FRIB earns honor as top educational ‘deal’

Michigan State University’s successful bid for the U.S. Department of Energy’s $550 million Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB) earned recognition at a recent business honors program.

MSU National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory and FRIB Director Konrad Gelbke accepted the Deals of the Year award in the education category Oct. 23 from Business Review Western Michigan. The honor recognizes the magnitude of the FRIB program and its consequences for western Michigan and beyond.

Business Review’s third annual Deals of the Year program drew more than 200 regional business and community leaders to the JW Marriott hotel downtown for the annual gala to recognize the region’s 27 finalists in eight categories and overall awardees.

Michigan State announced the signing of a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Energy June 6. The agreement, an important milestone towards establishing the FRIB project, provides the instrument for DOE Office of Science to provide financial assistance to MSU to design and establish the new facility.

FRIB will be a DOE National User Facility within the department’s Office of Nuclear Physics portfolio and located on the MSU campus. FRIB will be a new research tool for probing into the heart of atoms.

The centerpiece of the new user facility will be a superconducting linear accelerator that will dramatically increase the reach of rare isotope research in the United States. The accelerator will produce isotopes that normally exist only in the most extreme environments in the universe and will greatly expand the usefulness of isotopes in a broad range of applications from modeling stars to understanding the workings of nanoscale electronic devices.