The University of Winnipeg TRIUMF team* would like to congratulate their colleague Dr. Akira Konaka, a research scientist at TRIUMF, who has been awarded the 2016 CAP-TRIUMF Vogt Medal for his contributions to subatomic physics. Konaka has been a key collaborator in building the UWinnipeg-TRIUMF relationship. The UWinnipeg team has spent a significant fraction of their time on TRIUMF based research projects and the Tokai to Kamioka (T2K) neutrino oscillation experiment project in Japan for which Dr. Konaka won the award.
“Dr. Konaka continually advances The University of Winnipeg’s Ultracold Neutron (UCN) facility at TRIUMF, and serves as our point-man in both Vancouver and Japan,” expressed UWinnipeg’s Dr. Jeff Martin. “I congratulate him on this important award. He is a very deserving and excellent physicist.”
Konaka earned the award for his outstanding contributions to the T2K long-baseline neutrino experiment, including his leadership in establishing the collaboration. His innovative approach to the experiment’s design and analysis methods was critical to the discovery of electron neutrino appearance from the muon neutrino beam, an advancement that led to the T2K project being recognized with the 2016 Breakthrough Prize for Fundamental Physics. The committee also recognized that these innovations continue with new concepts proposed to improve the precision of the T2K experiment and also, potentially, the Hyper-K experiment.
“Akira is the reason that there is such a strong collaboration between Canadian and Japanese particle physicists, and the reason why Canada has such an important role in the neutrino physics being done in Japan,” said UWinnipeg’s Dr. Blair Jamieson .
Konaka’s experimental contributions have been matched by his energetic leadership in Canadian physics, where he established and led T2K-Canada through its crucial development phases and helped build a Canadian collaboration for UWinnipeg’s UCN facility at TRIUMF. He remains a powerful advocate for Canada in Japan.
First introduced in 2011, the CAP-TRIUMF Vogt Medal recognizes and encourages outstanding experimental or theoretical contributions to subatomic physics.
*UWinnipeg has six faculty members that participate in TRIUMF, Canada’s National Laboratory for Particle and Nuclear Physics, which includes Dr. Chris Bidinosti, Dr. Blair Jamieson, Dr. Russell Mammei, Dr. Jeff Martin, Dr. Thomas Lindner (adjunct professor from TRIUMF) and chemist Dr. Chris Wiebe. UWinnipeg became an Associate Member of the TRIUMF Consortium in 2011, after the announcement of UWinnipeg’s leadership in creating a new ultracold neutron source there in 2009.