SNOLAB director reappointed to second term
By Andrew Carroll, Gazette editor
Nigel Smith (Physics) has been reappointed to a second term as the director of SNOLAB, the deep underground science laboratory specializing in neutrino and dark matter physics.
The SNOLAB facility is an expansion of the successful Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO) experiment.
The facility is operated by the SNOLAB Institute whose member institutions are Queen’s University, Carleton University, Laurentian University, University of Alberta and Université de Montréal. It is located two km below the surface in the Vale Creighton Mine near Sudbury, Ont.
First appointed in 2009, Dr. Smith says that the second term will allow him to see some results from the major projects currently underway.
“The detectors that we are building take many years to design, construct and operate so a five-year term is enough to get things moving but not really enough to deliver the science from these large-scale experiments,” says Dr. Smith. “What I am looking forward to in the second term is having these projects, which we are now constructing, take data and complete the analysis to get the science out."
“It’s the science that drives everybody here. It’s the rationale for operating this facility,” he adds.
According to Steven Liss, Vice-Principal (Research), Dr. Smith has definitely earned his reappointment.
“SNOLAB is internationally-renowned for its research and discoveries, and directing such a sophisticated and complex research site takes a great level of expertise,” he says. “Nigel has done an outstanding job in his role as director of SNOLAB, and I look forward to seeing its accomplishments continue in Nigel’s second term.”
Under his leadership, SNOLAB has seen an increase in partnerships with other innovation centres across the country while also expanding the areas of study.
“We actually have quite a broad program of science here so the large-scale experiments that we’re building at the moment are augmented by smaller-scale projects, some of which have a sufficiently short life-cycle that we have seen results over the last five years,” says Dr. Smith.
During the next term his aim is to make SNOLAB the “partner of choice” for underground physics projects, providing world-class infrastructure and delivering world-leading science.