Since all the particles in proton or electron accelerators have the same electric charge, they repel each other and thus there is a tendency for the beams to spread as they travel around the accelerators. This is an unwanted effect, since you want the beams to be tightly focused…SEKAZI K. MTINGWA - Physicist (on his classic work with James Bjorken in accelerator physics - qtd. from ISTG)
MLK Visiting Professor 2001-2003
Hosted by the Department of Physics
Sekazi Mtingwa (MIT ’71) is President of The Interdisciplinary Consortium for Research and Educational Access in Science and Engineering (INCREASE). At the time of his MIT appointment, he was a Professor of Physics at North Carolina A&T State University. Research interest: theoretical high energy physics.
Sekazi K. Mtingwa is a physicist and President of The Interdisciplinary Consortium for Research and Educational Access in Science and Engineering. At the time of his MIT appointment, he was a Professor of Physics at North Carolina A&T State University. Research interest: theoretical high-energy physics.
Dr. Mtingwa graduated from MIT in 1971 with two BS degrees, in Physics and in Pure Mathematics (Phi Beta Kappa). In 1976, he earned the MA and the PhD in Theoretical High Energy Physics from Princeton University.
He continued onto postdoctoral positions at the University of Rochester, the University of Maryland - College Park, and as a Ford Foundation Fellow at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory.
At Fermilab, he and James Bjorken developed a theory of particle beam dynamics called ‘intrabeam scattering’, which sets the performance limitations on a wide class of modern accelerators. Today considered a physics classic, the research made important contributions to the design and construction of accelerator systems is among the most cited in the field.
In 1988, Dr. Mtingwa joined the staff of Argonne National Laboratory, where for three years he performed research on the futuristic ‘wakefield acceleration’ concept and provided the solution to a mathematical question posed by Nobel Laureate Simon van der Meer. Dr. Mtingwa subsequently visited Moscow’s Lebedev Institute, the Leningrad Nuclear Physics Institute, and others in the Soviet Union to continue the work with other scientists.
In 1991, Dr. Mtingwa joined North Carolina A&T State University's physics department, where he served as Chair for three years, laying the foundation for its current graduate program in physics. He played a large role in building the university’s Interdisciplinary Research Center (IRC), which established the first PhD engineering programs. Dr. Mtingwa continues work at NCAT as Affiliate Professor of Physics.
Other teaching posts: University of Illinois at Chicago, University of Rochester, Morgan State University (J. Ernest Wilkins, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Physics), and Harvard University (Visiting Professor).
Dr. Mtingwa has also contributed to many national initiatives. Since its inception in 1998, he served for ten years on the US Dept. of Energy’s Nuclear Energy Research Advisory Committee (NERAC), now called the Nuclear Energy Advisory Committee (NEAC). He continues to serve on NEAC’s Subcommittee on Advanced Nuclear Transformation Technology, chaired by Nobel Laureate Burton Richter. From 2005 to 2008, Mtingwa served on the American Physical Society’s Panel on Public Affairs, then was elected Fellow; he chaired a study on the US’s readiness to meet the challenges of nuclear energy, and the report circulated widely in the news media.
His collaborations extend to many international initiatives. One of them is the African Laser Centre (ALC), a nonprofit network of over 25 laser laboratories throughout Africa. Dr. Mtingwa is one of ALC’s founders, and has served as a Board member and as Representative to the Americas.
He was a co-founder of the National Society of Black Physicists (NSBP), serving as President from 1992 to 1994. He was appointed Senior Physics Consultant at Brookhaven National Laboratory in 2011, and that same year became Principal Partner at Triangle Science, Education & Economic Development, LLC (TriSEED).
Today, Dr. Mtingwa serves as President of The Interdisciplinary Consortium for Research and Educational Access in Science and Engineering. INCREASE is “a consortium of universities whose mission is to promote research and education in Minority-Serving Institutions.”
He has been recognized by national and international organizations for his contributions to science: the National Society of Black Physicists' Outstanding Service Award in 1996; among the first to be inducted into the African-American Biographies Hall of Fame in Atlanta in 1994; 2007 Science Education Award from the National Council of Ghanaian Associations 'for advancing science education among African peoples'; and named a Lifetime Achievement Finalist by the Benjamin Banneker Institute in Washington D.C. in 2008.
He returned to MIT as an MLK Visiting Professor. During his visit, from 2001 to 2003, Dr. Mtingwa worked in the Laboratory for Nuclear Science and was hosted by the Department of Physics.
In 2015, Dr. Mtingwa was elected to the rank of American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Fellow in recognition of his contributions to innovation, education, and scientific leadership; he also received the Distinguished Service Award from the American Nuclear Society (ANS). In 2016, Dr. Mtinwa, along with his colleagues Dr. James Bjorken and Dr. Anton Piwinski, was awarded the 2017 Robert R. Wilson Prize for Achievement in the Physics of Particle Accelerators by the American Physical Society (APS).
As an MIT alum, Sekazi K. Mtingwa '71 has a unique history at the Institute.
Along with fellow classmates, he co-founded the Black Student Union on campus in 1968, the year of Dr. King’s Assassination.
In 1996, Clarence Williams, Director of the Blacks at MIT History Project, interviewed Dr. Mtingwa in Greensboro, NC. Their conversations appears in Williams' Technology and the Dream (MIT Press, 2001).
In 2006, Dr. Mtingwa again returned to the Institute as Senior Lecturer in the MIT Concourse Program, where he experimented with better ways of teaching introductory college physics. He also served as Faculty Director of Academic Programs in MIT’s Office of Minority Education (OME).
At the Institute, he continues his research on beam dynamics and fixed target possibilities for the International Linear Collider (ILC).
He is a former member of the MIT Corporation and is active with the MIT Alumni Association.