Our Speakers for the 2019-2020 School Year

Dr. Pedro Machado, Fermilab Theoretical Physicist

Dr. Machado is an associate scientist at Fermilab. He was born and raised in Brazil. He did his undergraduate work at Universidade Federal do Ceará (2007). He received his Ph.D. from University of São Paulo. Machado is a theoretical physicist working primarily in neutrino physics, and also in Higgs and dark matter physics. Before joining Fermilab, Dr. Machado spent few years in Madrid as a post-doctoral fellow, and as a Ph.D. student he visited Paris for a couple of years and Fermilab for six months. His work is focused on phenomenology: the interface between theory and experiment

Dr. Kevin Kelly, Fermilab 

Dr. Kelly is a postdoc in the theoretical physics group (within the particle physics division) at Fermilab. He grew up in Michigan, and studied physics and mathematics at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana for his undergraduate work. He then went on to obtain his PhD in physics from Northwestern University in 2018. His work centers around neutrinos, the least well-understood particles in the universe. Typically, Kevin focuses on the current and next generation of neutrino experiments and asks “how can we use this experiment in a new, clever way?” This means coming up with searches for unusual signatures in a detector in order to get every bit of science possible out of the experiment. Outside of physics, Kevin enjoys exploring the many forest preserves around Fermilab with his family.

Dr. Allison Reinsvold Hall, Fermilab 

Dr. Hall is a postdoc at Fermilab working on the CMS experiment. She received her Bachelor’s degree from the College of St. Benedict in Minnesota and her Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame. Her work focuses on using the CMS experiment to search for evidence of new physics such as supersymmetry or dark matter particles. She is in the Scientific Computing Division at Fermilab and works on improving how CMS reconstructs, processes, and analyzes the huge amounts of data from the experiment. On her days off, Allie spends her time taking road trips to visit National Parks across the US.

Dr. Karl Warburton, Iowa State University


Prof. Dan Hooper, University of Chicago and Fermilab Senior Scientist

Dr. Hooper is a professor at the University of Chicago and a member of Astrophysics Department of the Particle Physics Division at Fermilab. He received his PhD from University of Wisconsin.
He has written two books:

  • Dark Cosmos: In Search of Our Universe’s Missing Mass and Energy
  • Nature’s Blueprint: Supersymmetry and the Search for a Unified Theory of Matter and Force

Hooper has been part of Saturday Morning Physics for ten years. When not interacting with young scientists, he tries to figure out ways for Earth-bound experimenters to detect dark matter and dark energy directly in an experiment.
In 2017, Prof. Hooper was elected as a Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS).
Read more about Dr. Hooper here: http://home.fnal.gov/~dhooper/

Dr. Gabe Perdue, Fermilab 


 Dr. Timofey Zolkin, Fermilab 


Dr. Bryan Ramson, Fermilab 

Dr. Ramson is a postdoctoral researcher in the Fermilab Neutrino Division. He currently works as part of two large experimental collaborations at the cutting-edge of long-baseline neutrino physics: the currently operational Numi Off-axis Electron Neutrino Appearance experiment (NOvA), hosted by Fermilab, and the upcoming Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE), also hosted by Fermilab. Howard Universityis his Alma-Mater and he earned his doctorate in Applied Physics on studies of nuclear anti-matter at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. Much of his graduate work took place as a visiting scholar on the Argonne/Fermilab particle physics experiment, E906/SeaQuest. Before going to the University of Michigan, he was a visiting scholar at the National Aeronautic and Space Administration from Howard University, primarily involved in the measurement of cloud properties in the vicinity of Washington, D.C. and the validation of a globally distributed robotic aerosol and cloud measuring system.

His current research interests involve the study of neutrino-nuclei interactions and the testing of new light sensing hardware to be included in DUNE. When he is not thinking about quarks and leptons, he enjoys reading, exercise, and video games.

Dr. Adam Anderson, Fermilab Lederman Fellow

Dr. Anderson is also a Leon Lederman Fellow at the Fermilab Center for Particle Astrophysics.  He received his PhD from The Massachusetts Institute of Technology(MIT). His focus is the search for dark matter in the universe. This work takes him to the South Pole to work on the telescope from time to time.

Learn more about Adam.

Dr. Petra Merkel, Fermilab 

Petra Merkel coordinates detector research and development across Fermilab. The focus is on generic detector R&D spanning across several divisions and technologies and aiming at future applications, not current projects. Petra Merkel is a senior scientist at the laboratory working on the CMS experiment. Her expertise lies in the design, construction and operation of large silicon detectors and searches for new physics including heavy resonances. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Hamburg, Germany, and was previously a Fermilab Postdoc on the CDF experiment and a research scientist at Purdue University.

Dr. Tim Meyer, Fermilab Chief Operating Officer

Dr. Tim Meyer is the Chief Operating Officer of Fermilab. He is a member of the executive-leadership team and contributes in setting the direction of the laboratory, managing the 1,800 person workforce, guiding compliance and performance of the entire laboratory, and developing new partnerships and opportunities. Before coming to Fermilab, Dr. Meyer served as Head of Strategic Planning and Communications at TRIUMF, Canada’s national laboratory for particle and nuclear physics in Vancouver, Canada. Previously Meyer served as a Senior Program Officer at the U.S. National Academies, providing advice to the U.S. government on science and technology. He received several distinguish-serviced awards while at the U.S. National Academies.

Meyer earned his Ph.D. in experimental particle physics from Stanford University studying the nature and time-evolution of the bottom quark where he received both the Kirkpatrick Award as well as the Centennial Teaching Award. In 2011, Meyer was selected by Business in Vancouver as one of the Top 40 Professionals Under 40 years old.
When not working, Meyer reads pulp fiction on his Kindle, runs across the prairie, and follows his gourmet-chef wife and charming daughter around the kitchen to wash the dishes.