2018 Medal Winners | francais

The 2018 CAP Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Physics

is awarded to

Jean-Michel Poutissou

winner citation

The Canadian Association of Physicists (CAP) is pleased to announce that the 2018 CAP Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Physics is awarded to Jean-Michel Poutissou, TRIUMF, in recognition of for his lifelong contributions to the field of experimental particle physics. Jean-Michel’s decades-long research career includes pioneering work on precision measurements of rare decays and their implications for the Standard Model, ground-breaking work on the use of off-axis neutrino beams for studying neutrino oscillations. Moreover, having served as TRIUMF’s Associate/Science Director for 21 years, he’s dedicated decades of outstanding leadership and stewardship in transforming TRIUMF into a world-class multidisciplinary research laboratory. announcement

Jean-Michel Poutissou arrived at TRIUMF in 1972 during the final stages of construction on the main cyclotron particle accelerator. His first contributions to the then start-up lab included work on the very beam line he would later use to help establish a world-class program of meson rare-decay measurements which set the world’s best limits on extensions to the Standard Model. Over the years, he worked on several milestone experiments, including a measurement ruling out muon to electron + gamma decay and a rare pion decay measurement which stood for decades as one of the best tests of lepton universality. Later, his leadership on the TWIST muon-decay experiment helped enable one of the most precise measurements of parity violation yet performed. His off-site research included crucial work on the seminal Brookhaven K+ → π+ ν v̄ measurement, and the leadership, together with TRIUMF’s Akira Konaka, of key Canadian participation in long-baseline neutrino oscillation physics in Japan.

Jean-Michel has provided tremendous leadership in Canadian and international particle physics. He is a science administrator nonpareil, having run TRIUMF’s day-to-day operations as Associate/Science Director for over 21 years, and spanning the terms of four directors during the lab’s growth from a university laboratory to an international particle accelerator centre. He fostered growth in interdisciplinary fields like molecular and materials science, and nuclear medicine, serving as the latter’s first division head. He skillfully represented TRIUMF and Canadian science in front, and as part, of countless national and international organizations. Although he retired in 2012, Jean-Michel continues to support TRIUMF’s science program as a Researcher Emeritus, expert consultant, and mentor. He also plays and active and expansive role across the lab’s community as the Chair of the TRIUMF Alumni and Retirees Association (TARA)

Jean-Michel possesses that rare blend of wide research interests and administrative leadership that sets him apart during an impressively productive lifetime in physics. nominator citation

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