University of Wisconsin-Madison

Darren Grant receives prestigious prize to boost his IceCube research

Credit: Martin Lipman, courtesy NSERC
Credit: Martin Lipman, courtesy NSERC

Darren Grant, who leads the IceCube team at the University of Alberta, has been awarded the E.W.R. Steacie Memorial Fellowship from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). The award, one of the most prestigious in Canada, recognizes highly promising young researchers and helps accelerate their careers to the next level. Grant plans to use the fellowship to pursue new ideas for photosensors to gear up for the next generation of the IceCube Neutrino Observatory.

“The heart of what we proposed is a long-term vision for the future of the field of astroparticle physics,” Grant explains. “The point is to continue to tease out the unknowns about neutrinos to better understand our universe. Among other discoveries that await, there is the possibility we could finally explain the matter-antimatter asymmetry.”

Grant has been an active member of the IceCube Collaboration since 2007 with outstanding contributions to the research program in neutrino physics, especially neutrino oscillations. He is also currently coleading the collaboration efforts for PINGU, the Precision IceCube Next Generation Upgrade. The PINGU array is the lower-energy extension of the next-generation IceCube facility, also known as IceCube-Gen2, and targets precision measurements of the atmospheric oscillation parameters, the determination of the neutrino mass, and the search for dark matter.

The Steacie fellowship provides $250,000 of research funding over a two-year period and up to $90,000 per year to the host institution to relieve the awardee of teaching and administrative duties. Grant received his award yesterday, in an award ceremony led by David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, that celebrated 20 of the nation’s top researchers and recipients of one of the 2017 NSERC prizes. Beyond the Steacie fellowship, awarded every year to up to six scientists, the ceremony also included the Gerhard Herzberg Canada Gold Medal for Science and Engineering and the Synergy Awards for Innovation, among others.

The IceCube community sends the warmest congratulations to Darren for this well-deserved award!

+ info Read the news on the website of the University of Alberta