Dr. Martin Smith
Manager of Research and Development
Bubble Technology Industries
Dr. Martin Smith is the Manager of Research and Development at Bubble Technology Industries (BTI) in Chalk River, ON. BTI is globally recognized for its expertise in the fields of radiation and explosives detection. With a multi-disciplinary staff of over 50 people, the company provides products, services, and contract R&D for over 400 customers in 25 countries, with key clients including the US Department of Homeland Security, US Department of Energy, the Canadian Department of National Defence, the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and its international partners, multiple law enforcement agencies, and a wide range of other Canadian and NATO-country agencies. The company’s innovative technologies have flown on over two dozen space missions and have been used to secure high-profile events, including US Presidential inaugurations, visits by the Pope, global political summits, multiple Super Bowls, the World Series, and the Olympics.
Dr. Smith received his PhD in nuclear physics from the University of Liverpool (UK) and subsequently held research positions at the University of Paisley (UK), Rutgers University (USA), and TRIUMF, Canada’s national laboratory for particle and nuclear physics. He joined BTI in 2005. In his current role, he provides direction for a wide range of interdisciplinary research programs that include physics, chemistry, electronics, mechanical design, software, prototyping, and assembly. He has over twenty years of experience in experimental nuclear physics and applications of radiation detection and has published over 100 research papers.
Dr. Smith leads BTI’s research efforts in dosimetry for space applications, including instrument design, experimental testing, and support for space missions in collaboration with NASA and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). He led BTI’s effort to develop a temperature-compensated bubble-detector spectrometer for use on the International Space Station (ISS), which included extensive characterization using neutron beams produced by a Van de Graaff accelerator. He is the Principal Investigator for the international Radi-N2 experiment on the ISS, which was active from 2012 to 2020. The goal of the experiment is to characterize the health risk to astronauts due to radiation exposure, in support of long-duration human spaceflight, including future missions to the Moon and Mars.
Dr. Smith is the Chair of the Canadian subcommittee (SC) for the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) SC 45B (radiation protection instrumentation). In this role, he represents the Government of Canada at international IEC meetings. In 2021, he received the IEC 1906 award in recognition of his effective leadership in the development of the IEC 63121 standard. He is Vice Chair of the Canadian subcommittee for the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) technical committee 85, SC 2 (radiological protection) and is a member of working groups for American National Standards Institute (ANSI) N42 standards on radiation detection for homeland security applications, including the ANSI N42.32, N42.34, N42.35, N42.38, N42.42, N42.43, and N42.53 standards. He has also served as a consultant for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in the areas of border security and cyber security.
Space Technology Hall of Fame: Bubble Detector Technology
Originally aired: June 8, 2022