PhD project

My research work was focused on the development of neutron detection with CR-39 track detectors for the company. The goal was the development of personal and area dosimeters for radiation protection as well as for neutron and hadron spectrometry in high-energy physics experiments.

Through my skills in optics and image processing, acquired during previous projects, I further enhanced the capabilities of the Politrack® automatic track detector reader and its image analysis software for more precise and accurate neutron beam imaging and spectrometry.

Contact me

Research overview

My industrial PhD project was supported by the ARDENT Marie Curie network and was coordinated by the CERN since December 2012 for a period of 3 years.

The natural applications of the instruments were for neutron measurements around particle accelerators as well as for measurements of cosmic radiation on board aircrafts and in space. During the project, a great attention was devoted to the characterization of the instrumentation through experimental campaigns at particle accelerator facilities such as the PTB in Germany, iThemba labs in South Africa, CERN in Switzerland or CNAO in Italy. The secondments during my PhD program are collaborations with some of the ARDENT partners, in particular Politecnico di Milano (host university for the PhD programme), the CERN, the AIT (Austrian Institute of Technology) and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL).

Successful achievements

  • Executive PhD degree obtained on 11 March 2016 from the Politecnico di Milano
  • Designed and built a 2D imaging technique using passive CR-39 neutron detectors for the UC Berkeley's High Flux Neutron Generator
  • 3-D printed a novel personal neutron dosimeter for the company srl and the CERN
  • Created a 3-D characterisation technique for hadron LET spectrometry at the CNAO hadrontherapy center based on CR-39

Education profile


2012-2016: Obtained on 11 March 2016: PhD degree in Nuclear Engineering, with specialisation in Fast Neutron Dosimetry and Spectrometry, at the Politecnico di Milano (Italy)

2011-2012: 2nd year of MSc degree in Fusion Science and Technologies, hosted by the French Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), École Polytechnique de Palaiseau and Paris Sud University (France).

2010-2011: 1st year of MSc degree on Applied Physics and Mechanics at Paris Sud University (France).

2007-2010: BSc degree in Physics at Paris Sud University (France)

2006: HSc degree from Royal College of Curepipe (Mauritius)


Study of Plasma-Wall Interactions for a full-tungsten divertor during D-T operation of the ITER tokamak.

Description: 6 months project at the ITER organization, in the Plasma Operations Directorate, on the development and applications of the RACLETTE code for the study of tungsten surface damage from high energy particles.

Implementation of an experimental optical tweezers setup combined with phase-contrast imaging technique.

Description: 4 months project at Charles Fabry Laboratory on the implementation and development of a new optical tweezers for studying DNA strands and endothelium cells in the Biophotonics team led by Prof. Dr. Nathalie Westbrook and Dr. Karen Perronet.

Measuring the rotation of optically trapped Bacillus Subtilis.

Description: 3 months project on optical tweezers at the Non-linear Photonics Group of the Westfälische Wilhems-Universität Münster in the group of Prof. Dr. Cornelia Denz.

Publications before ARDENT

  • Loarte, A., et al., “Progress on the application of ELM control schemes to ITER scenarios from the non-active phase to DT operation”, Nuclear Fusion, 2014. DOI:10.1088/0029-5515/54/3/033007.
  • Pitts, R., et al., "A full tungsten divertor for ITER: Physics issues and design status", Journal of Nuclear Materials 438:S48–S56. DOI:10.1016/j.jnucmat.2013.01.008

More info


  • M. Caresana, M. Ferrarini, A. Parravicini., A. Sashala Naik, "Evaluation of a Personal and Environmental Dosimeter based on CR-39 Track Detectors in Quasi-monoenergetic Neutron Fields.", Radiation Protection Dosimetry, DOI:10.1093/rpd/nct320, 14 November 2013, click here for abstract.
  • F. Trompier et al., "Comparison of the Response of PADC Neutron Dosimeters in High Energy Neutron Fields", Radiation Protection Dosimetry, 1 December 2013, click here for abstract.
  • M. Caresana, M. Ferrarini, A. Parravicini., A. Sashala Naik, "Dose Measurements with CR-39 detectors at the CERF Reference Facility at CERN.", Radiation Measurements, April 2014, click here for abstract.
  • Caresana, M., Ferrarini, M., Parravicini, A., Sashala Naik, A., "Calibration of a passive rem counter with monoenergetic neutrons", Radiation Measurements(2014), doi: 10.1016/j.radmeas.2014.07.019, click here for abstract.
  • M Kocan, R Reichle, M-H Aumeunier, J P Gunn, S Kajita, F Le Guern, S W Lisgo, T Loarer, A S Kukushkin, A. Sashala Naik, F Rigollet and B Stratton, “First results on modeling of ITER infrared images”, Phys. Scr. 2016 01404.

Presentations or Reports

Participations in meetings, conferences, workshops and training courses

  • Workshop at CNAO, Pavia, October 2012
  • 1st Annual ARDENT Workshop, Vienna, November 2012
  • LabView training course - January 2013
  • EURADOS Annual Meeting in Barcelona - February 2013
  • 6th winter school on “Status and Future Perspectives of Computational Micro- and Nanodosimetry” at the EURADOS symposium in Barcelona - February 2013
  • 12th Neutron and Ion Dosimetry Symposium (NEUDOS, Aix en Provence) - June 2013
  • 17th International Conference on Solid State Dosimetry (SSD 17, Brazil, Recife) - September 2013
  • IEEE Conference (NSS-RSTD, Seoul, South Korea) - October 2013
  • 12th ESARDA Course on Non-Proliferation and Nuclear Safeguards - JRC Ispra April 2014
  • Business Administration training course (CERN, Geneva, Switzerland) - May 2014
  • Position Sensitive Neutron Detectors workshop (Forschungszentrum Jülich, Aachen, Germany) - June 2014
  • Secondment on Monte Carlo simulations for Neutron dosimetry and Spectrometry (AIT Austrian Institute of Technology, Vienna, Austria) - June 2014
  • 3rd ARDENT workshop @ IBA Dosimetry (Schwarzenbruck, Germany) - September 2014
  • Mini-Micro-Nano Dosimetry (MMND) Conference 2014 (Port Douglas, Australia) - October 2014
  • Business and Administration secondment (CERN, Geneva, Switzerland) - January & February 2015
  • 4th ARDENT annual workshop (Prague, Czech Republic) - June 2015

Experimental and Outreach activities

  • Phase contrast imaging for neutron dosimetry at Charles Fabry Institute of Optics - Paris, May 2013
  • Neutron irradiation of CR-39 detectors at the Calibration Facility of the CERN - Geneva, July 2013
  • Outreach activites at the ARDENT workshop held for the 150th anniversary of the Polytechnic of Milan - Milan, Octover 2013
  • Radiation Physics and Radon measurements for high school students of the Liceo Omodeo in the Milan region - November 2013
  • Neutron irradiation experiments (CEA Cadarache, St Paul lez Durance, France) - December 2013
  • Neutron irradiation experiments (Los Alamos National Labs, LANSCE-WNR, USA) - December 2013 - Done by ESR 9, CTU Prague
  • Testing of neutron dosimeter in stray neutron field (CNAO Hadron-therapy centre, Pavia, Italy) - February 2014
  • In-beam LET spectrometry of Proton beams using CR-39 detectors (CNAO Hadron-therapy centre, Pavia, Italy) - March 2014
  • In-beam LET spectrometry of Carbon ions using CR-39 detectors (CNAO Hadron-therapy centre, Pavia, Italy) - April + May 2014
  • LET spectrometry in 62 MeV/amu Carbon beam and neutron dosimetry (LNS, INFN Catania, Sicily, Italy) - November 2014
  • LET spectrometry in 62 MeV/amu Proton beam and neutron dosimetry (LNS, INFN Catania, Sicily, Italy) - February 2015
  • Neutron measurements (VdG of the CTU, Prague, Czech Republic) - May 2015
  • 2D Neutron beam profile measurements for the High Flux Neutron Generator (UC Berkeley, California, USA) - July 2015
  • Characterisation of Fast Neutron Dosimeter in AmBe neutron source (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, California, USA) - July 2015