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SNOLAB hires new executive director

Dr. Jodi Cooley will lead the the underground research facility which leads research in neutrino and dark matter studies through its position as the world’s deepest clean laboratory
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Dr. Jodi Cooley is the new executive director for Canada's deepest clean laboratory, SNOLAB, in Sudbury.

SNOLAB has hired Dr. Jodi Cooley as the new executive director for the underground research laboratory. Cooley will be taking over for Dr. Clarence Virtue, who served as interim executive director.

A professor of physics at Southern Methodist University and deputy operations manager for the SuperCDMS Collaboration, Cooley will lead a team of more than 140 staff providing business, engineering,construction, installation, technical, and operations support to its award-winning research program.

“SNOLAB plays a unique and vital role in both the international astroparticle physics community, and in Canada’s research ecosystem,” said Cooley in a release from the laboratory. “I look forward to continuing this legacy of excellence.”

Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO) was a single experiment which finished data collection in 2006. The research from the SNO experiment received the 2015 Nobel Prize for Physics for Art MacDonald. SNOLAB is an expansion to the space built for SNO, and allows a number of different teams to conduct experiments and now hosts more than 500 researchers from 24 countries.

Located two kilometres underground in Vale’s Creighton mine, SNOLAB’s science program focuses on astroparticle physics, specifically neutrino and dark matter studies, through its position as the world’s deepest clean laboratory. The depth means it's ideal for research that needs to be conducted away from the cosmic rays found on the surface.

SNOLAB is at a critical moment in its short history, said a release from the laboratory, as it moves into a new five-year strategic planning period and prepares to usher in an exciting era of science and innovation with new research projects on the horizon.

SNOLAB Institute's board chair, Dr. Kimberly Strong, said that Cooley brings the skills and background the board was looking for.

"She is both a renowned researcher and experienced laboratory leader who offers a tremendous track record of success locally, nationally, and internationally,” Strong said.

“The board is delighted to bring Jodi’s expertise to SNOLAB to guide the laboratory through many of the exciting developments on the horizon.”

Cooley will begin her five-year term at SNOLAB on Aug. 1.