Dr F Gonnella

Position:Firmware Engineer
Projects:ATLAS, NA62, DUNE
Room:West 322



Francesco graduated in Physics and got his Ph.D. at the University of Rome “Tor Vergata”.

His Ph.D. thesis was about the design and construction of a detector and data acquisition system for the study of gamma-gamma physics at the KLOE-2 experiment at Frascati National Laboratories (INFN), near Rome.


From 2011 to 2015 he worked as a Research Fellow in Frascati, in the NA62 experiment at CERN, mainly focusing on electronics and data-acquisition. Within this period he spent 18 months at CERN and served as run coordinator during the first NA62 physics run. Since the end of 2015, he has been working in the University of Birminghamv Particle Physics group, participating in the NA62, DUNE and ATLAS experiments.

Francesco’s main fields of expertise are high-energy physics detectors and trigger / data-acquisition systems, with particular interest in digital electronics and FPGA programming.

In NA62 Francesco in responsible for the trigger system of 2 detectors (RICH and large-angle photon vetoes) and developed many systems used in the NA62 data acquisition. He covered the following positions of responsibility:

  • Run coordinator
  • Global Trigger and Data Acquisition expert
  • Large-Angle Vetoes expert
  • KTAG expert
  • Run Control expert
  • Responsible for the training of NA62 operators (together with Chris Parkinson)
  • In ATLAS Francesco is responsible for the study, specification, and implementation of the new algorithm firmware for the eFEX boards used in the upgrade of the L1-trigger system for the liquid argon calorimeter. Francesco is also responsible for the main eFEX firmware repository.

    In DUNE Francesco is involved in the developing of the data acquisition board for the far detector.


  • Taking part in Object oriented programming course (year 3)
  • Supervising projects: Laboratory year 2 and year 1
  • Outreach

    Francesco has always been involved in outreach activities: during his student years he conducted experiments for young students (10-15 years) and in Frascati he held a laboratory course on the measurement of Planck’s Constant for secondary-school teachers and for students.

    Francesco gave outreach talks in Malvern College and Shrewsbury School and is currently engaged in a collaboration between the University of Birmingham and Mercian Trust schools.