MSU, FRIB, Lansing: A fortunate trio

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The Lansing State journal has a very nice guest column by Geoff Koch, who was the director of communications at the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory during the bid for the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB, pronounced F-RIB, see posts tagged ‘FRIB’ to learn more). Koch is now moving to Oregon, but he was among those who worked very hard to bring FRIB to MSU.

Near the end of the column Koch writes

For me, the night sky on my drive west will bring something else to mind – that optimism, hard work, and community are just as powerful as nuclear reactions inside stars.

Michigan State really is a special place. I  grew up near two state universities, and never did a I witness the sort of relationship that MSU and the Lansing community have. Perhaps it is related to the mission of land grant universities. I’m not sure. I do know, having moved for graduate school in an East Coast city at a smaller private university, that there is something wonderful and unique in mid-Michigan, something which even in the roughest of times brings a bit of hope and excitement, something which  undoubtedly will aid in recovery from whatever difficulties a community and university might experience. I have left but would gladly return one day later. In the meantime I pray that both school and community nurture and cherish the gift they have.

I must also add that for all the thanks Koch offers, he and his colleagues must be thanked as well. In another life, I would have been among them, and despite taking a different path for now I learned much about communicating science from Koch during our occasional interactions.  Best wishes to him and his family in his new endeavor.


FRIB One Year Later

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One year ago yesterday the Department of Energy announced their selection of Michigan State University as the site for the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB, pronounced F-Rib). At the time, I was an astrophysics student at Michigan State University.  Obviously, the announcement was welcome news to the Physics Department and the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory, the facility  which FRIB will replace (using as much of the existing facility as possible), however thanks to student led events like FRIB Frenzy Day, students around campus, some of who never sat in a college physics course, received the news with excitement. I like to think that my interview on the FRIB Frenzy Day Facebook video contributed to the selection…but ultimately it was a combination of impressive support from the university and the State of Michigan, the presence of a leading nuclear physics facility, a good plan for building the facility, and the educational advantages of having FRIB on a university campus that lead to the decision.

One year later, what is going on with FRIB?

A story from MSU summarizes it.

And of course, you can always check the FRIB site for more news.

How did I miss this?

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What was I doing on Halloween morning?  Somehow I missed a broadcast of  What’d Ya Know? from MSU! AND why didn’t this happen while I was still there?!

What’d Ya Know? along with Car Talk are Saturday morning NPR/PRI radio shows that remind me of sunny weekends at home, traveling to the barber with my dad, or going around town running chores with the family.

Go listen yourself:

You want to listen to the Oct 31 show.

I especially recommend part 3, starting at 10 minutes, in which Dr. Brad Sherrill is interviewed about FRIB.