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Nigel Smith

Position: 
Director
Organization: 
SNOLAB

Nigel Smith joined SNOLAB as Director during July 2009. He currently holds adjunct Professor status at Queen’s and Laurentian Universities, a visiting research position at the U.K. STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory and a visiting Professorial chair at Imperial College, London. He received his Bachelor of Science in physics from Leeds University in the U.K. in 1985 and his Ph. D. in astrophysics from Leeds in 1991. He served as a lecturer at Leeds University and a Research Associate at Imperial College, London before moving to the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory as Group Leader (Dark Matter) in 1998, subsequently serving as deputy division head for precision weak physics. He has worked in astrophysics studies throughout his career. His early research work was in studies of ultra high energy gamma rays from astrophysical sources using extensive air shower array telescopes in Harrogate, UK and at the South Pole. In 1987 he wintered-over as the sole operator of the telescope at the U.S. Amundsen-Scott station at the South Pole, being the first Briton to successfully winter at the Pole itself. From 1992 to his appointment as SNOLAB Director he was actively involved in, and was periodic Spokesperson for, the development and operation of underground detectors at the Boulby underground facility in North Yorkshire, U.K., searching for the Weakly Interacting Dark Matter particles left over from the Big Bang which are thought to make up about 23% of the Universe. As Director he has operational responsibilities at the SNOLAB underground facility hosted at the Vale Creighton mine, and for the development of the science programme.