Thomas Glasmacher

FRIB Laboratory Director

Thomas Glasmacher leads the world-unique Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB) Laboratory, a U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science (DOE-SC) scientific user facility owned and operated by Michigan State University (MSU). FRIB supports the mission of the DOE-SC Office of Nuclear Physics and a community of 1,800 scientists worldwide. Hosting what is designed to be the most powerful heavy-ion accelerator, FRIB enables scientists to make discoveries with rare isotopes about how the universe formed, while advancing innovation in medicine, nuclear security, environmental science and more. In the heart of a research university, FRIB also trains the next generation scientific workforce as part of MSU’s nuclear physics graduate program, which is nationally top-ranked according to the U.S. News & World Report. Within MSU, FRIB is equivalent to a college.

As laboratory director since 2015, Thomas oversees FRIB’s research and education missions, the advancement of core capabilities, and technical innovations that advance discovery and the state of the art. Thomas sets the laboratory’s vision and priorities; directs supporting policies and programs; secures optimal operations and project funding; and ensures that the FRIB Laboratory satisfies contractual commitments and operates in a safe, cost-efficient, and environmentally responsible manner.

Thomas earned MS (1990) and PhD (1992) degrees in physics from Florida State University. He joined the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory (NSCL) at MSU in 1992 as an NSCL Fellow, in 1995 he joined the MSU faculty in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, and is an MSU University Distinguished Professor since 2009. His research resulted in more than 200 publications and was recognized in 2006 with the Sackler Prize in the Physical Sciences. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and is a Stanford Certified Project Manager.

In 2008, Thomas led the team that prepared the winning FRIB proposal and served as FRIB Project Director for the 13-year project that was completed on budget and ahead of schedule in January 2022. Thomas serves on advisory and review committees for one-of-a-kind science projects and facilities around the world.