FRIB research assistant earns Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship

26 March 2021

Charlie Hultquist, a research assistant at the FRIB Laboratory and the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory (NSCL), has earned a Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship.

Hultquist is a Michigan State University (MSU) undergraduate student and MSU Honors College junior. He is majoring in physics and advanced mathematics in the College of Natural Science. Hultquist is a research assistant at NSCL for Remco Zegers, professor of physics at FRIB and in MSU’s Department of Physics and Astronomy. He is also a recipient of MSU’s Alumni Distinguished Scholarship. He is from Aurora, Illinois, and graduated from the Illinois Math and Science Academy.

"I am incredibly excited to be selected as a Goldwater scholar and earnestly grateful for the recognition I have received for my work. I would like to thank my research mentor, Dr. Remco Zegers, and the entire MSU community that has supported me throughout my college experience. This opportunity would not have been possible without them. I look forward to continuing my research here at MSU and in graduate school," Hultquist said.

Zegers said Hultquist played an important role in preparing the Low Energy Neutron Detector Array (LENDA) for an experiment at NSCL. He also analyzed neutron interactions in the Gamma-Ray Energy Tracking In-beam Nuclear Array (GRETINA) by using data taken during another experiment. Most recently, he focused on machine-learning algorithms for analyzing data recently taken during experiments with the Active-Target Time-Projection Chamber (AT-TPC) at the S800 Spectrograph and the development of discrete-wavelet transformation techniques for the analysis of spectra.

“It has been an absolute pleasure to work with Charlie on several interesting research projects related to experiments by the Charge-Exchange Group at FRIB/NSCL,” said Zegers. “He is a very deserving recipient of the Goldwater Fellowship and I congratulate him for his accomplishments. I very much appreciate and thank him for his contributions to the laboratory and the research performed by the group.”

Each year, the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship seeks scholars committed to a career in science, mathematics, or engineering who display intellectual intensity and who have the potential for significant future contribution in their chosen field. Those students are awarded funding for undergraduate tuition and living expenses.

For the 2021 Goldwater Scholarship competition, 1,256 outstanding undergraduates were nominated by 438 institutions. Hultquist was among 410 scholars selected. MSU has produced 49 Goldwater Scholars.

The funding for these awards is a collaboration between the U.S. Congress and the Department of Defense’s National Defense Education Program.

The National/International Fellowships & Scholarships (NIFS) Office, administered by the Honors College, helps interested undergraduate and graduate students pursue major national and international opportunities by providing information and direct support throughout the competitive application processes.

Article originally posted by the MSU Honors College.

Michigan State University (MSU) establishes and operates FRIB as a user facility for the Office of Nuclear Physics in the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science. Hosting the most powerful heavy-ion accelerator, 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 for society, including in medicine, homeland security, and industry.

The National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory (NSCL) is America’s premier rare isotope facility, serving more than 1,000 researchers from around the world, enabling them to explore the inner workings of atoms and their role in the universe. NSCL provides beams of rare isotopes (that is, short-lived nuclei not normally found on Earth), including new research capabilities with stopped and reaccelerated beams. NSCL is a national user facility funded by the National Science Foundation, supporting the mission of the Nuclear Physics program in the NSF Physics Division.

The U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of today’s most pressing challenges. For more information, visit