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Honorary Degree Recipients

Carleton University will be awarding an honorary doctorate during Convocation in November 2023.

For a list of all honorary degrees awarded since 1954 and a video of their Convocation address, if applicable, please visit the Senate website.

David Sinclair BA, M.A., Ph.D., FRSC, OC

Portrait of David Sinclair

David Sinclair BA, M.A., Ph.D., FRSC, OC

David Sinclair will be awarded the degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa, at the 3:30 p.m. ceremony on Saturday, Nov. 4, in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the field of experimental sub-atomic physics and for his leading role as founding director of SNOLAB.

Sinclair studied physics as an undergraduate and completed a PhD in nuclear physics at Queen’s University. He did post-doctoral work at the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen before becoming a University Lecturer in the Department of Nuclear Physics at Oxford University and an Official Fellow of St. Anne’s College.

He returned to Canada to play a lead role as Deputy Director and Associate Director (Science) in the development of the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO), while working at Carleton.

Sinclair’s research has focused on studies of neutrinos, the most abundant particle with mass in the universe but the least understood.  Work at the SNO showed, for the first time, that neutrinos have a non-zero mass and that they have unusual properties that may help to explain some of the cosmological mysteries surrounding the Big Bang. These results led to the awarding of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physics. Following the completion of the SNO, Sinclair directed the construction of a larger laboratory to study neutrinos and search for the elusive dark matter.

His work has been honoured with the inaugural Gold Medal for Research Achievement at Carleton (2006), the NSERC Polanyi Award for Research (2007), the Erich Vogt TRIUMF CAP Medal for Subatomic Physics (2011), an honorary of Doctor of Science from Queen’s University (2012) and the Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics (2015). Sinclair was named a Davidson Dunton Research lecturer (2003), elected fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (2004), named chancellor’s professor at Carleton (2009) and is an officer of the Order of Canada (2018).

Watch David Sinclair’s Convocation Address