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Italian President Sergio Mattarella visits TRIUMF

10 July 2017

For visitors looking to get a sense of Canadian greatness, things like ice hockey and the Canadarm might come to mind. For one very special visitor, it was another area of achievement: particle accelerators.

This led His Excellency Sergio Matterella, President of Italy, and a delegation to visit TRIUMF on Friday, June 30 during a rare trip to Canada. Vancouver-Point Grey MLA David Eby and Vancouver Quadra MP Joyce Murray joined the TRIUMF team in welcoming President Mattarella and friends with the laboratory’s family-style hospitality on the sun-soaked evening (a very warm welcome indeed!).

The presidential visit was an excellent opportunity to recognize the historical, ongoing, and future science and technology collaborations between Canada and Italy. Our TRIUMF tour guides dedicated President Mattarella's visit to discussing some of the most notable research, technology, and engineering collaborations that connect our two countries, including super-conducting accelerator technology like that behind the e-linac that powers TRIUMF’s ARIEL facility 

President Mattarella’s visit was brief but intimate, and many of our TRIUMF community members had the pleasure of greeting the President personally with a handshake and words of “benvenuto.” 

Here are a few photos and descriptions of President Matterella's tour through TRIUMF: 

 TRIUMF Director Jonathan Bagger (second from left) speaks with local dignitaries prior to the President’s arrival: Norbert Haunerland, TRIUMF Board of Management & Simon Fraser University Associate Vice President, Research (left); Joyce Murray, MP for Vancouver-Quadra (centre); David Eby, MLA for Vancouver-Point Grey (second from right); and Franco Mammarella, TRIUMF Electrical Services Group Leader (right) 

On behalf of TRIUMF, Jonathan Bagger greets Italian President H.E. Sergio Mattarella, and his delegation. “It was an honour and pleasure to host His Excellency Sergio Mattarella at TRIUMF last week,” said Bagger. “During his visit, we highlighted the strong and enduring bonds that tie TRIUMF to its Italian partners. Our ARIEL project, in particular, has a long Italian lineage, one that we are proud to transmit and share with our collaborators at the Variable Energy Cyclotron Centre (VECC) in India. To draw a line from Canada to India, passing through Italy, illustrates the globally interconnected nature of science and innovation in the 21st century.”

President Mattarella in conversation with TRIUMF Research Scientist Sonia Bacca (right). “The visit of the President of the Republic was a proud moment for all Italians at TRIUMF. Personally, I am thankful to have had the opportunity to meet His Excellency through TRIUMF,” said Bacca. “After Director Bagger had introduced us, the President told me: ‘As a man of law (President Mattarella has been a lawyer and a judge), I have great esteem of people like you who do science.’ His comment made me even more proud of the work we do here at TRIUMF every day.”


President Mattarella makes a quick stop at the Main Control Room to learn about the diversity of facilities, infrastructure, and experiments at TRIUMF.


TRIUMF accelerator physicist Marco Marchetto illustrates the form and function of two different superconducting radiofrequency cavities, a key area of collaboration between Canada and Italy.

Throughout his tour of TRIUMF, President Mattarella took every opportunity to say hello to the people he met along the way. Here he is in conversation with PhD student Luca Egoriti (left) and detector physicist Luca Doria (right).

President Mattarella shakes hands with Franco Mammarella, TRIUMF’s Group Leader of Electrical Services, who served as the President’s tour guide and translator.

To help commemorate the occasion of his visit, President Mattarella poses for a group photo with some of the Italian members of the TRIUMF community.

TRIUMF would like to extend say ‘Thank you!’ to everyone – our Italian, Canadian, and TRIUMF colleagues – who helped make President Mattarella’s visit such a delight.

You can find more photos from the visit here.