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Idaho State University becomes affiliate member of Southeastern Universities Research Association

December 10, 2008
ISU Marketing and Communications

The Southeastern Universities Research Association (SURA) recently announced that Idaho State University has been accepted as an affiliate member. This is a significant step forward for ISU’s growth in nuclear science research and education.

ISU is the first such university outside the region to be granted this status since the new membership categories were expanded and established this spring. The ability of universities and businesses to affiliate with SURA is intended to enrich the research capabilities of the 27-year old coalition.

“This is yet another national lab that is partnering with Idaho State to support nuclear and accelerator science research and academic programs,” said Douglas Wells, Ph.D., director of the ISU Idaho Accelerator Center.

Comprised of 64 universities primarily from 16 Southeastern states, SURA’s programmatic initiatives have grown beyond their stewardship of the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility in Newport News, Virginia – the catalyst for the organization’s beginning. With new projects established in the information technology, coastal research and technology commercialization fields, the expanded membership is meant to partner the university consortia more closely with the universities across the nation and in the private sector.

ISU has a primary interest in the work of the Jefferson Lab, which is managed and operated by Jefferson Science Associations. JSA, LLC is a SURA/CSC company created specifically to run Jefferson Lab for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science. This nuclear physics user facility enables the international user community to conduct outstanding scientific research.

ISU’s interest and participation includes fundamental nuclear physics research and education to be conducted at Jefferson Lab, detector development and construction to be done at ISU, and accelerator physics research and education at ISU as well. Further, Jefferson Laboratory is funding an accelerator physicist faculty position at ISU to further increase collaborative research and education. ISU’s representative to SURA is Philip Cole, Ph.D., of the Department of Physics.

“Joining SURA brings us into a fold of highly regarded research intensive institutions,” Cole said. “This agreement will enable us to work closely with these universities as an equal. We are the first institution from completely outside of the southeast, other than MIT, to join SURA, in a large part because we have one of the premier accelerator facilities in the United States, the Idaho Accelerator Center.”

“This path,” continued Cole, “is within our mission of the University, and is part of the vision (ISU) President Vailas has encouraged, so we can take that next step up as a research institution.”

Jefferson Science Associations combines SURA, the university consortium that propelled Jefferson Lab into the forefront of both nuclear/hadronic physics and superconducting radiofrequency (SRF) technologies, and CSC, the corporation that has successfully managed the infrastructure and business operations at three Department of Energy sites, and many other facilities, saving the U.S. Government millions of dollars while winning numerous safety and small business awards.

Contact: Greg D. Kubiak, SURA chief communications officer, (202) 408-2412,; visit SURA Web site at; or call Douglas Wells, Ph.D., Idaho Accelerator director, at (208) 282-5877; or visit IAC Web site,; or contact Philip Cole, ISU Department of Physics, (208) 282-5799.

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The Southeastern Universities Research Association (SURA) is a consortium of over 60 leading research institutions in the southern United States and the District of Columbia established in 1980 as a non-stock, nonprofit corporation. SURA serves as an entity through which colleges, universities, and other organizations may cooperate with one another, and with government and industry in acquiring, developing, and using laboratories and other research facilities and in furthering knowledge and the application of that knowledge in the physical, biological, and other natural sciences and engineering. For more information, visit


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