Cryogenic engineering is the design of thermal process instruments and systems that operate at cryogenic temperature (that is at or below the temperature necessary to liquefy natural gas). It requires the:

  • Engineering design of complex and interdependent mechanical-thermal systems;
  • Integrated application of mechanical design, thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, and heat transfer

In general, cryogenics is used if there is a need for:

  • a key component which is superconductive (e.g., magnets, radio frequency ‘cavities’, electrical conductors, certain instruments);
  • a process that requires distillation and/or fluid transport and distribution at temperatures below approximately -150 degrees Celsius;
  • simulation of a space environment;
  • a high specific impulse propellant;
  • a method of (extreme) cooling of instruments (to remove heat); and
  • a method of (extreme) preservation.


The demand for cryogenic engineering support has continued to increase in the last decade. Having FRIB at MSU offers a unique opportunity to educate and train the next generation of cryogenic system innovators to prepare them for job opportunities in cryogenics engineering and related fields.


The university environment coupled with FRIB provides a unique synergy among the students, faculty, and staff. The advanced and unique cryogenic systems developed for FRIB places them at the forefront for large 2-kelvin (K) systems applied to particle accelerators.

Having a large physically situated accelerator on a university campus, like FRIB on the MSU campus, is an ideal venue for educating the next generation of scientists and engineers working with advanced particle accelerators. It offers a unique and critically needed opportunity for hands-on training in research, engineering, design, and operations of cryogenic systems on a scale hard to create at other locations. In addition, this initiative is a repository and a focal point to collect and communicate best practices in the design, project execution, and operation of helium cryogenic systems.