Konrad Gelbke

Konrad  Gelbke
  • University Distinguished Professor
  • Physics and Astronomy
  • National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory


Konrad Gelbke is a University Distinguished Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy and was the director of the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory (NSCL) at Michigan State University for 23 years.

He earned his Ph.D. in physics at the University of Heidelberg in 1973 and spent several years as a researcher at the Max-Planck-Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, California, before joining NSCL in 1977.

Gelbke has been a recognized leader within the international nuclear science community for the past quarter century, helping to build the foundation for the groundbreaking rare isotope accelerator concept and facility, a long-term dream of the community, now being realized at MSU with the construction of the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB). Gelbke’s vision and leadership were instrumental in bringing FRIB to MSU. 

As NSCL director, he managed and directed a complex, highly visible, successful user facility, chairing program advisory committees, and maintaining excellent relations with domestic and international users groups. He worked to create at NSCL a welcoming and stimulating environment for cutting-edge research and education, cherishing and fostering technical and scientific excellence, teamwork focused on solving problems, academic integrity, and open dialogue that withstands public scrutiny. 

Gelbke has served on more than 80 committees worldwide, including writing committees of three consecutive U.S. long range plans for nuclear science. He also has served on the DOE/NSF Nuclear Science Advisory Committee (NSAC), including service as chair. He is co-initiator of the High Performance Computing Center at MSU.