Timothy C. Beers' scientific vision and pursuit of excellence in research, education and outreach has made him the worldwide leader in the search for the oldest and most chemically primitive stars in the galaxy and the universe. His efforts have led to the identification of more than 2,000 stars with metal abundances less than one percent of the solar value. These stars are providing astronomers and physicists with their best records of the chemical composition of the universe from the time of their formation some 13.5 billion years ago and of the origin and evolution of the chemical elements.
Beers is a co-discoverer of the two most primitive "still shining" stars known and was named 2003 Michigan Scientist of the Year by Impression 5 Science Center. He is also a co-investigator in the $10 million Joint Institute for Nuclear Astrophysics Physics Frontier Center and spearheads its involvement in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey.
Beers has proven to be a highly effective instructor at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. His contributions to the Integrative Studies Programs include the development of a planetarium-based laboratory that provides non-science majors with detailed knowledge of the appearance and motion of objects in the night sky. He is a popular and effective public speaker and has used his talent to communicate the excitement of scientific discovery to audiences from the K-12 system, local business groups and MSU alumni. He is a long-time contributor to the Michigan Science Olympiad and the Math, Science and Technology summer program for young and gifted middle school children.
For his outstanding scientific vision and pursuit of excellence in research, education and outreach, the College of Natural Science is pleased to recognize Timothy C. Beers with a Distinguished Faculty Award.
Simon J.L. Billinge is one of the leading experimental physicists in the world. He combines sophisticated X-ray and neutron diffraction techniques to study local structure property relationships in a large class of complex solid-state systems. He has made seminal contributions in the area of high temperature superconductors and colossal magneto resistance - two of the most important areas of interest in condensed matter physics during the last 15 years.
In the past several years, Simon has been a world leader in identifying the "nanostructure problem" and has applied total scattering methods combined with computer simulations to solve this fundamental problem. His work influences the entire field of nano- and bio-technology.
As a young scientist, Simon was awarded the Sloan Research Fellowship by Alfred P. Sloan Foundation for his outstanding research contributions and future promise as a researcher. He has exceeded this promise and made significant contributions to the development of interdisciplinary research at MSU.
Simon is an outstanding teacher in undergraduate classes. His enthusiasm, easy-going demeanor, and love for teaching are visible to every student. He was awarded the Thomas H. Osgood Undergraduate Teaching Award for his excellence in teaching. He has also mentored several research associates and graduate students.
Simon's outreach activities and service portfolio is extremely impressive. He has served on a number of national and international committees, and organized several workshops and conferences. He has been extremely active in introducing the concept of nanotechnology in the K-12 community.
For his outstanding research, teaching and outreach activities, the College of Natural Science presents Simon J.L. Billinge with the Distinguished Faculty Award.