Carleton Welcomes New Research Chair in Physics

Monday, May 15, 2017


Carleton Welcomes New Canada Research Chair in Physics, Renews Existing Chair in CybersecurityA closeup of the word research in a dictionary.

Carleton University’s Mark Boulay, professor in the Department of Physics, has been named a Tier-1 Canada Research Chair (CRC) in Particle Astrophysics and Subatomic Physics.

Carleton’s Sonia Chiasson has also been renewed as a CRC. Chiasson, a professor in the School of Computer Science, holds the CRC in User Centric Cybersecurity.

Carleton is home to 21 CRC positions.

Boulay’s Research

Starting in 2016, the DEAP-3600 experiment (SNOLAB, Sudbury) began searching for particles of mysterious dark matter that pervades the universe. With this detector, the sensitivity for this kind of measurement will be improved by 20 times. This may enable a discovery, which for the first time would let researchers see the 80 per cent of matter in the universe that so far has remained invisible. Boulay’s research will use the DEAP-3600 detector and a facility developed at Carleton to pursue the development of next-generation experiments, allowing leading-edge materials and detector characterization, and development of ultra-low background techniques.

Chiasson’s Research

Chiasson’s research relates to human-oriented computer security. Her areas of focus include usable security for children, usable security for domain experts and user authentication. She addresses the need to help children navigate online risks, facilitate secure programming practices, visualize big data sets for threat assessment, and design authentication methods. Chiasson hopes to contribute to the understanding of the interplay between human behaviour, interaction design and cybersecurity. Her research will provide novel tools for addressing cybersecurity challenges, with the goal of making security mechanisms easier and safer for people to use.

About the Canada Research Chairs Program
The Canada Research Chairs Program is designed to attract the best talent from Canada and around the world, helping universities achieve research excellence in a wide variety of fields. Chairholders improve Canadians’ depth of knowledge and quality of life, strengthen the country’s international competitiveness, and help train the next generation of highly-skilled people.


“Carleton University fosters researchers who are committed to taking the lead when it comes to finding innovative, collaborative approaches to solving critical real-world problems. Congratulations to our newest CRC, Mark Boulay.”

– Rafik Goubran, vice-president (Research and International).

“I’m looking forward to working with colleagues in the Physics Department at Carleton, in Canada and internationally, as we move forward with the SNOLAB program.  Our expertise, combined with world-leading facilities at SNOLAB, allow us to mount increasingly sensitive and innovative searches for rare events such as dark matter interactions.  Results from SNOLAB experiments will help elucidate the nature of dark matter, as well as addressing other important questions in particle astrophysics.”

– Boulay

 “Users are often blamed when there are cybersecurity problems, even when it’s really the systems that are placing unreasonable demands on the users.  In our lab, we work on designing cybersecurity solutions that realistically address human needs as well as the technical issues.  We believe that it is the only way to advance cybersecurity in the real world.  The CHORUS lab includes researchers with backgrounds in many different disciplines, and we regularly collaborate with industry and not-for-profit groups to work on cybersecurity solutions.”

– Chiasson

Media Contact
Steven Reid
Media Relations Officer
Carleton University
613-520-2600, ext. 8718
Steven_Reid3atCarleton [dot] ca

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