Bringing “Passion and Progress”

November 19, 2018

AUI Partners on the 2018 National Society of Black Physicists Conference

Columbus, OH: Crowds packed the 2018 National Society of Black Physicists Conference to full capacity making this year’s conference one of the largest scientific meeting of underrepresented minorities in the nation. This year’s theme centered on “Scientific Passion and Progress: Meeting the Challenge” and focused on promoting the professional well-being of African American physicists and physics students within the international scientific community and within society at large. According to NSBP President, Willie Rockward, “The NSBP 2018 conference was a smashing success! The students, professionals, exhibitors and sponsors were extremely pleased and energized with every aspect of the conference… the technical sessions, exhibits, hotel facilities, staff, and especially the food.” Several research initiatives took place during the conference to explore the needs of African Americans in physics and the impact of the conference on attendees. These research results will help inform the broader community.

Each year the NSBP Conference shares cutting edge research, provides mentorship opportunities, increases participant access to recruiters, offers networking opportunities, and informs the broader physics community on best practices. This year was certainly no exception as participation from exhibitors and attendees exceeded 400 and met the venue’s maximum capacity. “With greater participation comes greater impact,” said AUI’s Director of Education and Public Engagement, Tim Spuck, “Reaching maximum capacity inspires us to make next November’s conference in Rhode Island even bigger and better, reaching broader audiences to further aid the NSBP in their mission to increase the visibility of African American physicists and their contributions in the science community.”

While NSBP led conference program development and implementation, AUI worked with NSBP to secure a $350K award from the National Science Foundation (NSF), advised on conference planning and implementation, led project and grant management, and currently serves as point on reporting. AUI sponsored a session to explore current and future facilities and equipment needs for HBCUs and other Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs). A working group will be established to advance these ideas forward.

Further support from Corning, the American Institute of Physics, National Radio Astronomy Observatory, University of Dayton Department of Physics, IEEE Photonics Society, Facility for Rare Isotope Beams, National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory, Yale University Department of Astronomy and Physics, Notre Dame Department of Physics, University of Pittsburgh Kenneth Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, University of Wisconsin Madison, Morgan State University, and Ohio State University helped make a positive impact on the future leaders of science and engineering in attendance, and beyond.

“We, NSBP, are proud and pleased with the passionate support, commitment and collaboration of AUI, especially Dr. Tim Spuck, throughout every stage of the 2018 conference,” said NSBP President, Willie Rockward, “We look forward to working with AUI for the 2019 conference and beyond.” The 2019 NSBP Conference will take place next November in Rhode Island in conjunction with PhysCon 2019. Prospective sponsors and exhibitors may reach out to Monique Howard at or Joe Flannery at to remain engaged in the planning process. Updates for attendees will be posted to