Accelerator Physicist

The Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB) will be a new national user facility for nuclear science, funded by the Department of Energy Office of Science (DOE-SC), Michigan State University (MSU), and the State of Michigan. Under construction on the site of the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory (NSCL) on the MSU campus and to be operated by MSU, FRIB will provide intense beams of rare isotopes (that is, short-lived nuclei not normally found on Earth). FRIB and NSCL will continue to enable scientists to make discoveries about the properties of these rare isotopes in order to better understand the physics of nuclei, nuclear astrophysics, fundamental interactions, and applications for society.

Rare-isotope beams are produced and separated in-flight, presently at the NSCL Coupled Cyclotron Facility and in the future at FRIB, and subsequently thermalized and reaccelerated to energies up to 6 MeV/u, by the ReAccelerator facility ReA3, a worldwide unique, state-of-the-art accelerator for rare-isotope beams. An upgrade to higher energies (ReA6) is presently under construction. When FRIB comes online, it will supplant the Coupled Cyclotron Facility and provide the highest possible intensity rare isotope beams as input to the ReA facility. 

This position affords an exciting opportunity to become part of the world-class FRIB Project, and to get in on the ground floor of an emerging national user facility that will expand nuclear science into a whole new realm of possibility.

Position overview

The Accelerator Physicist will contribute to the commissioning, development, and operation of the FRIB accelerator facility by undertaking projects and activities to improve facility performance as measured by beam quality, intensity, power, purity, and variety. The Accelerator Physicists will play a critical role in the design, prototype, development, implementation, and maintenance of modern beam dynamics optimization and simulation codes, and high-level physics applications. These activities will be focused on enhancing the performance of FRIB and providing planned availability of beams on target. 

Assigned scope

Supports the Accelerator Physics Department within the FRIB Accelerator Systems Division.

Major position responsibilities

  • Design, prototype, develop, implement, and maintain modern high performance accelerator optimization and simulation codes including FLAME, TRACK, IMPACT and COSY Infinity,
  • Develop and/or improve high-level physics applications,
  • Contribute in development of new techniques, software, and hardware to improve performance of FRIB,
  • Contribute in development of new techniques and hardware for future FRIB upgrades,
  • Develop and/or improve physics application environment,
  • Support and participate in FRIB beam commissioning.

Position duties

  • Complete work to achieve milestones and goals,
  • Motivate employees to build a success-oriented culture,
  • Follow lab-wide policies, procedures, and standards,
  • Deliver assigned project work package requirements,
  • Manage resource and equipment allocation for projects and/or systems,
  • Execute work to meet project objectives,
  • Serve as Responsible Person for Export Control Access Control Plan (CA or CA system only),
  • Excellent communication skill to present approaches, plans, and findings both verbally and through written reports to peers, management, and external stakeholders.

Team member

  • Execute work to meet project milestones and performance objectives (cost, scope, and schedule),
  • Plan to perform their work in a safe manner,
  • Perform work with high quality.



  • A PhD in accelerator physics and a minimum of two years of experience in accelerator physics and technology; or equivalent combination of education and experience,
  • Comprehensive knowledge of accelerator beam physics, especially as applied to heavy-ion superconducting linear accelerators. Comprehensive knowledge and experience with beam dynamics and electrodynamics computer programs. Comprehensive knowledge of and experience with heavy-ion beam diagnostic equipment,
  • Considerable knowledge of modern programming languages being used in computational physics such as Python, FORTRAN and C++,
  • Experience with the development of parallel computational codes,
  • Considerable knowledge of and experience with the use of accelerator control systems and their underlying concepts,
  • Direct the requirements and responsibilities of multiple team members simultaneously and with exemplary quality while under pressure,
  • Manage and delegate multiple assignments and deliver quality analysis and work under time constrained deadlines,
  • Develop, implement, and administer division/department policies and procedures,
  • Produce quality work independently and present and report on findings,
  • Enhance, interpret, and analyze new systems and project information,
  • Deliver project and/or systems work scope within cost and schedule,
  • Manage and prioritize work of others,
  • Analyze, identify, pursue, and implement new initiatives,
  • Demonstrate experience with the design, setup, execution, and analysis of experiments with software development and deployment.


  • Good understanding of distributed control system software and hardware,
  • Excellent communication and documentation skills.

Work direction and interfaces

  • Reports to the Accelerator Physics Department Manager,
  • Interfaces with ASD Area Managers, Control Account Managers (CAMs), senior management team, and support personnel.


MSU employees receive excellent benefits including health/dental plans, a generous retirement plan, and educational assistance.

How to apply

For immediate consideration, please visit, search for posting number 557921 and follow the application process.

MSU is committed to achieving excellence through cultural diversity. The university actively encourages applications and/or nominations of women, persons of color, veterans, and person with disabilities.

About FRIB and MSU, and the East Lansing community

FRIB is currently under construction and baselined at a total project cost of $730 million. Upon start of user operation in 2022, FRIB will enable scientists to make discoveries about the properties of rare isotopes in order to better understand the physics of nuclei, nuclear astrophysics, fundamental interactions, and applications of rare isotopes to benefit society.

MSU is one of the largest university campuses in the United States with a beautiful campus of 5,000 tree-filled acres. It has 17 degree-granting colleges and is a center for academic and research activities as well as the arts and athletics.

The campus sits between Lansing (Michigan’s capital city) and East Lansing. The Lansing area has a population of 460,000 and offers lovely suburban areas, loft condos and other urban living opportunities as well as easy-to-get-to rural areas. A symphony orchestra, excellent health care, many community and professional theatres, rivers, lakes, outdoor festivals, close access to large cities and Lake Michigan make for a near-perfect living environment.

MSU is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer.

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