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Dr. Frank named top scientist of the year

Dr. Nathan Frank has been teaching physics at Augustana since 2009. His efforts to help students reach beyond the classroom led to his recognition as the 2019 Senior Scientist of the Year, an award presented by the Quad City Engineering & Science Council (QCESC). 

“His actions to give undergraduate and minority students the opportunity to perform cutting-edge research and to present and publish their research findings were key reasons for Nathan being recognized,” said Dan D’Alessandro, QCESC president. 

Matthew Tuttle-Timm ’17 credits Dr. Frank with mentorship that took him to Michigan State University to help set up an experiment at the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory and to the Division of Nuclear Physics Conference in Sante Fe, N.M., to present his research.

Tuttle-Timm says Dr. Frank gave him an “awesome physics background.”  

Dr. Frank also impressed the QCESC Awards Selection Committee with his numerous scientific papers, and his role as a past leader of the Modular Neutron Array (MoNA) Collaboration. 

MoNA is a high-efficiency neutron detector housed at the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory on the campus of Michigan State University, where Dr. Frank worked on his doctorate. He still conducts research there, and often involves his students in projects ranging from the assembly and testing of new devices, to the building of a charged particle detector telescope, to the simulation of experiments and data analysis. 

“It’s great to be recognized by the QCESC,” said Dr. Frank, noting that his research, papers and mentorship represent a large investment of time. 

The QCESC’s mission is to promote and support engineers and other science professionals in the area, and also encourage and support students interested in STEM-related fields. 

Other Augustana recipients of the Senior Scientist of the Year award include Dr. Dave Renneke (physics) and Dr. Pam Trotter (chemistry).

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