Gerald Oakham, a TRIUMF research scientist, was recently selected as one of the “Top 50 People in the Capital,” an annual feature produced by Ottawa Life magazine. In addition to his position at TRIUMF, Oakham is a physics professor at Carleton University, one of TRIUMF’s member universities. He is also the principal investigator and team leader for the Carleton University group contributing to the ATLAS project at CERN.
For its eighth annual “Top 50 People in the Capital” article, Ottawa Life selected Oakham from among a large field of people around the city in a broad range of categories. In addition to Oakham, Manuella Vincter, another Carleton University physics professor connected to the ATLAS project, was also chosen for the feature.
Oakham’s interest in physics stretches back to childhood when he watched BBC specials on the subject, and the curiosity these programs sparked has resulted in an impressive career. Before joining TRIUMF to work on ATLAS, Oakham participated in both the Omni-Purpose Apparatus at LEP (OPAL) and the European Muon Collaboration (EMC) projects at CERN. Since then, Oakham has returned to the university from which he earned his PhD in 1981, this time as a professor in particle physics.
For more than a decade, Professor Oakham has worked with teams at Carleton to build two forward calorimeter modules for the ATLAS detector, which have since been successfully installed in the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). In 2006, he took a sabbatical to travel to the LHC and work on the ATLAS project there. As preparation for the start of the LHC, Oakham led the group in analyzing test beam data and detector commissioning. Once the LHC experiments begin, Oakham’s interests will be in studying top quark physics and the Higgs boson decays.
Beyond his work with TRIUMF and ATLAS, Professor Oakham has participated in many other projects to advance physics in Canada. From 2002 to 2005, Oakham served as the director of the Ottawa Carleton Institute for Physics, which connects the graduate physics programs of both Carleton University and the University of Ottawa. He also became Graduate Chair of the physics department at Carleton University in 2008. Additionally, Oakham is a member of the SNO Institute Board of Management and Chair of the SNOLAB Scientific and Technical Committee.
The “Top 50 People in the Capital” article featuring Gerald Oakham can be found in the September/October issue of Ottawa Life. Congratulations to Professor Oakham for this distinguished award!
By Kaitlan Huckabone
TRIUMF's Communications Assistant