Fermi/LAT Program Scientist
Kathleen Turner works in the Office of High Energy Physics in the Office of Science at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). She serves as the DOE program scientist and manager for the Large Area Telescope (LAT), the primary instrument on the Fermi mission. DOE partnered with NASA and four foreign collaborators on the fabrication of the LAT.
Turner received her Ph.D. in high energy physics from Florida State University. She did her doctoral research on high energy hadron pair production at DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) in Batavia, IL. As a postdoc, she worked on the Dzero experiment at Fermilab first for University of Maryland and then for New York University. The Dzero experiment measures interactions from proton-antiproton collisions from the Fermilab Tevatron collider. Her work concentrated on measurements of hadron jet production and the mass of the W boson particle, which mediates the weak force. She also worked on the calorimeter, a detector. The Dzero experiment was a co-discoverer of the Top quark in 1995.
Following her postdoctoral work, she took a position as a staff scientist at Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, Long Island, New York. There she worked on the Solenoidal Tracker at RHIC (STAR) experiment which uses the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) accelerator. RHIC collides beams of gold ions to search for and study a form of matter not seen since the very early universe: quark-gluon plasma.
She now has a civil servant position at DOE where she manages university grants, projects and education and public outreach activities for the Office of High Energy Physics. In addition to the Fermi project, she also manages other astrophysics and cosmology projects for DOE including dark energy experiments, and ground-based gamma ray and cosmic ray telescope arrays. She has served as the DOE representative on many committees and panels for project and program reviews, federal advisory group panels and subpanels, and for other agencies in the government.