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Gianluigi Botton takes on new directorship position with the Canadian Light Source

Updated: Dec 3, 2019

McMaster University and the Canadian Light Source at the University of Saskatchewan will strengthen ties due to new directorship position.

A new directorship position for McMaster University Professor Gianluigi Botton with the Canadian Light Source (CLS) at the University of Saskatchewan promises to strengthen ties between the two institutions.

Botton, an expert in using advanced microscopy techniques to examine materials at the atomic level, will assume the role on May 6 as CLS science director, a position focused on ensuring the services offered at the synchrotron enables world-class research.

Botton is a professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and at McMaster University, an academic position he will retain to pursue his ongoing research activities.

“Given his extensive background in materials science and advanced microscopy, Gianluigi brings just the right combination of experience and world-wide connections to the position of CLS science director,” said Rob Lamb, CEO of the Canadian Light Source. “I’m confident he will provide the leadership necessary to ensure the services we provide industrial, academic and collaborating users advance our national and international science strategy.”

Botton earned a PhD in materials engineering from École Polytechnique de Montréal and has held positions as both an NSERC Post-doctoral Fellow and senior research associate at Cambridge University. He has also served as a research scientist with Natural Resources Canada and is currently the Canada Research Chair in Microscopy of Nanoscale Materials and the director of the Canadian Centre for Electron Microscopy at McMaster University. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and of the Microscopy Society of America.

“My top priority as science director will be to increase the visibility and impact of the CLS by building on the already strong collaborations the facility has with universities, government and industry,” said Botton. “I’ll also be looking at new areas where the CLS could contribute to answering questions and solving problems for users, possibly through partnerships with other synchrotrons where we can learn from their experiences.”

Botton said he is excited to be part of the largest science infrastructure ever built in Canada, and that part of his role will be in planning for the next phase of the CLS.

“Establishing the Canadian Centre for Electron Microscopy at McMaster and leading it to become one of the Major Science Initiative infrastructures in Canada has been a rewarding experience and I am very grateful to the people who have worked with the CCEM, its users across Canada and around the world and researchers with great vision who have supported this facility and taken risks to make it successful,” he said.

“McMaster University is pleased to see one of its top researchers forge a new relationship with the CLS, a highly-regarded research faculty”, said David Farrar, provost and vice-president (Academic).

"McMaster's research strengths are increasingly being recognized, nationally and internationally," said Farrar.   "We have recently been ranked second in the world by the Times Higher Education University Impact rankings for our success in delivering the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals. The link with the CLS created by Gianluigi Botton will expand McMaster's research impact within Canada and beyond."

“Throughout the years, Gianluigi has made a tremendous contribution to the research enterprise at McMaster University. He is known internationally for his work in microscopy and has many collaborators internationally. This new position is a great opportunity for Gianluigi and McMaster to create even stronger research collaborations,” said Ishwar Puri, dean and professor of McMaster University’s Faculty of Engineering.

The relationship will bring greater synergy between McMaster’s renowned Canadian Centre for Electron Microscopy, of which Gianluigi is currently director, and the Canadian Light Source, said John Preston, associate dean of research and external relations.

“We are proud of the work Gianluigi has accomplished to date and look forward to seeing what emerges from his time with CLS,” Preston said.

The Canadian Light Source at the University of Saskatchewan is a national research facility producing the brightest light in Canada—millions of times brighter than the sun. One of the largest science projects in our country’s history, the CLS attracts more than 1,000 scientists from around the world every year to use our light to conduct ground-breaking health, agricultural, environmental and advanced materials research.

The Canada Foundation for Innovation, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, National Research Council of Canada, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Government of Saskatchewan and the University of Saskatchewan fund our operations.

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