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Oct. 12, 2017

MSU students selected for Department of Energy graduate student research program

Two Michigan State University graduate students, Crispin Contreras-Martinez and Roy Ready, have been selected by the U.S. Department of Energy for its 2017 Office of Science Graduate Student Research Program.

The DOE SCGSR Program was established to advance a graduate student’s doctoral thesis while providing access to the expertise, resources and capabilities available at DOE laboratories. The award will support 52 graduate students for up to one year of research under the supervision of a DOE laboratory scientist.

“I’m honored to receive this award and excited to start working at Fermilab,” said Contreras-Martinez, a physics and astronomy student currently working at MSU’s National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory. “This award is of high importance to me since I will be able to advance my research and get hands-on experience with the equipment currently being built at MSU. It will also give me an opportunity to explore post-doctoral research opportunities.”

For the next six months, Contreras-Martinez will study the electromagnetic and mechanical properties of superconducting radiofrequency cavities used to accelerate protons, electrons and ions at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. These cavities can be “de-tuned” by external noise, but Contreras-Martinez is working to improve the life span of dynamic tuners that can keep the resonant frequency intact.

Ready, a physics and astronomy student working in MSU’s Spinlab, works with other scientists to improve the sensitivity of the measurement of the permanent electric dipole moment of the isotope Radium-225. He will spend his next sixth months at the Argonne National Laboratory where Ready and his collaborators hope to move closer to observing a non-zero permanent EDM for the first time.

“Receiving the SCGSR award is a milestone for me. I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity it provides,” Ready said. “From a professional standpoint, I’m thrilled to be working with and learning from world experts in atomic and nuclear physics. With the SCGSR award, I’ll work on-site at Argonne with a research group known as the Cold Atom Trappers using upgrade components I've developed for the past two years at MSU.” 

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