You are here

Women Accelerating Science

07 March 2015

For International Women's Day, we're celebrating the women at TRIUMF! They are engineers, physicists, chemists, surveyors, operators, designers, technicians...and we've highlighted just a few:  

Angela is an accelerator operations coordinator. With a background in nuclear medicine from BCIT, Angela now monitors the performance of our 500 MeV cyclotron particle accelerator, the largest cyclotron in the world. She also trains and coordinates the group of operators who work in the main cyclotron control room.


Julia first came to Canada two months ago to join us at TRIUMF on the TITAN project. She has a background in chemistry from the University of Marburg in Germany, as well as in nuclear chemistry and super heavy elements from the University of Mainz where she obtained her PhD. She worked as a Postdoc in the Superheavy Element Research section at the Helmholtz-Institute Mainz and GSI, Darmstadt, before joining TRIUMF. As part of the TITAN project, she’ll be taking high precision mass measurements and studying neutron rich isotopes.


Kathleen has a degree in chemistry and previously worked as a radiochemist. Now she operates the 500 MeV cyclotron and peripheral devices from the Main Control Room, making sure the proton beams make it down the beamlines to our experiments.


As production assistant for the ATLAS group, Shadi participates in all of the steps of assembly graphite coating, and quality assurance and control of cathode boards. Although she’s working with us at TRIUMF, the cathode boards are made for the LHC muon detection chambers in Geneva, Switzerland. 


Erin is a co-op student at TRIUMF from the University of Waterloo, where she studies physics, mathematics and astronomy. She is working on TRIUMF’s Next Enriched Xenon Observatory project, which will observe neutrino-less double beta decays once it is built. Erin is testing a xenon flash lamp that will be used to simulate the conditions of a 175nm environment when collecting data on the various photo-detector candidates.


Fiona is a Radiation Protection Technician/Surveyor. As a technician, Fiona is responsible for ensuring that the TRIUMF site is safe for the hundreds of people who work in it. Armed with Geiger counters, dosimeters and radiation PPE, Fiona can be found all around the TRIUMF laboratory making sure that it is safe for both the people who work at TRIUMF and the general public that come to visit.


Ania is a nuclear physicist who has been working on the TITAN experiment here at TRIUMF since the fall of 2011. Using TITAN, Ania studies the reactions inside stars, the nuclear structure of atoms and tests the Standard Model of particle physics. While Ania likes to claim that it is the ion trap within TITAN that does all the work, Ania’s research in double beta decay and the fundamental symmetries of nature is no less impressive.


Katerina has been a postdoc at TRIUMF for just over a year working on the neutron Electric Dipole Moment (nEDM) experiment. A nEDM measurement is important to particle physics and cosmology, since it will help scientists to explain the observed matter-antimatter asymmetry in the Universe and understand how the Universe evolved after the Big Bang. Her main focus is on the development of the high voltage setup for the nEDM experiment, which is expected to start taking data within the next couple of years.


Vicky has a background in nuclear chemistry, and is part of the team that developed a cyclotron-based method of producing commercial quantities of the most widely used medical isotope for medical imaging, technetium-99m (Tc-99m). As a radiochemist, Vicky has been working with solid targets for many years, particularly with refractory-metals and liquid-metal targets.


Originally from Italy, Sonia got her PhD in Physics at the Gutenberg University in Germany and studied in Mainz before joining us at TRIUMF in 2008. Now she studies the properties of nuclei as well as their influence in astrophysics. Her long term goal is the development of an ab-initio description of nuclei, starting from modern inter-nucleon forces.



Anadi is a particle physicist at TRIUMF and part of one of the supersymmetry (SUSY) working groups in the ATLAS collaboration at CERN. At the Large Hadron Collidor (LHC), bunches of protons are smashed together at the highest energy ever achieved in accelerators. Anadi analyzes the data collected by the ATLAS detector at the LHC and searches for SUSY, a new symmetry of nature that could address the remaining open questions in the standard model of particles and fields, including the origin of the unknown Dark Matter in the Universe.



Isabel has been a research scientist at TRIUMF for the past ten years working on the ATLAS experiment. Her current focus is completing commissioning of the infrastructure at TRIUMF for building graphite-coated cathode planes for thin-gap chambers in the New Small Wheel of the upgraded ATLAS Muon Spectrometer, to be installed during the 2018 LHC shutdown. She is also involved in ATLAS computing, helping out with user support for the TRIUMF Tier-1 Centre, as well as searching for supersymmetric particles. She will be heading to CERN for two years this summer for the LHC Run-2 startup.




Iris studied chemistry at the University of Mainz in Germany before getting her PhD in astrophysics at the University of Besel, Switzerland. She joined TRIUMF almost two years ago to measure the properties of neutron-rich isotopes, which are created in TRIUMF’s ISAC facility. Pictured here hard at work in the office, once experiments are back up and running she’ll spend more time at the GRIFFIN  (Gamma-Ray Infrastructure For Fundamental Investigations of Nuclei) and DESCANT (DEuterated Scintillator Array for Neutron Tagging) detectors.


Lia joined TRIUMF in 2008 after sixteen years at Jefferson Lab, where she worked first as a staff scientist and later as the Director of the Center for Advanced Studies of Accelerators. Lia designs, builds and operates accelerators that are used to study the most fundamental questions of nature and have numerous societal applications. At TRIUMF she is responsible for several accelerators used to further research in nuclear and particle physics and materials science, as well as create rare isotopes used in medical imaging and therapy. She is a fellow of the American Physical Society (APS), serves on numerous advisory panels world-wide, and is past chair of the APS Division of Particles and Beams. In 2013 Lia was awarded the Minerva Foundation Women in Science Award for Community Leadership and  Excellence.


By Jacqueline Wightman and Christopher Zaworski  - Communications and Outreach Assistants