Philippe Piot

Philippe Piot

Professor Philippe Piot is a well-respected expert in both theoretical and experimental accelerator physics at Northern Illinois University and throughout the international community. A devoted teacher and passionate about his research, Piot has the ability to simplify even the most technical concepts for students or peers—making him a tremendous resource to those in the field.

“Dr. Piot’s enthusiasm for his subject matter is infectious,” comments Judy Ledgerwood, acting dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. “He excels at producing high-quality research and has published, along with his colleagues, nearly 200 papers in the last decade, many of them in top journals. He does this while simultaneously giving priority to teaching and serving as a professional mentor to graduate and undergraduate students.”

Since joining NIU in 2005, Piot and his colleagues have obtained more than six million dollars in external funding. This includes $881,000 in grant money for the Northern Illinois Center for Accelerator and Detector Development (NICADD).

“When Philippe served as Deputy Director and then Acting Director of NICADD, he supported a successful transition to the center becoming permanent and was able to obtain the outside funding to do so,” remarks Piot’s colleague in the Department of Physics, Professor David Hedin.

Hedin adds Piot is equally successful in his role as the department’s Director of Graduate Studies: “He has increased not only the sheer number, but the quality of applicants to the program and is carrying our Ph.D. program forward.”

Former graduate student Andrew Fiedler describes Piot as “even-tempered with a tenacious curiosity for physics.” He says when graduate students become discouraged in their research—an inevitable occurrence—having an enthusiastic and level-leaded guide through the setbacks re-engages and pushes them forward.

Piot’s research focuses on the development of charged-particle accelerators for fundamental research and societal applications. His current research explores new way of manipulating and controlling high-brightness electron-beam distributions with applications to table-top accelerators and novel X-ray sources concept.

Peers describe Piot’s research as “important contributions that cannot be overstated.” As Hedin puts it, “Philippe’s development of new and novel techniques for accelerating particles could lead to a paradigm shift in the field allowing for significantly more compact accelerators.”

Piot’s contributions outside the university are abundant and widespread. He is well connected with an extensive research network, including colleagues at such national laboratories as Fermilab and Argonne, as well as at universities in the United States, Europe and Asia. He worked on the Basic Energy Science Advisory Committee at the U.S. Department of Energy and serves as one of the U.S. contacts for the Advanced and Novel Accelerators (ANA) subpanel of the International Committee for Future Accelerators (ICFA).

Piot’s creation of new science, international prominence in research, and excellence in teaching earned him the NIU Board of Trustee Professorship Award

“Piot keeps NIU and NICADD at the cutting edge in the field of physics,” applauds Ledgerwood. “He serves as a model of what an outstanding faculty member can achieve.”