Terry Grimm

Terry Grimm

President and Senior Scientist, NIOWAVE INC.

For visionary discoveries in superconducting particle accelerator research pertaining to the development, deployment, and commercialization of these systems in fields as diverse as healthcare and national security.

In 2010, just five years after Terry Grimm founded Niowave Inc. in Lansing, Michigan, the U.S. Department of Energy named it a Small Business of the Year. A world leader in the research, development, manufacturing and operation of superconducting electron linear accelerators, Niowave Inc. produces radioisotopes to cure cancer and save lives.

Before he founded Niowave, Grimm was a senior physicist at the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory and an adjunct professor at Michigan State University. His research, funded by the Department of Energy, developed superconducting particle accelerators with an emphasis on superconducting radio frequency.

Now a leader in both academia and industry, Grimm says that Purdue provided him the educational foundation to hold his own and to shine among high caliber scientists and engineers: “I found my education at Purdue to be truly world class. With my undergraduate experience at Purdue, I found I could compete and excel with the brightest minds at MIT and at government research labs worldwide.”

The Chernobyl nuclear disaster, which happened in 1986 while Grimm was at Purdue, proved pivotal to his nuclear engineering education.

“I was taking the nuclear reactor dynamics course that semester,” Grimm remembers. “We immediately performed calculations that allowed us to understand the accident and how preventable it was. The ability to understand what was happening drove me to pursue a PhD in energy research in order to make the world a better place.”

Grimm says Chan Choi, professor of nuclear engineering and now professor-in-charge of academic programs for the School of Nuclear Engineering, also motivated him to give his work his utmost effort.

“His enthusiasm for learning and pushing yourself was, and still is, infectious,” Grimm says. “He challenged me beyond what I thought were my limits. With his guidance and advice, I decided to dream big and pursue a research career to change the world. I am still pursuing that career today.”

Grimm has tried-and-true practical advice for Purdue undergraduates: “Keep in touch with mentors and continue to get their advice,” he says. “And ask them to be a reference for jobs and career opportunities. They are interested in you and your future, and they want to help if you are helping yourself.”

In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.”

Dwight D. Eisenhower

Career Highlights

2005-present President and Senior Scientist, Niowave Inc.
2002-2007 Adjunct Professor, Physics Department, Michigan State University
2001-2007 Senior Physicist, National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory, Michigan State University
1994-2001 Staff Physicist, National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory, Michigan State University
1992-1994 Physicist, Superconducting Super Collider Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy

Career Highlights

1987 BSNE, Purdue University
1992 PhD Nuclear Engineering and Plasma Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology