Poling named head of School of Physics and Astronomy

Poling is an experimental elementary particle physicist who began his career with the first of more than 200 Ph.D. dissertations on results from the CLEO experiment at Cornell University. Poling has served as a faculty member at the University of Minnesota since 1987 after working as a research associate at the University of Rochester. While at Minnesota he has also held visiting appointments at Cornell, where he served as the Spokesperson of the CLEO collaboration in the mid-1990's.

His research focuses on studies of quarks and neutrinos, fundamental particles that are key to understanding matter and the evolution of the universe. Poling is one of five Minnesota faculty researchers involved in the NuMI Off-Axis Electron Neutrino Appearance (NOvA) experiment, a centerpiece of the U.S. program in particle physics for the next decade. The University of Minnesota is partnering with the U.S. Department of Energy, Fermilab, and a large number of universities around the world to prepare the neutrino beamline, construct the NOvA detector in northern Minnesota, and conduct the experiment. The project is the next big step toward disentangling the puzzling phenomenon of neutrino flavor oscillations (spontaneous transformations from one neutrino type to another), which may resolve some of the deepest mysteries in particle physics and cosmology.

In January 2008, Poling and his colleagues joined the BESIII experiment at the Institute of High Energy Physics in Beijing, China to continue Minnesota's productive program of research on heavy quarks. This expands an already fruitful program of collaborative research in high energy physics between the United States and the People's Republic of China that started in the 1970's.

Poling has served on advisory boards for the National Science Foundation, Fermilab, and the Department of Energy. He has received several honors including being elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society (1998), receiving the Clifford C. Furnas Memorial Award from the University at Buffalo (1998), and being named an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow (1988-92).

Poling received his bachelor's degree in physics from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1976, and his master's and Ph.D. degrees in physics from the University of Rochester in 1978 and 1981, respectively.

July 1, 2009