[News-releases] IEEE Recognizes TRIUMF's Main Cyclotron as an Engineering Milestone

Tim Meyer tmeyer at triumf.ca
Mon Aug 9 10:56:10 PDT 2010

Joint News Release | For Immediate Release | August 9, 2010

A Prestigious Award for the World's Largest Cyclotron

(Vancouver, BC) - IEEE, the world's largest professional association for the
advancement of technology with more than 395,000 members in more than 160
countries, has recognized the extraction of the first high-energy proton
beams from the TRIUMF main cyclotron on December 15, 1974 as an historic
engineering milestone. The designation was approved by the IEEE Board of
Directors following a careful evaluation of the historical significance and
global uniqueness of the accomplishment. A dedication ceremony will be held
at TRIUMF on the 36th anniversary of the event later this year. 
The main cyclotron at TRIUMF is the world's largest such device; it measures
22 metres across and produces intense beams of protons at energies up to 500
Million electron-Volts (MeV).  Since 1974, TRIUMF has used these proton
beams (and secondary beams of pions, muons, neutrons, and rare isotopes
produced in its experimental halls) to conduct pioneering studies that have
advanced nuclear physics, particle physics, molecular and materials science,
and nuclear medicine.  

Prof. David G. Michelson, chair of IEEE Vancouver Section and a member of
the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of
British Columbia, said, "The quality of the initial design and engineering
of the TRIUMF 500 MeV cyclotron is underscored by the cyclotron's longevity.
Thirty-five years after the first full energy proton beam was extracted, the
cyclotron is still the main engine of TRIUMF's world-leading research

According to Dr. Nigel S. Lockyer, Director of TRIUMF, "The vision of men
like Professors Reg Richardson and Erich W. Vogt who led the effort to
establish a major physics lab in British Columbia back in the 1960s has
returned remarkable value to Canada in the years that have followed.  We
deeply appreciate the recognition by IEEE of the significant accomplishments
of those early pioneers who laid the foundations for TRIUMF's string of
science and technology successes."

During the next five years, ongoing support from the Government of Canada
will allow the 500 MeV cyclotron to support a variety of continuing programs
including proton-based therapies for selected eye cancers, pre-flight
irradiation tests and studies of aerospace components, production of
selected medical isotopes, and a broad program of research in nuclear
physics and materials science using short-lived, exotic isotopes. 

The TRIUMF lab also operates and maintains four smaller medical-isotope
cyclotrons.  Lockyer added, "The deep scientific and technical expertise at
TRIUMF in cyclotron technology has positioned us as a leader in developing
accelerator-based alternatives for the production of crucial medical
isotopes such as molybdenum-99 and technetium-99m." 


David G. Michelson					Tim Meyer
dmichelson at ieee.org				tmeyer at triumf.ca
604 822-3544						604 222-7674

Timothy I. Meyer, Ph.D.
Head, Strategic Planning & Communications
4004 Wesbrook Mall
Vancouver, BC  V6T 2A3  CANADA
Tel: 604-222-7674
Fax: 604-222-3791
Cell: 650-464-8955
E-mail: tmeyer at triumf.ca
WWW: http://www.triumf.ca

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