Discovering a passion for research through co-op

Jordan smilingJordan Ducatel, a 3B Honours Physics and Astronomy student, shares how he found his passion for research in Physics through co-ops. 

Jordan's first co-op:

Jordan spent his first three co-op terms with the National Research Council of Canada in their security and disruptive technology department in the quantum group. During his first work term, Jordan was in charge of the day-to-day maintenance of their cryogenics, and he also ran experiments on them with his supervisor. 

Jordan’s second co-op:

During his time at the National Research Council of Canada, Jordan also got to be involved in projects and develop his own set of experiments. “I started taking data during my first co-op term and I went back there after doing a school term," says Jordan. "During my second co-op term, I kind of kept doing more advanced experiments. I kept on working on that side project and what was good about that is I got to see kind of every aspect of researching with that project.” 

“I had the opportunity in every aspect from performing the experiment, maintaining the lab, the analysis, and finally the write-up. Another cool aspect was I got to present the results to multiple conferences over the year. I also had the opportunity to talk to experts in the field who would help guide me!”

Jordan’s third co-op:

During his third co-op term, Jordan was developing more experiments, but it was cut short and switched online due to the pandemic.

At this point, Jordan was quite familiar with the team, so the transition was a lot easier.

Jordan was not able to be in-person to help maintain the lab, but he was able to present quite a lot more to the team.

Jordan giving a tour at National Research of Canada's lab.Jordan giving a tour at the National Research of Canada lab.

Jordan working at the National Research of CanadaJordan refilling Liquid Nitrogen at National Research of Canada.

Jordan’s fourth co-op:

Jordan then switched gears and worked for SNOLAB with their SuperCDMS collaboration and, more specifically, the Cryogenic Underground Testing Facility team. This was a big shift for Jordan as it was a huge collaboration with people internationally and hundreds of people were involved. During his time here, Jordan helped improve their shielding simulation and the geometry of the detectors inside the simulations. 

How do you think your co-op terms have helped you reach your career goals?

“It helped me kind of confirm that I want to do research in physics. I don't have the difficulty because now I know what I want to do. I'm also thinking of grad schools and kind of follow the academic path of research. I was also exposed to different fields of physics, like quantum regression and particle physics. I learned if I like to be in smaller teams or in larger collaborations."

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