Nigel Lockyer began his tenure as director of Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, America’s premier laboratory for particle physics research, on September 3, 2013.
An experimental particle physicist, Lockyer was most recently director of TRIUMF, Canada’s national laboratory for particle and nuclear physics. He was also a professor of physics and astronomy at the University of British Columbia.
Under his leadership, TRIUMF formulated a vision for ascending the world stage in nuclear physics using rare-isotope beams to address some of the most fundamental questions in science. Lockyer expanded the laboratory’s operations by 25 percent, earning a reputation as a national leader and team-builder. He also developed a strong working partnership among Canada’s major science laboratories and built international collaborations.
Prior to leading TRIUMF, Lockyer was a professor of physics at the University of Pennsylvania. His research focused on high-energy particle experiments at the energy frontier, with an interest in testing fundamental symmetries and studying the heaviest quarks. While at Pennsylvania, Lockyer developed his interest in the applications of physics to real-world problems; he worked with the Penn Medical School on proton therapy for cancer and detectors for medical physics.
He has served at Fermilab in a variety of capacities dating back more than 25 years. Lockyer performed research for many years at the Collider Detector at Fermilab experiment at the laboratory’s Tevatron particle accelerator, serving as the experiment’s co-spokesperson from 2002 through 2004. CDF achieved world acclaim for discovering and studying the top quark, one of the fundamental building blocks of nature. He was a Fermilab guest scientist from 2001 to 2005 and a visiting scientist during the summers of 1987 and 1988.
Born in Scotland and raised in Canada, Lockyer received his graduate education in the United States. He earned his B.S. in physics from York University in Toronto and his Ph.D. in physics from The Ohio State University.
He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and a recipient of the society’s 2006 Panofsky Prize for his leading research on the bottom quark.