Physics 125 (+1) Alumni Celebration
Date and Time
Join us as we celebrate 125 years (+1) of the Department of Physics at the University of Guelph. Our event will feature invited speakers, showcase our history, recognize some of our incredible achievements, and provide an opportunity for alumni to socialize with faculty, staff, students, and each other.
Graduating from the University of Guelph with his PhD in 2017, the application of physics fundamentals to planetary science problems has taken this Guelph Physics graduate off the southern edge of Google maps in search of space rocks, to Mars as part of multiple rover missions, and nearly above the Karman line as a shortlisted astronaut with the Canadian Space Agency.
Mars: Planet of the Robots
Unbeknownst to many, the University of Guelph has made significant technological and scientific contributions towards exploring Mars. This presentation will focus on these advancements, discoveries, and the overall legacy, as told through past and active robotic exploration, enabling humanity to inch closer to Mars sample return and possibly, one day, even culminating in human exploration of the Martian surface.
Joining the department in 2016, Dr. Dennis Muecher is a medical physicist specializing in developing radiation treatment for cancer. In 2018 he received a “New Frontiers in Research” grant exploring high-precision proton radiation therapy in Canada. Dr. Muecher has led projects at CERN (Geneva, Switzerland), RIKEN (Tokyo, Japan), FAIR (Darmstadt, Germany) and TRIUMF (Vancouver, Canada), related to nuclear and medical research.
Unlocking the Full Potential of Cancer Radiation Therapy
Radiation therapy is often the first step in saving thousands of Canadians diagnosed with cancer each year. Therapy using protons to irradiate tumours has shown increased effectiveness and much reduced side effects compared to the more common approach of using x-rays. At the University of Guelph, we are developing new techniques to allow monitoring of the proton beam position in the patient during treatment with the highest precision, which is crucial to an effective treatment. With our approach, protons can be guided with sub-millimetre precision to cancer cells, irradiating tumours which otherwise may not be curable. Our hope is to some day offer proton therapy to treat breast cancer.