best thing you've done as a scientist?

Developed new ways to characterize particle beams that were better than anything that existed

What or who inspired you to become a scientist?

Dr. Werner Wildner, a family friend

If you weren't a scientist, what would you be?

Industry manager

If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!

good health, happiness and a private island

Tell us a joke.

Why does a hamburger have lower energy than a steak ? Because it’s in the ground state.

Other stuff

Work photos: