CERN Accelerating science


Our Team & our Community

IdeaSquare is proud to foster a community of mentors and supporters from CERN and the larger community around high energy physics and the Sustainable Development Goals.

Through our interlinked activities — hosting R&D&I projects, supporting selected EU-funded projects, prototyping, running design thinking workshops and educational programmes, organising events and sharing experimental knowledge activities — previous participants have the opportunity to continue contributing to our extensive network of tech-savvy experts. These members of our community give talks to our students, show them around the experiments they are working on, mentor participants in their projects, create videos for their benefit, and most importantly volunteer their time even for a free form chat. Our students value these interactions that make their visits so much more diverse. If you are curious about these activities and would like to join us, please don’t hesitate to contact the team!

IdeaSquare is made up of a community of gifted scientists, engineers and collaborators who guarantee cutting-edge outputs. Besides the core team’s friendly faces below, you will find our mentors, partners and many more collaborators on the corresponding pages, as well as featured in our blogs. All of them are eager to share, experiment and innovate. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you have questions for any of us!

  • i2 Core team

  • Members
    Catarina Batista

    "Catarina is a passion-driven innovator and researcher with a strong interest in futures thinking, psychology and societal challenges. After spending the last 4,5 years working as a designer and innovation coach within multidisciplinary teams, Catarina sees herself as a facilitator and connector. Bridging people with intercultural backgrounds, she is able to continously adapt and cooperate in diverse teams, appreciating and embracing everyone’s uniqueness and contributions. With vast life experience in multiple European countries, she is now based at CERN Ideasquare while juggling her MSc Psychology studies at Northumbria University and volunteering work in humanitarian organizations. Catarina is especially intrigued about the intersection between behavior science, design innovation and humanitarian challenges."

    Catarina Batista Project Associate at CERN IdeaSquare
  • Members
    Claudia Marcelloni

    Claudia Marcelloni is a creative communications professional working at the interface between science at CERN and the public. Having worked in communications and project management related to science for more than a decade now, Claudia has led teams and projects of diverse scope, from being the first communications officer to ATLAS, one of the major experiments at the LHC, to curating and producing larger conferences such as TEDxCERN and the Sparks! Forum at CERN. She was part of the first cohort in Social Innovation at Cambridge Judge Business School in UK, conducting a research on collaborative methodologies for social innovation labs. She is also the photographer behind the books ‘Exploring the Mystery of Matter’ and 'Hunting the Higgs'.

    Claudia Marcelloni Head of the Sparks! Forum and Curator at CERN, Communications Officer at IdeaSquare
  • Members
    Jami Sarnikorpi

    Jami Sarnikorpi is the head of prototyping & workshop activities in IdeaSquare. His academic background is in product development, collaborative design & entrepreneurship. Jami has worked in Global Design Factory Network, based in Aalto University, Helsinki and Tongji University, Shanghai. In addition, he’s been developing entrepreneurial education at Aalto Ventures Program. Before joining CERN, Jami took a deep dive into space entrepreneurship. During his 5 years in a nanosatellite startup, besides co-running the company, he designed and built spacecraft for sustainable land use and various scientific ESA missions.

    Jami Sarnikorpi Project Associate at CERN IdeaSquare
  • Members
    Laëtitia Veyrat

    Laëtitia Veyrat has been working at CERN since 2010, first as a Journalist, then as Communication Assistant and to finish as a Protocol Officer. She has been part of many events at CERN like the Open days, the 60th Anniversary, local events, etc. She is now working as Event Organiser and Executive Assistante at IdeaSquare. She studied Communication with a specialisation in Public Relations in Geneva. What she likes the most is organising events for the team. She also runs her own company as a Personal Shopper.

    Laëtitia Veyrat CERN IdeaSquare Admin, Logistics and Events
  • Members
    Laura Wirtavuori

    Laura Wirtavuori graduated from the department of Industrial Engineering and Management at Aalto University, Finland. She majored in organisational psychology, minored in product development, and worked with entrepreneurship and philosophy education. After graduation, she worked at Aalto University Design Factory researching the future of education, made a stint into consulting, during which she focused on building company ecosystems in Finland, and joined CERN IdeaSquare in spring 2020. Currently she is coordinating the student programmes at IdeaSquare, as well as developing IdeaSquare activities. When she is not at work, she can most likely be found somewhere in the mountains.

    Laura Wirtavuori Project Associate at CERN IdeaSquare
  • Members
    Lila Mabiala

    Lila Mabiala is a Fellow at CERN working as events coordinator and communications assistant. She has a background in English language and literature, as well as translation. She also has extensive experience in events coordination and production, having worked at different music festivals and events. At CERN she worked on the 2018 edition of TEDxCERN and is now part of the coordination of the Sparks! Forum team.

    Lila Mabiala Fellow at IdeaSquare and for the Sparks! Forum at CERN
  • Members
    Markus Nordberg

    Markus Nordberg is the Head of Resources Development of the Development and Innovation Unit (IPT-DI) at CERN, Switzerland. In addition to coordinating multi-disciplinary innovation projects at IdeaSquare, he is also the co-coordinator the EU-funded sensor and imaging R&D&I initiative called ATTRACT ( aiming at both scientific and societal impact of disruptive co-innovation. Prior to this function, he served 12 years as the Resources Coordinator of the ATLAS project at CERN ( He has also served as Visiting Senior Research Fellow at the Centrum voor Bedrijfseconomie, Faculty ESP-Solvay Business School, University of Brussels, and as a member of the European Physical Society, Strategic Management Society and the Association of Finnish Parliament Members and Scientists, TUTKAS. He has a degree both in Physics and in Business Administration.

    Markus Nordberg Head of Resources Development (IPT-DI), co-coordinator of the ATTRACTproject, and CERN IdeaSquare Manager
  • Members
    Oday Darwich

    Oday Darwich Innovator in Residence
  • Members
    Pablo García Tello

    Pablo Garcia Tello Graduated in Physics from the Complutense University of Madrid, Spain and has a PhD in Material Science by the Basque Country University in San Sebastian, Spain. He was Postdoctoral Associate and Teaching Assistant of Semiconductor Processing Technology in the Department of Material Science and Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston, USA. He has worked at Philips and NXP Semiconductors in the areas of Micro/nano-electronics and Biotechnology. He has been also Contracts & Programmes Manager at the Aerospace and Defense Industry Association of Europe. As well he has worked as a Consultant in EU Innovation Programmes for PNO Consultants for private and public sector organisations in the Chemical and ICT areas. He is participating actively in EC Innovation Initiatives and Funding Programmes. His expertise is certified by having published more than 50 scientific papers in top international peer reviewed journals and conferences, and holds more than 10 international patents in the areas of Micro/nanotechnology and Biotechnology. He has received among others the NXP Semiconductors Golden Patent of the Year award. At CERN he has been Knowledge Transfer (KT) Liaison Officer at CERN collaborating to enhance the KT CERN industrial network and relationships. Now he is section head of the CERN EU Office developing new EU funded projects and initiatives.

    Pablo García Tello Section Head of the Development of EU Projects and Initiatives at CERN, and co-coordinator of the ATTRACT project
  • Members
    Romain Muller

    "Romain holds a MSc in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from Imperial College London. Having started his career as researcher on speech recognition algorithm, he then moved into managing high technology projects in a variety of sectors (consumer goods, banking, ICT). In an unexpected manner (ask him, he will tell you ;-) he came across European Affairs and he loved it instantly. Having worked as Research Manager for the European Aircraft Manufacturers Association (ASD), he went on managing European projects addressing innovation in Air Transport. With this experience he joined the European Institute for Innovation and Technology (EIT) as Project Officer to look after the Knowledge and Innovation Community EIT Digital. Directly prior to joining CERN, Romain was the Chief Project Officer of the European Business Aviation Association, programme managing a portfolio of projects in this very innovative transport sector. Romain is working at the EU Support Office at CERN to identify new EU project opportunities and is involved notably in ATTRACT and Crowd4SDG. In the context of IdeaSquare activities, Romain is developing groundbreaking programmes to lead different audiences (incl the CBI students) in experiencing the effects of embodiment practices to support innovation and trigger breakthrough ideas."

  • Members
    Tuuli Utriainen