The WISE Sudbury community is made up of inspiring women connecting to build relationships, advance their careers, and encourage the next generation to pursue their aspirations. The WISE Member Spotlight is a monthly initiative to highlight the contributions of women in STEM in our community.
Meet Dr. Erica Caden
My name is Dr. Erica Caden! I am a particle physicist studying neutrinos, originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. After I finished my PhD at Drexel University I moved to Sudbury, Ontario. I am a Research Scientist at SNOLAB, the particle physics and dark matter laboratory operating at the 6800 level in Creighton Mine. I am the detector manager of SNO+, a multipurpose neutrino experiment at SNOLAB.
Which of your career accomplishments are you proudest of?
I am very proud of the research I have done, and that I have been able to present those findings at conferences all over the world. I won my university’s Excellence in Research award for my dissertation. But I am most proud of the outreach work that I have been able to do, talking with young scientists. I think being able to communicate the work a scientist does to young people, and to the general public, and an undervalued skill.
What are your short-term and long-term goals?
My short term goal is to get SNO+ up and running! I think we ill do great science with this experiment for many years. In the longer view I’d like to get more involved in the outreach opportunities at SNOLAB.
Who had/has the greatest influence on your life choices?
My parents were always supportive of me going off and doing things they didn’t understand. Professors always encouraged me to do my best and try new techniques and avenues in research. And my husband is behind me in everything I do.
What advice would you give to a young woman considering a career in science or engineering?
Learn a programing language early on! I have found Python and C++ to be the most useful in my branch of particle physics. Know how to ask a computer to automate a simple task, or how to calculate a complex function, or how to plot data in a visually pleasing way. General fluency in any programing language early on in your career will make the next languages easier to learn.