Recognizing an ‘Unstoppable Force’ in Research and Outreach
On Oct. 13, Michigan State University’s Artemis Spyrou was selected as a Fellow of the American Physical Society, a distinction recognizing researchers for significant and innovative contributions to physics.
Each year, less than one-half of a percent of the APS membership earns fellowship status. Fellows are elected by the APS Council based on nominations from a candidate’s peers. In the materials nominating Spyrou, her colleagues described her as an “unstoppable force” in nuclear physics research and outreach.
“It’s a huge honor to be recognized by my colleagues and seniors,” said Spyrou, a professor of physics at the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams, or FRIB, and in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at MSU. “Honestly, it’s awesome.”
Spyrou came to MSU as a postdoctoral researcher in 2007 when MSU was in the mix of institutions competing to host FRIB. After the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science, or DOE-SC, awarded the FRIB Project to Michigan State in 2008, she became one of the first new hires enabled by the facility, joining the FRIB and College of Natural Science faculty in 2009.
“I started my career here as a junior scientist and I’ve felt nothing but support the whole way,” Spyrou said. “This recognition would not be possible without support from the lab.”
Spyrou, who is originally from Cyprus, earned both her bachelor’s degree and doctorate studying physics in Greece. Something about how physics attempts to explain the universe resonated with how her brain works, she said. Toward the end of her undergraduate experience, she learned about the field of nuclear astrophysics.
“I immediately knew that was my thing,” she said. “I love the day-to-day work of nuclear physics and I love the motivation from the astrophysics side, where you make connections to learn something new about the universe.”
At MSU, Spyrou is now studying how stars work and how they use nuclear reactions to forge the atoms that make up everything around us. She’s an experimentalist who works with theorists to develop models, which are essentially data-backed, mathematically sound explanations for how these reactions work.
Read full story at MSU Today.