Michigan State University’s Facility for Rare Isotopes
East Lansing, Mich.
Award of Merit

Owner: Michigan State University
General Contractor: Barton Malow
Lead Design Firm: SmithGroupJJR
Structural Engineer: SmithGroupJJR
MEP Engineer: SmithGroupJJR

National security, safer nuclear reactors and effects on an atomic scale sound like something out of a James Bond or “Mission: Impossible” movie, but they come together in real life in East Lansing, Mich. The Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB) is a research area on the campus of Michigan State, part of the Office of Nuclear Physics in the U.S. Dept. of Energy Office of Science (DOE-SC).

The facility provides research of rare isotopes that may be used to develop new medical capabilities and treat disease. In addition, the research on nuclei aids national security and leads to improvements in the design of nuclear reactors.

Spanning seven years, construction was supervised by a core team of SmithGroupJJR, Barton Malow and MSU officials. Primary components of the linear accelerator, fragment separator and cryoplant were designed at the same time that construction was underway. Many of these crucial components were even invented during the design and construction phase.