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Demarteau to head ORNL Physics Division

Dawn Levy

The Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory has named Marcel Demarteau as Physics Division Director, effective June 17.

"Marcel brings a keen sense of physics research to the Physics Division and will help in shaping its future in the areas of heavy-ion collisions, fundamental symmetries, neutrino physics, nuclear structure and astrophysics, and stable isotope production and research," said David Dean, associate laboratory director for physical sciences.

An expert in particle collider physics and a Fellow of the American Physical Society, Demarteau leads research in the structure and evolution of the universe. He chairs several advisory committees through which the particle physics community takes stock of past progress and charts future enterprises.

He comes to ORNL from DOE's Argonne National Laboratory, where he directed the High Energy Physics Division with a program ranging from studies at CERN's Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Switzerland to investigations of the afterglow of the Big Bang using the South Pole Telescope in Antarctica.

At Argonne since 2010, Demarteau conducted research and development in fundamental physics; advocated for investments in advanced instrumentation, building on the multidisciplinary nature of the laboratory; organized the first DOE workshop on quantum sensing for particle physics and championed astrophysics and cosmology initiatives.

Previously, at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) for nearly 20 years, he conducted R&D of advanced detectors of subatomic particles. He served in leadership roles for the Dzero experiment at Fermilab's proton-antiproton collider to precisely measure properties of the electroweak force and its carriers and worked on the Compact Muon Solenoid experiment at the LHC that discovered the Higgs boson. Moreover, he co-led the design of the Silicon Detector, one of two designs under consideration for the future International Linear Collider.

He earned a doctorate in particle physics from the University of Amsterdam in 1986. After a postdoctoral fellowship at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, he joined Fermilab as a Wilson Fellow in 1992.

"I look forward to leveraging ORNL's multidisciplinary expertise, leading diverse physics programs and initiating new directions aimed at developing a full understanding of energy and matter in the universe," Demarteau said.

Demarteau succeeds Dean, who became director of ORNL's Physical Sciences Directorate last May. Neutrino physicist David Radford served as interim director.

UT-Battelle manages ORNL for DOE's Office of Science. The single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, the Office of Science is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit https://energy.gov/science. —by Dawn Levy

Provided by Oak Ridge National Laboratory