New collaborators joined the NEWS-G team recently. Mayank Arora started a MSc project in September 2022 to improve the beam line at RMTL. Annabelle Makowski and Jon Clarke started as grad students to contribute to the analysis of data from the 140cm sphere at SNOLAB. George Savvidis, after succesfully defending his PhD on 21st December 2022, is now rejoining the team as a postdoctoral researcher, to continue detector development, both underground and in the lab at Queen's.
Jon Clarke, PhD student
I have just joined Queen's as a PhD student, under Guillaume Giroux. Building on my experience writing software for the UK's National Physical Laboratory, I will be focusing on data analysis for NEWS-G. I am in a slightly unusual position, being a bit older than a typical grad student, having spent 15 years in physics education (with interests in evidence-based teaching and improving diversity in physics) and 5 years in freelance work, such as editing scientific papers and tutoring math. I love to cycle and have enjoyed moving to Canada from the UK. Having been intimidated by the concept of a Canadian winter before moving, I "embraced the fear" and cycle year-round. I feel fortunate seeing the stunning beauty of ice, riding to Big Sandy Bay on Wolfe Island in the depth of winter and looking out across frozen Lake Ontario, with the occasional snowy owl as a bonus.
Annabelle Makowski, Masters student
I am a masters student working in the NEWS-G group at Queen’s under the co-supervision of Guillaume Giroux and Ryan Martin. My research will mainly involve using machine learning to reduce noise from the detector signals, but I will also help with the traditional data analysis.
Originally from Highland, Indiana, I completed my bachelor of science studying physics in May 2021 from Purdue University Northwest. During my time there, I completed a few different research projects: I studied cosmic ray angular distributions to determine their origin and also created a simulation of a scintillation particle detector using GEANT4. In addition, I briefly worked at Fermilab with my professor during the summer.
I enjoy teaching other students about math and physics, so I really enjoy being a TA. I was a tutor to undergraduate students for three years before coming to Queen's. I am also a life-long artist, so in my free time I like to draw or paint.
Mayank Arora, Masters student
I recently started my MASc in Fall 22 under the supervision of Dr Levente Balogh. My focus is to design a new proton beamline for the Physics Department at Queen's to help them with their dark matter research at RMTL. The fascinating thing about my work is that I have always wanted to become astronaut as a kid, and now, after so many years, I am indirectly contributing to the studies of space. I hope the experiences gained during my work in design can help me achieve my ultimate goal of becoming an aerospace engineer.
Hayden Meadows, accelerated Masters student
I am currently completing my 4th year of Engineering Physics at Queen’s University. I am enrolled in the Accelerated Masters program which allows me to work on graduate studies while still an undergraduate. Last summer I worked on the characterization of the muon veto scintillator panels for the NEWS-G3 experiment. I am currently working on my undergraduate thesis around the full background decomposition of the NEWS-G3 experiment. Starting in May 2023 I will become a full time Masters student.
Outside of the lab and classroom I enjoy working out in the gym and have recently started training in Muay Thai. I am also a die-hard lifelong Toronto Maple Leafs fan.
George Savvidis, Post-doctoral researcher
The curiosity for the nature of the universe was the lever that pushed me to the world of astro-particle physics and dark matter. The complexity of research always enabled me to think and overcome the various challenges to achieve the goal. With NEWS-G, the goal to push the limits of dark matter detection is fascinating, and whether it finally detects dark matter or not, the development of such detector is a really fun project.