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January 2, 2014 2014: FRIB Groundbreaking Ceremony

On a clear but cold 17th of March 2014, the groundbreaking ceremony for the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB) was held near the FRIB construction worksite on the MSU campus.

January 1, 2014 2014: FRIB construction approved, funded, and scheduled

On January 22nd, 2014, the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science (DOE-SC) gave the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB) official notice that it can now begin construction. This notice completes the process begun when President Obama signed into law the 2014 federal budget approved by the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate, which includes $55 million to support FRIB construction in the coming year.

October 2, 2013 October 2013: Windows administrator Ehren Benson leaves

Ehren Benson, the P-A Department's Windows Systems Administrator for nearly seven years, has accepted a position with MSU IT Services' Virtualization, Storage & Systems group. His last day with the department was Wednesday, 23 October 2013. A recent winner of the P-A Outstanding Staff Award, he will be missed for his diligence and dedication in providing computing services to this department and others.

October 1, 2013 October 2013: Stephen Zepf named one of top 25 STEM professors in Michigan

Professor Stephen Zepf, Associate Chair for Astronomy & Astrophysics, was named one of the top 25 Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) professors in Michigan by the "Online Schools in Michigan" website (, one of four MSU professors to be included on their Top 25 list for this year. For further information, see also this MSU Today article.

September 1, 2013 September 2013: Ruby Ghosh lab's spin-out company receives venture funding award

Opti O2, a Michigan State University Department of Physics & Astronomy spinout company started by Ruby Ghosh, received a venture funding award at the Entrepreneur-YOU Business Competition on 24 September 2013 in Troy, MI.

June 1, 2013 June 2013: Georg Bollen and Elizabeth Simmons both named University Distinguished Professor

Physics and Astronomy Professors Elizabeth Simmons and Georg Bollen were both designated University Distinguished Professor at the June 21st meeting of the MSU Board of Trustees, as reported in this MSUToday article.

May 2, 2013 May 2013: P-A Department's new Chair

On 15 May 2013, the position of Chair of the MSU Department of Physics and Astronomy passed from Wolfgang Bauer, who has held the position since 2001, to Phillip Duxbury.

Dr. Bauer will continue as a professor in the P-A Department, but has also accepted a position in the office of MSU's executive vice president for administrative services.

May 1, 2013 May 2013: Megan Donahue writes about her research in MSU Today "Faculty Voice" feature article

Astronomy & Astrophysics Professor Megan Donahue's article for the "Faculty Voice" feature of the MSU Today online newsletter appeared in May 2013. It describes her experiences as a member of a team of researchers exploring some of the largest galaxy clusters in the universe using a very extensive set of observations from the Hubble Space Telescope.

March 1, 2013 March 2013: Elizabeth Simmons Named 2013-14 ACE Fellow

The Dean of MSU's Lyman Briggs College and Professor in the Department of Physics & Astronomy, Elizabeth Simmons, has been named a member of the American Council on Education's Fellows Program Class of 2013-2014, one of fifty leaders from U.S. educational institutions so honored this year.

February 2, 2013 February 2013: Stephen Zepf honored with MSU Distinguished Faculty Award

The Department of Physics & Astronomy's Associate Chair for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Professor Stephen Zepf, is one of ten Michigan State University faculty members who will be honored for their outstanding contributions to education and research with Distinguished Faculty Awards at the annual MSU Awards Convocation on Feb. 12th, 2013.