MIT Physics News Spotlight
Conrad named CWPS Woman Physicist of the Month
Award recognizes female physicists who have positively impacted other individuals' lives and careers.
August 12, 2013
Photo courtesy of APS Physics
Janet Conrad is a prolific researcher and a leader in the neutrino physics community. Starting with the Decay Channel Experiment at NuTeV to her newest endeavor developing high power cyclotrons for CP violation searches in neutrino oscillation, her work is timely, inventive and important to the field. At this point, she is most well known for being the co-PI for the MiniBooNE experiment from its inception through its first results. The MiniBooNE experiment has provided important data on the search for sterile neutrinos, and important cross section data for the planning of future experiments.
Walking into Dr. Conrad’s office at MIT is like walking into a physicist’s toy store. There are sippy birds, an assortment of magnets spread about, old brass scientific equipment, bubble chamber film and, of course, the leaded crystal from a fixed target experiment propping open the door. It is all a reflection of her love of everything physics and her desire to share that love with everyone that walks in whether they be undergraduates, graduate students, postdocs, fellow faculty, or the random passers by. Teaching the general public about the wonders of physics continues to be one of her main priorities through a variety of activities from public lectures to moderating question and answer events after science related plays at the Central Square Theater.
She takes mentoring very seriously and works tirelessly on behalf of her students, postdocs and any others that wander into her sphere of influence. The success of her mentoring is evidenced by the success of her people from faculty in physics departments from the Atlantic to the Pacific and even some in Europe and Japan. Her students have also gone on to pursue other interests in government and industry—there is even one professor of digital arts.
The American Physical Society’s Committee on the Status of Women in Physics (CSWP) created the CSWP Woman Physicist of the Month award to recognize female physicists who have positively impacted other individuals’ lives and careers. Each CSWP Woman Physicist of the Month is featured on the Women in Physics website, announced in the Gazette, and recognized at a reception at an APS national meeting.