Sarah Phan-Budd

View Dr. Sarah Phan-Budd’s academic website

I am an experimental particle physicist working to understand the basic building blocks of nature. I currently study neutrino oscillation and am an active member of the NOvA collaboration. NOvA is an experiment which sends a beam of neutrinos from Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) in the western Chicago suburbs to northern Minnesota. By sending a neutrino beam for such a long distance, we can study how neutrinos change from one flavor of neutrino to another. 

I usually have students working with me each academic year, and I often have sent one or two students to a summer internship in Chicago to work with my collaborators. As part of my work as an experimental particle physicist, I also study tools to understand large datasets and data-mining techniques.

I am a Midwest transplant, raised in Corvallis, Oregon. Growing up, I was an avid Girl Scout and loved hiking and camping. I did my undergraduate work at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon. There, I majored in math and physics and played the viola in the symphony orchestra. I moved to the Midwest for graduate school, and I completed my doctoral dissertation at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 

My doctoral work involved studying the elusive top quark using the CDF Run II detector located at Fermilab. After a brief stint as a visiting assistant professor at the University of Redlands in the Los Angeles suburbs, I moved back to Illinois for a 3-year postdoctoral appointment at Argonne National lab. At Argonne, I studied neutrino oscillation and worked on the MINOS and NOvA experiments. In 2012, I was thrilled to move back to a place where I can see forests and hills daily, and I have been teaching at Winona State ever since.

I am a passionate educator, who believes in implementing research vetted teaching methods and active learning strategies in my classroom. I also enjoy participating in outreach activities such as the science fair. My hobbies include knitting, hiking, camping, and spending time with my family. 


  • PhD: Physics | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2008)
  • MS: Physics | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2004)
  • BA: Physics | Lewis and Clark College (2003)
Dr. Sarah Phan-Budd
Professor, Department Chair

Pasteur Hall 150


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