Two Purdue University Northwest professors are being awarded nearly $530,000 from the National Science Foundation. Neeti Parashar, professor of physics, and Jim Dolen, assistant professor of physics, will receive the multiyear grant to further their particle physics research.
The funding supports the PNW High Energy Physics program. The program analyzes “fundamental particles that make up all matter” and studies in collaboration with Fermilab in Chicago, a U.S. Department of Energy operated laboratory that specializes in particle physics. The program also partners with the European Organization for Nuclear Research’s CERN program in Switzerland.
The grant will offer the opportunity for students to train at the two international scientific facilities.
Officials say the grant is likely the biggest grant the PNW College of Engineering and Sciences has received to date.
Parashar says the funding is a major accomplishment for the institution and the region.
“Being the only undergraduate Physics program to have that kind of exposure for our minority students, first generation college students, and women is truly invaluable. To be able to interact with world-class physicists at their age sets the stage for them to pursue a career in pure science. They see a glimpse of it, but a very real one,” said Parashar, the founder and leader of the program at PNW. “This is a very unique and remarkable accomplishment for the university and the region of Northwest Indiana. It’s really exciting as it enables us to continue to do what we are passionate about and to be able to transfer that knowledge and excitement to our students in the process.”