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June 1, 2014 June 2014: FRIB starts technical construction

The DOE Office of Science Office of Project Assessment concluded its June 24-26 review of the FRIB project and will recommend to the DOE Office of Science Acquisition Executive that FRIB is ready for technical construction (CD-3b). The review committee was organized into eight subcommittees and FRIB staff gave 45 presentations. MSU President Simon and Executive Vice President Udpa represented MSU at the review.

January 5, 2014 2014: We Welcome New Faculty in 2014

The Department of Physics and Astronomy has welcomed six new faculty members in 2014.

January 4, 2014 2014: Noted Climatologist Kevin Trenberth to Give Colloquium Talk and Public Lecture September 18th

The MSU Department of Physics and Astronomy will be visited by internationally noted climatologist Dr. Kevin Trenberth, Distinguished Senior Scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), on Thursday, September 18th, 2014.

At 4:10 pm, Dr. Trenberth will give the weekly departmental colloquium talk on the topic "Earth's Energy Balance Revisited". See this for more details.

January 3, 2014 2014: Lisa Lapidus Lab Results Lead to Potential Parkinson's Treatment

Physics & Astronomy Professor Lisa Lapidus's research deals with the physical properties of proteins and how they behave under various conditions. This research has recently yielded promising results about a protein common in brain tissue which lead to the possibility that the protein's aggregation in cases of Parkinson's Disease and other brain disorders may be influenced by other molecules in such a way as to prevent this aggregation and thus short-circuit the development of the disorder.

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.