Student testimonials archive

The Accelerator Science and Engineering Traineeship (ASET) program at MSU offers PhD and master's graduate students in physics and astronomy and engineering an exciting training opportunity.

Best nuclear physics programs

The ASET program is part of MSU’s number-one-ranked nuclear physics graduate program, according to the U.S. News & World Report’s rankings of graduate schools. Additionally, each year approximately 26 percent of U.S. nuclear physics graduate students receive part of their training at MSU.

 Below are testimonials from some of the program’s past students.


 Chris Richard
Chris Richard is pursuing a PhD in accelerator physics at Michigan State University with Adjunct Professor of Physics Steven Lidia serving as his advisor. For his research topic, Chris is studying non-relativistic beam instrumentation and diagnostics. 

What are your research responsibilities?
My research focuses on accounting for non-relativistic effects in beam diagnostics. The electromagnetic fields from non-relativistic beams resemble those of charges at rest, causing the field extents on opposite sides of the beam pipe to differ. Beam diagnostics that rely on measuring the field at the pipe wall, such as button beam-position monitors (BPMs), are affected by this disparity in the fields. I am developing a helical pulse line that is capable of replicating the fields from non-relativistic beams. The pulse line will be used to calibrate for non-relativistic effects on a test stand.

Non-relativistic beams also have low rigidity, which allows their phase space to be measured using an Allison scanner. The measurements from an Allison scanner can be used to look for the formation of beam tails. It is important to minimize tails because they increase the beam size and can cause losses and damage to the accelerator. My research also involves developing a method of characterizing beam tails using action-angle coordinates. This method can then be used to study the tail formation and efficiency of scraping in the Proton Improvement Plan II Injector Test (PIP2IT) beamline at Fermilab.

How do you think participating in the ASET program at MSU will benefit your career?
Participating in the ASET program has given me the opportunity to perform research at Fermilab working with the PIP2IT beamline. This has given me hands-on experience with beam instrumentation and machine operation at PIP2IT.

The ASET program can support your stay at a national laboratory – at which laboratory are you interested in further your training and what are your research interests there?
I have spent four months at Fermilab through the ASET program. At Fermilab, I have worked with the PIP2IT beamline, which has provided a unique experience being able to work with a test beamline with non-relativistic beams. Because this beamline is still in development, I have been able to learn about many systems of an accelerator from low-level radio frequency (RF) to machine protection and the difficulties associated with developing these systems.