Accelerator Traineeship Advisory Panel (ATAP)

The Accelerator Traineeship Advisory Panel (ATAP) is a national advisory committee established to help guide MSU’s Accelerator Science and Engineering Traineeship program and its outcomes. Members are Alexander Chao (SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory – retired), Michael Harrison (Brookhaven National Laboratory), and Sergei Nagaitsev (Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory). 


3 June 2021

ATAP held a meeting via remote participation on 2-3 June 2021. The focus was to review the Accelerator Science and Engineering Traineeship (ASET) program at MSU and to provide recommendations to the FRIB Laboratory director. ASET is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science (Office of High Energy Physics), and a DOE-SC representative participated in the meeting.

ATAP heard presentations from the ASET team as well as reports from the students.

ATAP’s key findings include:

  • Presentations were comprehensive and informative, and the thoughtful, clear student presentations were impressive with a commendable breadth of topics.
  • The students’ high-quality research work assures that ASET is addressing the goal of meeting the workforce need under the program.
  • Student recruiting has been successful as a result of dedicated faculty efforts.
  • The program is functioning well and the panel is pleased that the first four students graduated successfully.
  • The panel likes ASET’s new dual-degree concept (in physics and astronomy and in electrical engineering) and the program certificates. The program’s four research areas are being carried out very well under the present scope.
  • ASET’s next goal is to maintain the high quality student research and to secure connections of student programs to national laboratories or industry.

The ASET team has carefully monitored ATAP’s comments made at previous meetings and has put in efforts to address them. ATAP appreciates this and commends the ASET teams’ excellent effort.

The ASET leadership team reported that four students are graduating this year, and four new students were admitted for the 2021-22 academic year. ASET is in a steady-stream mode, admitting and graduating approximately the same number of students per year. There are 22 registered ASET students, with three more pending their decision. The new recruits include two from MSU’s Department of Physics and Astronomy, one from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and one on cryogenics. This is a reasonable balance among the main research areas, consistent with the program goal and resources available at ASET.

ATAP provided detailed answers to all charge questions and made suggestions to advance the ASET program.

The next ATAP meeting is in May 2022.

Previous meetings