Dublin City University paid tribute to the outstanding contributions of Professor Steve Myers, OBE, to the world of physics by conferring him with an honorary doctorate on Friday, November 3rd.
The work of Belfast-born Professor Myers, who has spent most of his career at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) has led to key developments in our understanding of the nature of the universe.
On acceptance of his honorary doctorate Prof Myers highlighted the importance of CERN and his dismay at Ireland’s continued non-membership of the organisation.
“I am really saddened to see Irish technical companies as well as Irish students, engineers and scientists being excluded from the world's most innovative state of the art large scale engineering and science hub, CERN.
This exclusion is due to Ireland’s continued non-membership of CERN and puts our country at an enormous technological disadvantage, since we cannot profit from the technology transfer and training which comes from being a member state of CERN.
It horrifies me to realise that if I had been born south of the border rather than north, I would never have had the possibility to follow my career at CERN.”
Professor Myers is one of the most sought after accelerator scientists globally, due to his expertise in the area of advanced particle accelerators, most famously the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).
It was a key player in the discovery of Higgs boson, a landmark moment which explained why some fundamental particles have mass, when, based on the symmetries controlling their interactions, they should be massless.
It provided a key verification of the standard model of particle physics.
Myers, who was educated at Queen’s University, began his career at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) as Engineer-In-Charge.
He worked on the Large Electron Positron Collider (LEP) and was responsible for commissioning experiments in the 1990s and later oversaw the upgrade of the LEP from 1996 to 2000.
In 2008, he was appointed to the position of Director of Accelerators and Technology (CERN) and was responsible for the operation and exploitation of the CERN accelerator complex, with a particular emphasis on the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).
He directed the repair of the LHC and its operation from 2010 to 2012.
In 2014, he became Head of the newly established Office of Medical Applications at CERN.
Delivering the citation Professor Enda McGlynn, Head of the School of Physical Sciences, DCU said:
“Professor Myers’ career has been characterised by the creation and translation of knowledge, and most recently the translation of knowledge gleaned from a lifetime's work of developing accelerator and detector instrumentation for basic science at the highest level into applications in the area of medicine with a direct impact on people's lives.
This activity is well aligned with DCU’s core values in terms of the pursuit of academic excellence and the translation of knowledge into societal benefits.”