Private Sector Symposium

Private Sector Physicists Symposium:

This symposium is organized by the CAP’s Director of Professional Affairs, Daniel Cluff, and Director of Private Sector Relations, Ian D’Souza, in collaboration with the Division of Applied Physics and Instrumentation (DAPI).


  • Dr. Daniel Cluff, CAP Director of Professional Affairs
  • Dr. Ian D’Souza, CAP Director, Private Sector Physics
  • Mr. Steffon Luoma, Chair, CAP Division of Applied Physics and Instrumentation

What the Symposium will look like: 

  • Presentations by invited speakers from the private sector will provide an insight into the careers of physicists working outside academia.
  • A panel discussion, comprised of private sector physicists and panelists with a specialization in career pathways, follows the lectures.
  • The session is concluded with a vibrant question, answer and discussion session that has been found to be both informative and enlightening in past symposia.

Young physicists, or those interested in a possible career change, are encouraged to attend this interactive symposium.  Click here for the current symposium schedule.


Plenary Speaker Feature:

Laura-Isabelle Dion-Bertrand

Title: “Career Opportunities in Physics – What to do Next?’”

View speaker bio here.


This talk will go over the different skills that physicists will acquire during their undergraduate
and graduate studies. An overview of the different career paths will be given as well as tips to
network. Finally, we will discuss salaries and how to prepare for interviews.

“Opportunités de carrière en physique – Quel chemin prendre?” Cette conférence passera en
revue les différentes compétences que les physiciens acquerront au cours de leurs baccalauréat,
maîtrise et doctorat. Un aperçu de différentes carrières possible sera donné ainsi que des
astuces pour réseauter. Enfin, nous discuterons de la préparation de l’entrevue et des salaires.


Dr. Danya Hudson | Honeywell Aerospace

Title:Optical Communication for Space Based Applications”

View speaker bio here.


The narrow beam divergence of an optical communication link results in low probability of interference, improved privacy, and licence-free operation. It also allows significantly higher data rates than traditional RF communication, with lower power consumption. These advantages are of interest for satellite mission applications such as deep-space communication and earth observation satellites which generate large data volumes, and are critical to LEO mega-constellation communication networks which require hundreds of intersatellite links to support terrestrial communication for the general public on Earth. To support the mega-constellation business concepts, the satellite terminals must achieve demanding performance objectives despite aggressive targets for cost and production rates.
Honeywell has leveraged decades of experience in reliable space optics and mass production of space hardware to develop a low-cost optical communication terminal designed for manufacturability. Multiple iterations of our baseline terminal design have been built and tested, and we are now expanding into customized terminals for specific use cases. This presentation will describe the Honeywell baseline terminal and discuss some of the options needed for specific mission applications. It will also look at the development process and some of the key challenges for creating high performance optical instruments for use in space.


Rene Stock

Title: “From Physics to Finance and Risk Management in Times of a Pandemic”

View speaker bio here.


For the last 20-30 years, quantitative finance has been a prime destination for physicists moving away from academic careers and to modeling of an increasingly complex financial system. During the 2008 financial crisis the role of physicists and mathematicians promised to be redefined in risk management: What could physicists do to prevent the next financial crisis? Did they cause the last one?

I will discuss some of the questions of interest to physicists entering a new career in finance and risk management at this time: What are some of the interesting questions coming up in finance in the next few years? How do I get started? What background do I need? Should I do data science? Will an MBA help? Will I have impact?


Dr. Thomas Jennewein

Title: “Transitioning Quantum Technologies to a Business”


For many years of working in quantum optics research I have always had an interest in the applications of quantum technologies, and in particular in their transition to the commercial domain.  I will discuss my two endeavours into two business that I co-founded, Universal Quantum Devices and QEYNEt. I will try to illustrate how keeping an open mind in the research laboratory can help identify business opportunities.


Dr. Daniel Cluff and Mr. Sujit Sengupta

Title: “Energy Management and Mine Cooling via Cryogenics”

View speaker bio here.


Mining is at the fundamental base of the technologies needed to manage Climate Change; Canada has recently recognised the importance of implementing a critical metals strategy to secure the future. As we search for more metals we are going deeper, at depths of 2000 m or more the current chilling systems are no longer efficient or even capable of providing the needed chilling. Cryogenic liquids are an energy storage vector that can convert the heat of the mine to electricity and has the unique feature of being a pumped liquid; therefore, chilling can be delivered to the zone where it is needed without having to chill the entire mine air supply. We will present results from our latest test in a real mine setting, which elevates the TRL level from 5 to 7, and outline plans for a large scale test in the next phase of development on the pathway to commercialisation. The presentation will outline the physical mechanisms of cryogenic chilling and energy storage, provide results of measurements during the real time test and include a short video of duration 4:20.


Dr. Daniel Cluff

Title: Professional Development / P Phys

View speaker bio here.


A short presentation of the proposed changes to the professional physicist designation. Physicists are abundantly qualified for many jobs that are secured by an act of parliament that prevents them from attaining these high paying jobs. Particularly physicists are working as engineers in increasing numbers. An outline of how these proposed changes will provide an increased level of credibility to the P.Phys. and a plan to provide a pathway to the P. Phys, for students starting after the completion of the second year of an approved program. This presentation/discussion is of particular interest to students and early career physicists or established physicists considering acquiring a P.Phys. or a career change.


Session Schedule:

10:45 – 11:15
Laura-Isabelle Dion-Bertrand – “Career Opportunities in Physics – What to do Next?”

11:15 – 11:45
Dayna Hudson – “Optical Communication for Space Based Applications

11:45 – 12:15
Rene Stock – “From Physics to Finance and Risk Management in Times of a Pandemic”

12:15 – 13:15
Lunch break

13:15 – 13:45
Dr Daniel Cluff and Mr. Sujit Sengupta – “Energy Management and Mine Cooling via Cryogenics”

13:45 – 14:45
Dr. Ian D’Souza Moderator – “Panel Session

14:45 – 15:15

15:15 – 15:45
Dr. Thomas Jennewein – “Transitioning Quantum Technologies to a Business

15:45 – 16:15
Dr. Daniel Cluff, Director of Professional Affairs – “Professional Development / P Phys

(sous-titrage/questions en français disponibles)