Science Program Advisory Committee

SPAC provides guidance on all aspects of scientific activities relevant to SURF.


The Science Program Advisory Committee serves three main purposes:

  • Science Program: Provide guidance on the overall SURF scientific program, which consists of current, planned and proposed experiments (including commercial partnerships), as well as the direction and breadth of the program.
  • Science Support: Advise on the SURF experiment implementation program as well as on organizational capacity to support experiments.
  • Science Facilities: Advise on the capability and capacity of the SURF facility necessaryto support the SURF scientific program.

Roles and Responsibilities

The SPAC may be requested to provide input on topical issues, such as competing proposals for limited space at SURF using SDSTA-developed criteria. 

  •  Scientific merit and/or application impact
  •  Need for unique environment and characteristics offered at SURF
  • Compatibility with the SURF science program (synergies and expanding breadth)
  • Technical, organizational and funding readiness 
  • Environmental, safety and operational risks associated with the project as well as to the SURF facility and other SURF experiments
  • The SPAC may interact with the SURF User Association
  • The SPAC may be requested to inform separate SURF committees such as the SURF Strategic Advisory Committee and the Institute for Underground Science at SURF

Committee Membership

SPAC  members are senior leadership-level individuals who represent the breadth of Sanford Laboratory research disciplines and interests with strategic and synergistic influences within (and potentially across) their respective communities:

  • High energy physics (e.g., dark matter, neutrinos)
  • Nuclear physics (e.g., double-beta decay, nuclear astrophysics)
  • Other Physics (HEP/NP theory, geoneutrinos, quantum computing, etc.)
  • Biology (e.g., extremophiles)
  • Geology (e.g., geothermal, monitoring)
  • Engineering (e.g., industry and technology development, rock mechanics, mining safety)
  • South Dakota (e.g., Governor’s Office of Economic Development; Research, Excellence: A Critical Hallmark (REACH)/Research and Commercialization Council (RCC))

Committee Members