Student opportunities

Michigan State University’s College of Engineering is a founding college of the university and also one of the largest. With eight departments, one interdisciplinary program, 235 tenure-system faculty, $50.4 million in research expenditures, and more than 7,000 students in fiscal year 2020, the college continues to rank in the top programs in the nation with strong connections to industry and innovation.

FRIB will be a state-of-the-art machine, with unprecedented capabilities to study the fundamental structure of matter. The 4.5- and 2-Kelvin helium refrigeration systems supporting the superconducting accelerator are state-of-the-art, supporting world-class physics research. It also has several additional modern helium refrigeration systems supporting laboratory test facilities. These operating systems provide experiential learning for students, exposing them to a challenging operating environment while providing valuable workforce training. A substantial amount of infrastructure is installed for this facility, along with many superconducting support technologies, including superconducting radio frequency, superconducting magnets, control systems, and detectors.


Cryogenic engineering exposes students to fluid-dynamics and thermodynamics, as well as real fluid and wide-range material properties not encountered in industrial refrigeration. This requires a clear understanding of engineering principles, with an application of analysis ranging from back-of-the-envelope to complex simulation and modeling, and many opportunities for creative solutions. Cryogenic processes are complex thermal systems, as are the mechanical designs. Opportunities abound for students to clarify and refine their understanding of their engineering curriculum, exercise their analytical skills and creativity in design, and have a hands-on experience of hardware construction and implementation. This exposure and experience is an asset in many potential engineering careers. Cryogenic engineering itself is a niche industry with high-paying job opportunities.


Self-motivated, naturally curious, creative, practical, and analytical graduate students are attractive candidates for a fellowship. Under-graduate thermodynamics, fluid dynamics, heat transfer, materials engineering, mechanical design, and computer programming are prerequisites. Advanced coursework in any or all of these areas is highly desirable. In addition, exposure to exergy (availability) analysis, thermal systems modeling and analysis, and an introductory level understanding of accelerator systems are highly beneficial.