Northern Illinois University

NIU Office of Public Affairs

News Release

Contact: Tom Parisi, NIU Office of Public Affairs
(815) 753-3635

June 21, 2004

NIU student invited to meet
with Nobel Laureates

DeKalb, Ill. Michael Eads will have some good stories to tell about what he did over the summer. The Northern Illinois University student is preparing to spend a week in Germany, rubbing elbows with some of the world's smartest people.

The National Science Foundation selected Eads, a 29-year-old Ph.D. candidate in physics, as one of 25 outstanding research participants to attend the 54th Lindau Meeting of Nobel Laureates and Students.

The meeting will be held from June 27 to July 2 in Lindau, Germany. Eads will be participating in physics-related activities with 18 Nobel Laureates.

Since 1951, Nobel Prize winners in chemistry, physics and medicine have convened annually in Lindau to meet with student researchers. The meetings rotate by discipline each year, with this year's event focusing on physics.

"I'm really looking forward to it," said Eads, who grew up in Prophetstown, Ill., and now lives in west-suburban Plainfield with his wife Kristy. "I know the Lindau Meeting will be interesting, and I don't think it'll be too intimidating--not that I rub elbows with the Nobel Laureates all the time. I have met some Laureates before and attended their lectures."

Eads earned both his bachelor's and master's degrees at NIU and is pursuing his doctorate under the direction of Professor David Hedin. He taught physics at Lincoln-Way Central High School in New Lenox for three years before returning to NIU. He also is an adjunct instructor (of physics) for the University of St. Francis in Joliet.

Specializing in experimental high-energy physics, Eads is among the NIU researchers associated with the DZero collaboration at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. NIU physics professor Jerry Blazey, who is co-spokesperson of the DZero project, encouraged Eads to apply for the Lindau Meeting.

"This recognition of Mike's efforts is a personal honor for him and also a credit to NIU and the physics doctoral program," Blazey said. "Only a select few students from across the country are invited to this gathering."

The National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and Oak Ridge Associated Universities are sponsoring a total of 58 U.S. students for the Lindau Meeting. More than 500 other international students also will attend the event.

Eads will travel Thursday (June 25) to Washington, D.C., for an orientation meeting at DOE headquarters. On Friday, the American students will depart for Munich, then travel by bus to Lindau, an historic medieval island city that is located at the common border of Austria, Germany and Switzerland.

Each morning, the Nobel Prize winners will lecture on physics topics. Students will join the Laureates for informal roundtable sessions during the afternoons and for lunches and dinners. On July 2, participants will travel by ferry to the Isle of Mainau for closing ceremonies at the baroque Mainau Castle, the residence of Swedish patron Count Lennart Bernadotte, who began the Lindau meetings in 1951.

The Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) administers the U.S.-portion of the Lindau Meeting. For more information, see