Sam M. Austin

Sam M.  Austin
  • University Distinguished Professor
  • Physics and Astronomy
  • National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory


Sam Austin is a University Distinguished Professor Emeritus in the Department of Physics and Astronomy and former director of the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory.

He earned his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Wisconsin and served in higher-education positions at the University of Wisconsin, Oxford University, Stanford University, and MSU. He has had visiting positions at Oxford University, the Niels Bohr Institute, Universität München, CEN Saclay, Lab. Rene Bernas (Orsay), Los Alamos National Laboratory, TRIUMF, and the University of Paris. At MSU, he served as research director, associate director, co-director, and director of NSCL; chair of the department of Physics and Astronomy; and acting dean of the College of Natural Science.

Austin is a fellow in the American Physical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He was chair of the APS Division of Nuclear Physics, served on many national and international science committees, and was elected to positions in numerous professional societies. His fellowships and awards include: postdoctoral fellow with the National Science Foundation, Alfred P. Sloan fellow, the Sigma Xi Senior Research Award, and Distinguished Professor with the Michigan Association of Governing Boards.

Austin was the editor of Physical Review C, associate editor of Atomic Data and Nuclear Data Tables, a member of the editorial committee for the Annual Review of Nuclear and Particle Science, and founding editor of the Virtual Journal of Nuclear Astrophysics. He is also the author of the book Up from Nothing, which chronicles nuclear research at MSU from its early days up to today.