ME11 boards

About me

I am an Assistant Professor in the Physics department at the University of Maryland, College Park working on experimental particle physics. That is, I study fundamental particles colliding at high energies with the aim of understanding the universe more deeply.

As part of the LHCb collaboration at the CERN LHC in Geneva, Switzerland, my research focuses on testing Lepton Flavor Universality, developing the next generation of simulation techniques aided by machine learning, and the development/operation of the readout electronics for the new Upstream Tracker detector (see Research).


I studied Ingeniería Industrial (electro-mechanical engineering) at the Universidad Pontificia Comillas ICAI in Madrid, Spain. Fairly early on, however, I realized that my passion lay with the more fundamental sciences, so in parallel I completed about 75% of the Physics degree at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid.

I earned my PhD in Applied Physics from Stanford University in 2012 under the wonderful supervision of Vera Lüth. For my thesis, I worked on the BaBar experiment at the SLAC PEP-II rings where we found evidence for an excess of B→D(*)τν decays significant at the 3.4 σ level. Subsequent measurements by the Belle and LHCb experiments have consistently found values that seem to exceed the SM expectations. These results seem to challenge the Standard Model’s fundamental principle of lepton universality, so this is an area that to this date elicits great interest in the particle physics community.

After my PhD, I did a postdoc at UC Santa Barbara working with Jeff Richman. I joined the CMS experiment at the time of the LHC energy increasing to 13 TeV, so it was an exciting time to search for Supersymmetry (alas, we did not manage to find it). During this time, I also led the production of the Optical DAQ MotherBoards for the Cathode Strip Chambers (CSCs) in the CMS muon system and helped manage the CSC group as coordinator of the Phase-2 upgrade and deputy project manager.

No middle name

Coming from a Spanish-speaking culture, my name is understandably confusing in the US and many countries around the world. In Spain everyone has two last names (apellidos), and parents bestow their favorite two out of the four they have between them to their children. Thus, "Franco Sevilla" is my last name, and I have no middle name.