Barry Davids
Research Scientist - TRIUMF

Barry Davids graduated with a B.Sc. in Mathematics from the University of Chicago in 1993 and went on to complete a Ph.D. in Physics at Michigan State University. As a Ph.D. candidate, he studied the 7Be(p, γ)8B process that gives rise to most of the high-energy neutrinos emitted by the Sun. Knowledge of this process is crucial to our understanding of the solar neutrino problem. Barry performed studies to infer the astrophysical S factor of this reaction. Barry did post-doctoral work at the Kernfysisch Versneller Instituut, before coming to TRIUMF in 2003.

Barry is the project leader for EMMA (ElectroMagnetic Mass Analyser), a recoil mass spectrometer currently being developed for TRIUMF’s ISAC-II facility. When ISAC-II’s intense beams of exotic nuclei react with a target, EMMA will detect and analyze the reaction products. By studying nuclei at the edge of stability, researchers advance our knowledge of the structure of matter and of the force that holds the nucleus together. Barry is responsible for the conception, design, and funding of EMMA; commissioning of the detector is projected for 2011.

Barry also works on DSL (TRIUMF’s Doppler Shift Lifetimes facility), studying the 15O(α, γ)19Ne reaction. This reaction contributes to the ignition of x-ray bursts on accreting neutron stars. Using the Doppler shift attenuation method, Barry and his colleagues infer reaction rates of astrophysical processes like 15O(α, γ)19Ne by measuring the lifetimes of excited compound nuclei. Barry is the Chair of the TRIUMF Seminar Committee and the Nuclear Astrophysics Scientific Working Group at the Canadian Institute for Nuclear Physics. He sings bass in the Gallery Singers, an early music chamber choir.

Chris Ruiz
Scientist - TRIUMF

Chris Ruiz is a Scientist in the Physical Sciences Division, TRIUMF, and the group leader for the DRAGON facility. He is also an Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Victoria. 

He started out life as a 'wannabe' astronomer, studying a Bachelor's of Science degree in Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Edinburgh. At the end of his undergraduate degree, Chris got his first taste of experimental nuclear physics through a laboratory project studying Bell's inequality and its ramifications for quantum physics, via a really neat experiment using radioactive sodium-22. From then on he was hooked, taking a PhD with the Edinburgh Nuclear Physics Group, studying prospective indirect methods of obtaining the important 15O(a,g)19Ne stellar reaction rate at the Louvain-la-Neuve Cyclotron Research Centre in Belgium, and also the first post-accelerated radioactive beam experiment at ISAC: the resonant elastic scattering of sodium-21 on protons - requiring development of a multi-channel R-matrix code.

Chris then joined the DRAGON group as a Research Associate in 2003, eventually leading the 26Al(p,g)27Si measurement. After a short stint as a Research Associate with the University of York Nuclear Physics Group, heading the TRIUMF side of the development of the SHARC silicon barrel array, Chris was hired as a TRIUMF Board-Appointed Research Scientist in order to head the DRAGON Group in 2007. Since then, Chris has been actively involved in shaping nuclear astrophysics research at the lab along with his colleagues. In addition to the DRAGON project, Chris currently spends time working with the TUDA facility. Chris was the project leader for the ISAC Implantation Station, a facility that allows the preparation of high-quality long-lived radioactive targets for use in charged-particle induced and neutron induced reaction experiments.

Chris is a past Chair of the TRIUMF Users Group Executive Committee and former member of the Subatomic Physics Experimental Evaluation Committee. He is current Chair of the TRIUMF Undergraduate Student Scholarship Selection Committee.

Chris enjoys sailing, snowboarding, playing classical, folk and rock guitar, rock climbing, scuba diving, shooting, and attempting to cultivate an organic garden. He is also a motorcycle enthusiast. 

Dave Hutcheon

Dave Hutcheon obtained a B.A. in Physics and an M.A. in Nuclear Physics at the University of Saskatchewan. A Ph.D. in Nuclear Physics from the University of Alberta was based on the study of nuclear structure by gamma-ray spectroscopy.  Further nuclear structure studies followed in post-doctoral work at the University of Oxford, the University of Manitoba and the University of Alberta.

Dave's research direction changed when he took up a Research Scientist position at TRIUMF in 1975.   Nuclear structure gave way to studies of reactions and pion production with 200-500 MeV proton beams, beginning with targets of Ca-40 and Pb-208 but ending with reactions invovling only 1 or 2 nucleons.  The last of these studies involved detection of  the heavy product from the reaction p(n,d)pi-0 .   The experience in detection at 0 degrees in (slightly) inverse kinematics led Dave rashly to criticize an early design for a recoil separator at ISAC.   This led to a heavy involvement in the design, construction and use of the DRAGON separator.

Dave has been a Research Scientist Emeritus since 2007 and maintains an interest and quasi-active role in DRAGON experiments on radiative capture of hydrogen or helium. A recurring feature of his research work has been proton radiative capture by: the deuteron [Nucl.Phys. A454(1984)549]; the neutron [Nucl.Phys. A458(1986)637]; the triton [Nucl.Phys. A455(1986)687]; the neutron again [Nucl.Phys. A543(1992)685]; the negative pion, both free [TRIUMF experiment E643] and quasi-free [Phys.Rev C55(1997)2492]; Sodium-21 [P.R.L. 90(2003)162501]; Aluminum-26 [P.R.L. 96(2006)252501]; Magnesium-23 [Phys.Rev. C81(j2010)045808].

Iris Dillmann
Research Scientist - TRIUMF

Iris is a "lunar-tic": she always wanted to become an astronaut and be the first woman on the moon since she observed it with a telescope built by her father and watched "For all mankind" in 1989. Her dream almost came true when she joined the European Space Agency's (ESA) Astronaut Selection Programm in 2008. Unfortunately she had to stay in a lower earth orbit - but she is willing to spend her weekends hopping around on the Moon as soon as Star Trek's transporter is working properly...

She has a Master (Diplom) in chemistry from the University of Mainz/ Germany and graduated at the University of Basel/ Switzerland as "Dr. phil. nat" in astrophysics. During her PhD thesis she spent 2 years at the Research Center (KIT) in Karlsruhe/ Germany torturing the old 3.7 MV Van-de-Graaff accelerator named "Lolita" on a daily basis while measuring capture cross sections of dozens of isotopes and developing the KADoNiS database (www.kadonis.org).
After postdoc stays in Karlsruhe and the TU Munich she got a prestigeous 5-year grant from the German Helmholtz association for a Young Investigators Group ("LISA- Lifetime Spectroscopy for Astrophysics") which she led at the GSI Helmholtz Center for Heavy Ion Research in Darmstadt/ Germany until June 2015. Since September 2013 she is working at TRIUMF and is in charge of the beta-delayed neutron program - craving for more and more neutron-rich isotopes! For this program she got awarded a NSERC Discovery Grant and a Discovery Accelerator Supplement in 2014:

Since 2015 she is Adjunct Professor at the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Victoria and the Scientific Coordinator of the NSERC CREATE program IsoSiM (Isotopes for Science and Medicine, isosim.ubc.ca).

Her field of expertise is experimental nuclear astrophysics (heavy element nucleosynthesis) and nuclear physics (decay properties of exotic nuclei). Iris is the group leader of the Exotic Decay Spectroscopy Group (https://www.triumf.ca/node/39190) which investigates decay modes that occur only in very neutron-rich nuclei and in highly-charged ions with no or only a few electrons. The two experimental setups that are presently used for our research are located at RIKEN Nishina Center in Wako, Japan and at the Experimental Storage Ring at the GSI Helmholtz Center for Heavy Ion Research in Darmstadt, Germany.During her time at GSI in Darmstadt her research group developed the particle detector CsISiPHOS for the future storage ring CR and radiation-hard diamond detectors for the Super-FRS at FAIR. Her main field of research is the investigation of half-lives and beta-delayed neutron emission probabilities of very neutron-rich isotopes with the Spanish-German neutron detector BELEN and the University of Guelph-born Canadian "poster boy" neutron detector DESCANT (as featured in Maclean's Magazine: https://twitter.com/macleansmag/status/684190168929169408 ).

When Iris is not trying to unravel the origin of the elements, she is a passionate team handball, volleyball, and soccer player and a veteran of the famous "Unified Field Heroes" which tragically lost the GSI soccer cup final 2013 after penalties. But she could prove that female scientists use their head not only for hair styling and thinking... As new resident of the we(s)t coast she tries to understand why one needs ice to play hockey (too slippery) and why no one here knows what team handball is (no, no walls!).

In her sparse free time left by travelling and science, she likes to
- relax with a good crime thriller at Kits beach,
- find out who makes the best sushi in Vancouver (Ajisai or Hitoe?),
- play (beach) volleyball and badminton. Or whatever ball or birdie she can catch/throw/hit.

Here are the links to two recent interviews she gave:

John D'Auria
Simon Fraser University (Emeritus) and AAPS
Petr Navratil
Research Scientist (Theory) - TRIUMF

Petr Navratil graduated with a M.Sc. in Physics from the Charles University in Prague and continued with his Ph.D. studies in Nuclear Physics at the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic. Petr gained research experience as a postdoc at the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa and later at the University of Arizona in Tucson, where he started his work on ab initio calculation for light nuclei. Petr then spent 10 years as a staff physicist at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory where he continued to develop the ab initio approaches to light nuclei focusing in particular on nuclear reaction applications. Petr then join TRIUMF in October 2010 as a Research Scientist in the Theory Group.


Reactions important for astrophysics, such as 7Be(p,γ)8B, 3He(α,γ)7Be or the famous 12C(α,γ)16O are hard or impossible to measure at energies at which they occur in the stellar environment. The measurements are typically performed at higher energies and then extrapolated to the energy of interest. Predictive first-principles nuclear theory of these reactions is then essential. Even if low energy measurements are achievable in underground laboratories such as LUNA, the beam-target experiments suffer from electron screening absent in stellar environment. Again, the predictive nuclear theory becomes indispensable to extract the correct physics. The ab initio approach Petr has been developing, No-Core Shell Model/Resonating Group Method (NCSM/RGM), reached the precision to address these issues. An example of recent (and first ever ab initio) investigations within the NCSM/RGM include the 3He(d,p)4He fusion calculations relevant to the primordial nucleosynthesis and the calculations of the 7Be(p,γ)8B capture reaction important for the solar neutrino physics and the Solar Model. Ab initio calculations of the 3He(α,γ)7Be reaction are ongoing.

Reiner Kr├╝cken
TRIUMF - Science Division

Reiner Kruecken joined TRIUMF in Feb. 2011 coming from TU Munich, Germany, where he holds the chair for Experimental Physics of Hadrons and Nuclei. Kruecken received his Ph.D. in nuclear physics from Univ. of Cologne in 1995. After being a postdoc at LBNL he moved to Yale Univ. in 1997 as Assist. Prof. at the Physics Department and WNSL until moving to Munich in 2002. His research interests are the structure of exotic nuclei and nuclear matter, nuclear astrophysics, nuclear physics applications. 2007-10 he chaired the Hadrons and Nuclei chapter of the DPG. 2003-9 he was on the German Advisory Committee for Hadrons and Nuclei (KHuK). 2006-10 he was a research area coordinator of the DFG Cluster of Excellence Origin and Structure of the Universe in Munich. He was the German science representative on the Nuclear Physics Working Group of the OECD Global Science Forum 2006-8. He is a member of various funding and advisory committees and editorial boards of Prog. Nucl. Part. Phys. and European Physical Journal A.


Reiner is the Head of TRIUMF's Science Division.

Peter Machule
Alex Rojas

Alex works mainly with Barry Davids on the EMMA facility, but is also heaviliy involved in DRAGON experiments. Visit his homepage at http://rojas.triumf.ca.

Greg Christian

Greg is the latest member of the Dragon team. Greg earned his bachelors degree in physics from the Georgia Institute of Technology and his masters and PhD degrees from Michigan State University.  His work at MSU consisted of studying particle-unbound states in nuclei near and beyond the neutron dripline, using the Modular Neutron Array (MoNA) and beams from the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory (NSCL).  His masters thesis involved the study of neutron-unbound states populated from direct fragmentation of 48Ca, and his PhD thesis consisted of studying neutron-unbound levels in 27,28F.  These nuclei are located close to the magic number N = 20, and their structure helps to explain the onset of intruder confugurations in nuclei with large neutron excess (a region of the nuclear chart often referred to as the "island of inversion").  In particular, by measuring the ground state energy of neutron-unbound 28F, he and his co-workers were able to determine a low-Z or "southern" shore of the island of inversion for N = 19 isotones.

After finishing his PhD, Greg came to TRIUMF as a postdoc in the DRAGON group.  He is looking forward to working in a different lab as well as a different subfield (nuclear astrophysics vs. nuclear structure).  Outside of physics, his interests include bicycle racing, hiking, cooking, and a variety of other activities.

Jennifer Fallis

phone ext. 6807

Ulrike Hager
Colorado School of Mines
Uwe Greife
303-273-3618 x457
Colorado School of Mines