Kevin Lannon, Ph.D.

Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs

Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs
410 Nieuwland Science Hall
Notre Dame, IN 46556

The Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs oversees programs and initiatives that span multiple departments and/or colleges, and is active in recruiting new interdisciplinary faculty. The Associate Dean develops new orientation and mentoring programs to position faculty for success, and is responsible for coordinating faculty reappointments and promotions.  

If Prof. Lannon could have the answer to just one question about the universe, it would be why is the top quark so massive while all the other particles we know about have much smaller masses? In 2012 the CMS and ATLAS experiments, using data from proton collisions generated by the LHC at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland, discovered the Higgs boson, confirming that particle mass does, in fact, arise from interacting with the Higgs field.  However, there is currently no theory that explains why the Higgs field would interact so much more strongly with one particle, the top quark, than with all the others.  It might just be random, but based on examples from history, like the successes of the periodic table, Prof. Lannon is motivated to search for underlying principles to explain the pattern of observed particle masses. Prof. Lannon does this by using the CMS detector to study collisions involving both top quarks and other particles, like Higgs bosons, Z bosons, or W bosons. Using a theoretical framework known as effective field theory (EFT), Prof. Lannon’s research group searches for unexpected features in the data that would point the way towards an explanation for the top quark’s tremendous mass.