April 23, 2008 05:30 ET

Honda Canada Student Exchange Established Between Japan's Kamioka Observatory and Canada's SNOLAB

SUDBURY, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 23, 2008) - Officials at SNOLAB announced the establishment of a student-exchange program between SNOLAB near Sudbury, Ontario, and the Kamioka Observatory in Mozumi, Hida Prefecture, Japan. This exchange is fully supported by Honda Canada Inc. The students will be known as 'Honda Fellows'.

SNOLAB and the Kamioka Observatory are leading international underground science laboratories. They have staged experiments of the highest quality in neutrino science and related fields that require the ultra-low radioactivity environment of these facilities. Experiments at these laboratories have made substantial breakthroughs in the understanding of the basic laws of physics as well as the physics of the sun. Future measurements will explore the composition and evolution of the universe and provide further information of the properties of fundamental particles such as neutrinos.

This set of common interests was recognized by Honda Canada Inc. It has established the Honda Fellow program to encourage graduate students and young researchers in the two labs to learn from each other. Therefore, each year until 2009, a different student from an institution working at the Kamioka Observatory in Japan will spend three to six months working at SNOLAB, and a student whose principal research work is at SNOLAB will spend a similar amount of time at the Kamioka Observatory.

Todd Fowler, manager of Corporate Affairs for Honda Canada Inc., says, "Honda Canada is very pleased to sponsor this exchange program that will provide educational opportunities for excellent young researchers and will enhance scientific cooperation between Canada and Japan in this frontier area of research."

The first student from Japan. Kota Ueshima - a research student of Professor Nakahata at the University of Tokyo - is now working at SNOLAB. The first Canadian student in the exchange, Olivier Simard - a student of Professor Alain Bellerive at Carleton University - will travel to Kamioka this summer. Mr. Ueshima says, "It is very good to have this opportunity to see how the research is carried out at SNOLAB. I have been working on an experiment to detect the dark matter particles thought to make up over 20 per cent of the universe. This will be very valuable for my work when I return to Japan". Mr. Simard says, "I am looking forward to my visit to Kamioka. The researchers there have been leaders in this field of underground science and I expect it to be very educational for me."

SNOLAB is an international facility operated by a group of Canadian universities including Carleton University, Queen's University, Laurentian University, the University of Guelph, the University of British Columbia and the University of Montreal. More information about SNOLAB is available at The English-language webpage of the Kamioka Observatory is

Honda is the world's preeminent maker of engines for automobiles, motorcycles, power equipment and marine products. With 134 manufacturing facilities in 28 countries worldwide, Honda now attracts 23 million customers annually. Honda Canada manufactures the Honda Ridgeline and Civic sedan and coupe, and the Acura CSX and MDX at its two plants in Alliston, Ontario.

Laboratory Site
SNOLAB Project Operations Control Building
Creighton #9 Mine
P.O. Box 159
Lively, ON P3Y 1M3
Tel: (705) 692-7000
Fax: (705) 692-7001

Member Institutions

University of British Columbia, Carleton University, University of Guelph, Laurentian University, University of Montreal, Queen's University

Contact Information

  • SNOLAB - Creighton Mine
    Dr. Chris Jillings, SNOLAB Research Scientist
    Adjunct Professor, Laurentian University
    (705) 692-7000 x2266
    Queen's University at Kingston - Department of Physics
    Professor Art McDonald
    SNO Institute Director
    (613) 533-2702
    Honda Canada
    Todd Fowler
    Manager of Corporate Affairs
    (416) 268-9302
    Carleton University
    Lin Moody
    Media Relations
    (613) 520-2600 ext. 8705
    Queen's University
    Nancy Dorrance, Senior Communications Officer
    Communications and Public Affairs
    (613) 533-2869
    Laurentian University
    Guylaine Tousignant
    Media relations officer
    (705) 675-1151, ext. 3406
    Laurentian University
    Professor Doug Hallman
    Physics Department
    (705) 675-1151, ext. 2202