University of Michigan Physics Professor Homer A. Neal has been elected Vice President of the American Physical Society (APS). In keeping with the Society’s succession structure, he will become President in 2015.

The American Physical Society is a non-profit membership organization working to advance and diffuse the knowledge of physics through its outstanding research journals, scientific meetings, education, outreach, advocacy and international activities. The APS is the principle society in the United States which has over 50,000 members, including physicists in academia, national laboratories and industry in the United States and throughout the world.

“I am honored to have been chosen for the post of APS Vice President. The Society has served our field well over the decades and I will enthusiastically devote my energies to its continued advancement,” said Professor Neal.

Professor Neal received his B.S. degree in Physics, with honors, in 1961 from Indiana University; he received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan (1966). He has served on many advisory committees and directorships including the National Science Board where he was instrumental in creating the national Research Opportunity for Undergraduates Program. Professor Neal has served on the national laboratory advisory boards of Argonne National Laboratory, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, Oakridge National Laboratory and the Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory.

He is the Samuel A. Goudsmit Distinguished Professor of Physics, Interim President Emeritus, and Vice President for Research Emeritus at the University of Michigan. From 1987 to 1993 he was Chair of the University of Michigan Physics Department.

Professor Neal’s physics research group is currently part of the ATLAS Experiment at CERN. This group played a key role in the recent discovery of the Higgs boson. He also participated in the DZERO collaboration that in 1995 announced the discovery of the top quark and in 2007/2008 announced the discovery of the Xi_b hyperon. Professor Neal was the principal originator of both the DZERO and ATLAS groups at the University of Michigan.

As Vice President for Research, Professor Neal oversaw the research programs at the University of Michigan, which has been often ranked, in terms of competitive funding, as the nation's top research university. In his APS nomination statement he notes that universities are the stewards of much of our nation’s research and, in his new APS role, he hopes to nurture the relationship between the APS and universities as well as strengthen the connections with national laboratories, industry, and federal agencies.

Professor Neal is also a member of the Board of the Ford Motor Company and currently chairs its Committee on Sustainability. Professor Neal explains, “Industry is a key player in all that we do. As a Director of the Ford Motor Company for over the past decade, I have observed the relationship between universities, industry and the government, and I believe this connection can even be strengthened in the years ahead to the benefit of all sectors.”

Professor Neal will assume his APS duties on January 1, 2014. He will help support the strong set of ongoing APS initiatives and looks forward to developing new initiatives to meet the changing environment for the support of scientific research in the United States.

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Learn more about Professor Homer Neal.

University of Michigan Department of Physics 
News Contact: Carol Rabuck, (734) 763-2588