Posted on April 21, 2009 by Dylan Anderson

Two Augustana Campus students have been awarded two prestigious research awards, which will facilitate their continued scholastic growth.

By Lindsay Yakimyshyn
Two Augustana Campus students have been awarded two prestigious research awards, which will facilitate their continued scholastic growth through the summer months. Samara O’Hagan and Dylan Beitkreuz are recipients of the TRIUMF and NSERC research awards, respectively.

The sole Western Canadian winner of a TRIUMF Summer Research Award, O’Hagan will be spending the summer conducting research at TRIUMF, Canada’s national subatomic physics research lab. O’Hagan’s receipt of the award is particularly noteworthy because there are only five TRIUMF Summer Research Awards granted across the nation. Dr. Gerhard Lotz encouraged O’Hagan to apply, and says that her successful application “attests to Samara’s outstanding grades and ability.”

O’Hagan explains the project of which she will be a part: “The project I will be working on is called Radon EDM (Electric Dipole Moment). This summer they will be doing a test run of the experiment, to see how the final experiment will be done in two years.” Teeming with enthusiasm, she anticipates the learning experience that TRIUMF offers, “I definitely expect to learn a lot, as I don’t really understand this experiment at all yet!”

Another promising researcher, Breitkreuz was awarded an NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Award. NSERC (Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada) notes itself as “[celebrating] exceptional examples of research excellence.”

This summer, Breitkreuz will be working with Dr. Ian Blokland, and will be focusing on the application of integer relations. “Basically I will be working with computer programs to perform mathematical experiments. From these experiments we hope to see some certain interesting patterns in equations.”

Both students are excited to begin their summer research positions, and hope the experience will provide them with direction for the future.

Of the TRIUMF program, O’Hagan notes, “It will help me decide if I would ever want to do more experimental physics in the future. I am looking forward to seeing how all the different machines work, and in general, what’s involved in experimental physics.”

Likewise, Breitkreuz expects that his work this summer will steer him towards graduate studies, and says, “This project will give me an idea as to what it is like to work in this field. Hopefully, I can figure out whether or not this is something I might want to pursue after my degree.”

Augustana Campus’ promising undergraduate researchers have gained national recognition, and their academic successes prove that a small campus can lead to big things.

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