University of Minnesota
School of Physics & Astronomy

General News

Physics students visit 3M

3M visit
A group of students visit the 3M campus

Seventeen graduate and undergraduate physics students visited the 3M corporate campus this spring. Trip co-organizer Professor Shaul Hanany says that the students visited the 3M Innovation Center and toured four research labs.

The Innovation Center has exhibits on the history and highlights of 3M research and development work over the years. In the labs students will be hosted by research physicists who will discuss the work they do and their career paths.

This visit came about following a 3M donation of funds to support the Physics Force, one of the leading K-12 outreach programs at the University. Physics Force is using this donation to expand its annual shows to Rochester, Minnesota. In appreciation, the Physics Force team invited 3M employees to attend the annual public Physics Circus show in January. One of the 3M attendees was excited about the show and turned out to be a former TA for an Introductory Physics class with Hanany (who performed in the show). He contacted Hanany and suggested the visit as a way to continue the relationship between the School and 3M.

Hanany says that more students signed up to participate than could be accommodated in this tour. He expects there to be more visits to 3M and other industrial partners in the future, with a goal of one per semester. This is part of a strategic push on the part of School of Physics and Astronomy faculty members to expose our students to a broad range of career options. "The engagement with 3M is a wonderful opportunity to develop the School’s connections to Minnesota’s industrial community and will lead to expanded opportunities for our students," said Ron Poling, Head of the School.