At the European Council for Nuclear Research, or CERN, laboratory outside Geneva, Switzerland, pairs of protons collide at the center of the ATLAS detector, one of two general-purpose detectors at the Large Hadron Collider. John Rutherfoord was the principal architect of the Arizona design of the forward calorimeter, a key component of the ATLAS calorimeter system, which measures the energies of the particles coming out of these collisions. Such measurements led to the discovery of the Higgs boson, one of the most celebrated accomplishments in high-energy particle physics in recent years.
Rutherfoord is acknowledged as one of the key leaders at CERN and is internationally acclaimed as one of the world's pioneers in particle detectors.
Rutherfoord played an important role in establishing the UA as a major player in particle physics, a field which explores the fundamental constituents of matter and energy. He was recruited to the UA in 1988 to put together a group in this area and had an immediate impact in that the university became one of the four finalists for the Superconducting Super Collider, a powerful U.S. particle collider suggested at the time. Unfortunately, the SSC was cancelled, but Rutherfoord maintained Arizona's position as a major player by assuming a central role at the Large Hadron Collider.
His work has been supported continuously by funding agencies for over 25 years, enabling him to support the research efforts of this group – students, postdoctoral researchers, visitors and equipment – at an average level of more than $1 million per year. Rutherfoord, a professor of physics in the UA College of Science, was a recipient of the first Galileo Circle Dean's Award in 2013.
Rutherfoord's teaching and mentoring have led to the placement of many of the students who work with his team at the best graduate schools. He has served his department for more 30 years with both dedication and distinction; he has contributed to departmental governance; and has held many leadership positions in the experimental particle physics community.
Congratulations Dr. John Rutherfoord for your dedication and hard work!