Dr. Aleksandra Bialek

Research Scientist

Aleksandra completed her PhD at the Institute of Nuclear Physics Polish Academy of Sciences in 2008 before taking a post-doc position at the University of Alberta. Much of her work in this position involved testing how much stress could be caused by the novel hold-down system on the existing acrylic vessel of the SNO+ detector. She designed the testing process, prepared the setup for it, and after running the tests was responsible for extracting the data and summarizing her findings for.

Following her post-doc, Aleksandra was hired by the University of Alberta as a research associate, although she was based at SNOLAB. Again supporting SNO+, she was leading several projects. The project that took the most effort was the vacuum leak-checking the scintillator plant, which involved developing all of the procedures and training personnel (students, post-docs) so that every single connection in the plant could be tested for leaks. The task took almost two years and involved 40 people.

As a research scientist, Aleksandra is continuing to work on SNO+ projects (commissioning the scintillator plant, maintaining the cover gas, and overseeing the tellurium plant construction) in addition to taking on new responsibilities.

What does a typical day at SNOLAB look like for you?

“Being involved in the commissioning of a few projects, I expect that each day will be different, each day will bring new challenges and problems to solve. But that is exactly why I love my job! One thing that always stays the same: taking the 6:00 am cage underground and 3:45 pm cage to surface, so I have to plan your work in advance and be efficient.”

What is something in your career you are proud of?

“I love seeing the detector getting closer and closer to its main phase. I am contributing to it by building, testing, and commissioning the new additions to the experiment.”

Why did you choose physics?

“I had a wonderful physics teacher who was very passionate and I think that triggered my interest in asking difficult questions and trying to find answers. I also love crafting and in some sense experimental physics is not much different: designing, building, using tools, testing, improving or finding new solutions it is all about the knowledge, imagination and manual work.”



Contact details
(705) 692-7000 X 2821