TRIUMF was founded in 1968 by Simon Fraser University, the University of British Columbia (UBC), and the University of Victoria to meet research needs that no single university could provide. The University of Alberta joined the TRIUMF consortium almost immediately. There are currently 19 different member and associate member universities from across Canada in the consortium that governs TRIUMF; and has allowed it to evolve into a national laboratory while still maintaining strong ties to the research programs of the Canadian universities. The science program has expanded from nuclear physics to include particle physics, molecular and materials science, and nuclear medicine. TRIUMF provides research infrastructure and tools that are too large and complex for a single university to build, operate, or maintain.
Since its opening in 1969, the laboratory has received more than $1 billion of federal investment and $40 million from the province of British Columbia. The provincial contributions fund the buildings, which are owned by UBC and located on an 12.55 acre site in the south campus of UBC. The site houses over 350 scientists, engineers, and staff performing research. It attracts over 500 national and international researchers every year and provides advanced research facilities and opportunities to 150 students and postdoctoral fellows each year. In addition to the onsite program, TRIUMF serves as a key broker for Canada in global research in particle, nuclear, and accelerator physics.
Over the years, TRIUMF has accomplished many milestones throughout its journey towards being a world-class facility. Click on one of the eras below to see a step-by-step view of TRIUMF's accomplishments since its inception.