Last Friday, February 27, TRIUMF welcomed the Vice President of Research from the University of Guelph, Kevin R. Hall. Eager to learn about the work done in the lab, he raised thoughtful questions throughout his visit. Hall was introduced to the vision for the future in TRIUMF's Five Year Plan and some of the lab's ongoing experiments. In his presentation, Jean-Michel Poutissou, the Division Head of Nuclear Medicine, explained the basic mechanics of the cyclotron, the main engine of TRIUMF's nuclear physics program. Hall agreed it as a "very adaptable device" based on its ability to extract protons with different energies. Hall inquired about the use of the cyclotron for research and commercial purposes. He learned about the lab's affiliation with MDS Nordion to produce isotopes for medical imaging and diagnostics using proton beams. Poutissou also explained the service that TRIUMF provides to patients at the UBC Hospital in sending short-lived isotopes for positron emission tomography (PET). Hall was impressed by the collaboration between TRIUMF, the BC Cancer Agency and UBC's Eye Care Centre in providing treatment to cancers in the back of the eye. After the brief presentation, Hall had the opportunity to share some of the great projects that the Physics Department at the University of Guelph is undertaking and called it a "hidden gem" of Canada's research university network.
The University of Guelph has been an associate member of TRIUMF since 2003, together providing a legacy of innovative research and scientific discovery. Several prominent students from Guelph have complemented their studies by carrying on experiments at the lab's facilities and exchanging knowledge with TRIUMF's physicists. Such an example is Geoffrey Grinyer who was recently announced winner of the 2007-08 Thesis Prize competition by the Division of Nuclear Physics (DNP) of the Canadian Association of Physicists (CAP). When asked about the significance of winning this prize, Grinyer said: "I am truly honored to receive this prestigious award. This could not have been possible without the excellent research group that I had the privilege to work with including my advisor Dr. Carl Svensson at the University of Guelph. Carl has instilled in me a great sense of responsibility during my early years in academic research and this has always been reflected in my work. I was also very lucky to join the 8pi/GPS collaborations at TRIUMF while they were still in their infancy and had the unique opportunity to help build our research program from the beginning. These collaborations have grown substantially during my tenure at the University of Guelph giving me personal access to many renowned scientists in Canada and throughout the world, which is a testament to the state-of-the-art work presently being performed at TRIUMF. My thesis work, which was based entirely on work carried out at TRIUMF-ISAC, could not have been realized without the high-quality beams provided by the lab, the unique experimental 8pi and GPS experimental facilities, and the extraordinary support of TRIUMF personnel."
TRIUMF hopes to continue to foster such rewarding relationships with the University of Guelph and contribute to the future of more students in the field. Hall's visit was a great opportunity to reinforce this commitment and identify mutual goals between the lab and the university. Before heading home to Guelph, Ontario, Hall was given a tour of TRIUMF's facilities. He thanked Poutissou for the productive meeting.
By: Maria Jose Crousillat