DOE Office of Science Director impressed with FRIB

Dr. William F. Brinkman, the Director of the DOE Office of Science, visited FRIB and MSU on October 14, 2010.

During a breakfast meeting MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon, Vice President for Finance and Operations Fred Poston, the FRIB Laboratory Team and the FRIB Project Team updated Brinkman on the current status of the FRIB Project. Brinkman noted that the establishment of a DOE Office of Science (DOE-SC) national user facility at a major research university is a bit unusual and that DOE-SC has a well-established process for delivering projects on schedule and budget.

Following a meeting with Michigan Senator Carl Levin, and a tour of NSCL and the future FRIB site, Brinkman made some remarks to members of the FRIB project team and other MSU representatives including Provost Kim Wilcox and Vice President for Research Ian Gray.

“We have to be able to sell the science we’re doing, and show how really terrific it is,” Brinkman said. “I think the FRIB facility here is a great example in many, many ways. It will be the leading facility in the world in the physics of rare isotopes, and that’s a tremendous thing. There will be many interesting aspects of that subject that we will investigate here in the next 20 years.”

“It’s very important that this project move forward,” he continued. “We are committed to seeing to it that it is funded in a sensible way and that the funding comes as needed. And we intend to do it, and we really look forward to it.”

“I’m very impressed with the commitment that Michigan State University has made to this project,” Brinkman said, noting specifically the commitment of President Simon, “ I want to congratulate the university for the way this whole thing is going.”

Brinkman was accompanied by Dr. Timothy J. Hallman, DOE Associate Director of Science for Nuclear Physics, Dr. David J. Dean (Senior Advisor to Dr. Steven Koonin, DOE Under Secretary for Science), and by Dr. Steve Binkley (his senior advisor).

Following the remarks and lunch in the NSCL atrium, the group toured other DOE-SC-funded research projects on campus, including the MSU-DOE Plant Research Laboratory and the Energy and Automotive Research Laboratories.

The DOE Office of Science (DOE-SC) is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, providing more than 40 percent of total funding in this vital area. It is also the lead federal agency supporting fundamental research relating to energy. DOE-SC provides financial assistance to MSU to design and establish FRIB.

See a article about the visit.