Bill Hiscock

William Hiscock has been a science fiction fan for most of his life and now the Montana State University physics professor is part of a sci-fi movie. Read the full MSU News Service story here... (12/16/08)

Charles Kankelborg

Congratulations to Charles Kankelborg, Assoc. Professor in Physics, on his selection for a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). More details here... (12/2/08)

Joey Key

Congratulations to Joey Key on winning a NASA award as part of the International Year of Astronomy. Joey will work through The Space Public Outreach Team (SPOT), supported by the Montana Space Grant Consortium (MSGC), with researchers in the Physics Department at Montana State University, to bring presentations about current NASA missions to schools on Montana's seven Indian reservations, with the goal of bringing current NASA discoveries to the Native American population of Montana.

Full MSU News Service story here... 
See also (12/1/08)


Congratulations to Kasey Lund for being selected to participate in the first annual U.S. Department of energy Student Energy Research Challenge (SERCh)! More details here...

MSU satellite recommended for flight with NASA. See article here.

Congratulations to all of the Explorer-1 Prime Team and to the earlier Electra and BarnacleSat teams that developed the early systems that will fly on E1P!


The High Altitude Student Platform (HASP)

balloon successfully launched from Fort Sumner, NM yesterday. One of the four large experiments onboard is the Montana Space Grant Consortium's BOREALIS cosmic dust capture experiment. The balloon is approximately 11 million cubic feet and has a 2,000 lb. payload. Congratulations to the BOREALIS HASP team, which is lead by undergraduate students Jayson Nissen and Jenny Sue Hane with guidance from BOREALIS Flight Director Berk Knighton.

More details at

The MSU HiTEC website is live!

The High Temperature Electrochemistry Center (HiTEC) is a multidisciplinary research collaboration funded by DOE, managed by NETL, and based at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Wash.

More information 

Nikolay Makarov is awarded the 2008 D.J. Lovell Scholarship

from SPIE, an international society advancing an interdisciplinary approach to the science and application of light. The D.J. Lovell is the society's largest and most prestigious award, and is awarded to students who show potential for long-range contribution to the fields of optics, photonics or related disciplines.

Congratulations Nickolay! 
More information


  • Nobel laureate in physics,Professor John L. "Jan" Hall to visit MSU Physics, September 3 - 5, 2008. Details Here (08/29/08)
  • The Department of Physics would like to welcome our new graduate students:
    • Sean Brannon, Hans Courrier, Paul Festler
    • Will Johnson, Jonathan Jorgensen
    • Wenjuan Liu, Gary Lowe, Laura Sampson
    • Roger Scott, Kathryn Williamson
  • Prof. Richard J. Smith has been appointed as the new Head of the Department of Physics effective August 1, 2008. He succeeds Prof. William Hiscock who served as Department Head beginning in 2003. Prof. Smith joined the department as a faculty member in 1980. Congratulations to Dick, and a heartfelt thank you to Bill for his years of service in leading the department in its tradition of excellence. (08/04/08)
  • Sun goes longer than normal without producing sunspots (06/09/08)
  • Professor Richard J. Smith has been named a Fellow of the American Vacuum Society. His citation states: "For significant and sustained contributions to the understanding of the electronic and geometric structures of solid surfaces using combined ion beam channeling and electron spectroscopic techniques." Congratulations to Dick on this well-deserved honor! -Bill Hiscock, Department Head (05/27/08)
  • MSU to host the International Workshop on Solar Variability, Earth's Climate, and the Space Environment, June 2008. For details, visit the official website for the workshop at (05/15/08)
  • Joseph A. Shaw, Affiliate Associate Professor of Physics and Director, Optical Technology Center, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT, USA, has been named a Fellow of SPIE, for specific achievements in optical remote sensing technology. Congratulations to Joe on this well-deserved recognition. (04/30/08)
  • Ph.D. student Nikolay Makarov has been selected to receive the 2008 D. J. Lovell Scholarship from SPIE. This is SPIE's highest scholarship, and involves very significant competition. Nikolay led the establishment of the MSU SPIE student chapter a few years ago and has served in its leadership continually since then. His recognition by SPIE is a fabulous reflection on him, his advisor Dr. Rebane, our Physics Department, OpTeC, and MSU in general. Congratulations Nikolay! -Bill Hiscock, Department Head, (04/21/08)
  • Congratulations to Randy Babbitt, who has been named as the 2008 recipient of the MSU Meritorious Technology/Science Award! Our outstanding faculty have won this award twice in the five years it has existed to date (Rufus Cone - 2006). Please join me in congratulating Randy on this well-deserved honor! -Bill Hiscock, Department Head, (04/07/08)
  • Congratulations to Professor Dana Longcope, who has been named the 2008 recipient of the College of Letters and Science Dean's Award for Meritorious Research! Dana's citation notes that "It is not just a pun or overstatement to describe your work as stellar." -Bill Hiscock, Department Head, (04/04/08)
  • The MSU Physics Department has enjoyed great success in the FY 2008 DEPSCoR competition. Montana was one of four EPSCoR states to receive three awards; in fact, all three Montana awards came to MSU Physics (counting the Spectrum Lab as being part of Physics)!

The award winners were:

    • Alan Craig, "Computing Device Applications for Nanoparticle Spectroscopy", AFOSR
    • Yves Idzerda, "Multi-ferroic Interference Structures", ARO
    • Randy Reibel (Spectrum Lab.), "Efficient Visible Laser Countermeasure Technology", ONR
      -Bill Hiscock, Department Head, (04/03/08)
    • Congratulations to Jiong! I'm extremely pleased to share the news that Professor Jiong Qiu has been selected to receive an NSF CAREER grant award, an extremely prestigious award targeted at early career faculty. Please join me in congratulating Jiong on this wonderful news.
      -Bill Hiscock, Department Head, (01/15/08)


Three graduating Physics seniors have been selected to receive MSU Alumni Association/Chamber of Commerce Awards for Excellence.
Congratulations to:


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