Celebrating Black in Canadian Physics – Meet Nadia Octave

Physics students (full or part-time), and anyone who holds a physics degree working in Canada, who self identify as Black, African Canadian, African Nova Scotian, or of Black/African descent are invited to talk with a panel of Canadian physics faculty and postdocs, during the CAP’s Black in Canadian Physics networking meeting which will be held on Friday, October 30, 2020 from 14h00-15h00 EDT.

Click here to register and receive the link to Zoom on Oct.30th.


Nadia Octave, PhD

Medical Physicist
CISSS de Chaudière-Appalaches


Someone said stories can move people and inspire them. That is for big stories, I would say. I would like to send seeds in the wind and who knows?

I was born and raised in Martinique, a French Caribbean island, trained in France in biomedical engineering with a specialization in radiation physics and imaging. Two long-term internships in Toronto had a major impact on my subsequent choices and did actually prove to influence all the rest of my career path until my PhD and my current job position. But that is a long story that I cannot tell in a few words, because I would have to start with the very beginnings: my thirst for knowledge of the biology of the human body and my first interest in physics with the moon and astronomy.

I am a clinical medical physicist working in radiation oncology in a new cancer centre in Lévis, Québec. I have been at the inception of the Students Committee and the Women’s Committee for the Canadian Organisation of Medical Physicists. My current challenge with my team is to build, from blueprints to full operation, a new cancer centre that values each individual: patients and healthcare professionals.

Canada is a country with a rich and diverse pool of scientists. The Canadian physics community needs to actively create and maintain a safe, encouraging space, inviting individuals of all race, gender, origin, religion, and physical status to contribute to the scientific conversation where innovative expressions are welcomed, valued and respected. That is how we can solve the complex questions at hand and be excellent. That is how we tap into the richness of the most underestimated resource of our country: our people.