Second annual Canadian Astroparticle Summer Student Talk Competition a success

August 18, 2022 — Events

The 2022 Canadian Astroparticle Summer Student Talk (CASST) Competition concluded after 2 days of impressive talks and engaging panels. This year’s hybrid competition featured 44 talks from undergraduate students at institutions across Canada and around the world, including students from India and Indonesia. 

This year’s program also featured a planetarium show on the first day with Ojibway storyteller and knowledge carrier Will Morin at the Doran Planetarium at Laurentian University. The second day of the program featured a live virtual tour of the underground SNOLAB facility with several experiment experts present to speak about the areas of the lab. This year the event also included three panels that provided attendees the opportunity to learn more about career options, micro credentials, and Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI).  

CASST 2022 featured a planetarium show with speaker Will Morin.
Attendees of CASST were able to participate in a live virtual tour of the underground lab space at SNOLAB.

The first-place prize at this year’s competition was shared between two outstanding undergraduate students. Sarah Rourke, who was supervised by Dr. Chris Jillings of SNOLAB, was recognized for her talk titled “Producing the World’s Cleanest Noble Gas for DEAP-3600″. Sierra Jess, who was supervised by Dr. Silvia Scorza of SNOLAB, was also awarded the prize for her talk titled “CUTE Neutron Calibration System”. 

Third place in the competition recognized Laura Gonzalez Escudero, a student from McGill supervised by Dr. Thomas Brunner, for her talk “Waveform fitting Algorithm for LoLX pulse data”.  

Three runner-up students also received awards and recognition from SNOLAB and the McDonald Institute: Matt Marzano (Queen’s University) received 4th place, Zach Charlesworth (McGill/TRIUMF) received 5th place, and Ciaran Byles-Ho (Queen’s University) received 6th place.  

Honourable mentions also went out to several students: Michael Hetu (McGill), Irina Babayan (Queen’s), Maia Henricksson-Ward (UBC), Henry White (Queen’s), and Nabyan Arkan (Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember).  

From these winners, Sierra Jess and Laura Gonzalez Escudero will be sponsored by SNOLAB and the McDonald Institute to participate in the 2023 Canadian Association of Physicists Congress at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton. This sponsorship will give them the opportunity to give their award-winning presentations at the congress attended by physicists from across the country.  

The SNOLAB team extends their congratulations to each of the participants for their hard work!