Author: Michael Rozman

Two Physicists are in Project Daedalus that Focuses on Materials for Aerospace in New $4.7 Million Contract

UConn’s collaboration with the Department of Defense Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) is launching a new project. It is titled Multiscale Modeling and Characterization of Metamaterials, Functional Ceramics and Photonics. This is a $4.7 M contract with $1M for Physics. The project’s goal is to explore and advance the understanding of electronic, photonic, magnetic, and multiferroic materials, with future applications in the aerospace industry. Two experimental condensed matter physicists Dr. Menka Jain and Dr. Ilya Sochnikov will contribute to the understanding of magnetic and multiferroic materials. The project supports 4 graduate Research Assistants in the Physics Department and is a unique life-transformative and career-building opportunity for them.

For more information, see UConn Today article

Research of UConn Professor Daniel Angles-Alcazar featured in UConn Today

The article The Largest Suite of Cosmic Simulations for AI Training Is Now Free to Download; Already Spurring Discoveries describe research of a team of astrophysicists that includes UConn Professor of Physics Daniel Anglés-Alcázar.

“Machine learning is revolutionizing many areas of science, but it requires a huge amount of data to exploit,” says Anglés-Alcázar. “The CAMELS (which stands for Cosmology and Astrophysics with MachinE Learning Simulations) public data release, with thousands of simulated universes covering a broad range of plausible physics, will provide the galaxy formation and cosmology communities with a unique opportunity to explore the potential of new machine-learning algorithms to solve a variety of problems.”

Prof. J. Trump interview about the launch of the James Webb telescope

UConn Physics Professor Jonathan Trump is part of a group of scientists who will be the first to conduct research using the James Webb space telescope. The local Fox News TV station conducted an interview with Prof. Trump.

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) was launched on December 25, 2021. The telescope is named after James E. Webb who was the administrator of NASA from 1961 to 1968 and played an integral role in the Apollo program. JWST is intended to succeed the Hubble Space Telescope as NASA’s flagship mission in astrophysics. It is designed to provide improved infrared resolution and sensitivity over Hubble, viewing objects up to 100 times fainter, and will enable a broad range of investigations across the fields of astronomy and cosmology.

Astrophysics Postdoctoral Research Associate

APPLY HERE!

Search #: 495883
Work type: Full-time
Location: Storrs Campus
Categories: Postdoctoral Research Associates

JOB SUMMARY

Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Research Associate to join Prof. Cara Battersby’s research group in the Astrophysics Program at the University of Connecticut. The successful candidate will work closely with the group on research topics related to star formation, the Galactic Center, Galactic structure, nearby galaxies, and the ISM, utilizing large datasets from radio to X-ray, and numerical simulations. The growing UConn astrophysics program, with five recent faculty hires, has a vibrant and collegial atmosphere.

DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

The successful candidate will have opportunities for research, mentoring, teaching, and outreach as desired.

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS

  • Ph.D. in Astrophysics or a closely-related field by start date.

PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS

  • A solid research portfolio
  • Strong coding and analysis skills
  • Excellent communication skills
  • A commitment to promoting an inclusive community in astrophysics
  • Interest and/or experience in working with large data sets
  • Interest and/or experience working with numerical simulations
  • Interest and/or experience working with the Galactic Center
  • Interest and/or experience working with star formation
  • Interest and/or experience working with the ISM
  • Interest and/or experience working with radio, IR, and/or X-ray datasets

APPOINTMENT TERMS

The desired start date is August 12, 2022 (with flexibility). The initial appointment is for one year, renewable annually for an additional two years contingent upon satisfactory performance, mutual agreement, and availability of funds.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT

Employment at the University of Connecticut is contingent upon the successful candidate’s compliance with the University’s Mandatory Workforce COVID-19 Vaccination Policy.  This Policy states that all workforce members are required to have or obtain a Covid-19 vaccination as a term and condition of employment at UConn, unless an exemption or deferral has been approved.

Employment of the successful candidate is contingent upon the successful completion of a pre-employment criminal background check.

TO APPLY

Please apply online at https://hr.uconn.edu/jobs, Staff Positions, Search #495883 to upload a CV, publication list, cover letter, and research statement (flexible in length, about 2-4 pages). Please list in your CV or cover letter the names and contact information of three persons who may be contacted to submit letters of reference upon request. Questions about the position should also be directed to Prof. Cara Battersby. Evaluation of applications will begin on January 18, 2022, and will continue until the position is filled.

This job posting is scheduled to be removed at 11:55 p.m. Eastern time on January 30, 2022.

All employees are subject to adherence to the State Code of Ethics which may be found at http://www.ct.gov/ethics/site/default.asp.

The University of Connecticut is committed to building and supporting a multicultural and diverse community of students, faculty and staff. The diversity of students, faculty and staff continues to increase, as does the number of honors students, valedictorians and salutatorians who consistently make UConn their top choice. More than 100 research centers and institutes serve the University’s teaching, research, diversity, and outreach missions, leading to UConn’s ranking as one of the nation’s top research universities. UConn’s faculty and staff are the critical link to fostering and expanding our vibrant, multicultural and diverse University community. As an Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity employer, UConn encourages applications from women, veterans, people with disabilities and members of traditionally underrepresented populations.

Advertised: Dec 1 2021 Eastern Daylight Time

Applications close: Jan 30 2022 Eastern Standard Time

Postdoctoral Research Associate In Galaxy Formation, Cosmology, And Machine Learning

APPLY HERE!

Search #: 495749

Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Research Associate position to join Prof. Daniel Anglés-Alcázar’s research group in Computational Galaxy Formation at the University of Connecticut. The successful candidate will work closely with the group on research topics ranging from supermassive black hole growth and feedback to the impact of baryonic physics in cosmology. The growing UConn astrophysics group, in beautiful Storrs CT, has a vibrant and collegial atmosphere and also includes research groups on star formation, the interstellar medium, galaxy evolution, active galactic nuclei, and gravitational-wave astrophysics.

DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

Candidates with research expertise and interests at the intersection of galaxy formation, cosmology, and machine learning are particularly encouraged to apply, with the expectation to become part of the Cosmology and Astrophysics with MachinE Learning Simulations (CAMELS) project and collaborate closely with external groups at the Flatiron Institute, Columbia, and Princeton, including two other concurrent postdoctoral hires at Princeton and Columbia.  Other areas of particular focus include research on black hole-galaxy co-evolution as part of the Feedback In Realistic Environments (FIRE) project, and the new Interscale Galactic NucleI Simulations (IGNIS) resolving AGN accretion disk scales in a full cosmological context.  The successful candidate will have the possibility to be a guest researcher at the Center for Computational Astrophysics of the Flatiron Institute for extended research collaborations.

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS

  • Ph.D. in Astrophysics or a closely-related field by start date.

PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS

  • Interests and expertise in cosmology, galaxy formation, and/or machine learning
  • Experience working with cosmological hydrodynamic simulations and/or large datasets
  • Strong track record of publications
  • A commitment to promoting an inclusive community in Astrophysics

APPOINTMENT TERMS

The expected start date is in the summer or fall of 2022. The initial appointment will be for one year, with an anticipated renewal for up to three years based on performance and availability of funds.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT

Employment at the University of Connecticut is contingent upon the successful candidate’s compliance with the University’s Mandatory Workforce COVID-19 Vaccination Policy.  This Policy states that all workforce members are required to have or obtain a Covid-19 vaccination as a term and condition of employment at UConn, unless an exemption or deferral has been approved.

Employment of the successful candidate is contingent upon the successful completion of a pre-employment criminal background check.

TO APPLY

Please apply online at https://hr.uconn.edu/jobs, Staff Positions, Search #495749 to upload a resume, cover letter, publication list, and a research statement (not exceeding three pages) in a single, combined PDF file. Additionally, please arrange for three letters of reference to be sent to Prof. Daniel Anglés-Alcázar (angles-alcazar@uconn.edu). Questions or requests for further information about the position should be directed to Prof. Daniel Anglés-Alcázar. Evaluation of applications will begin December 1, 2021 and will continue until the position is filled.

This job posting is scheduled to be removed at 11:55 p.m. Eastern time on January 17, 2022.

All employees are subject to adherence to the State Code of Ethics which may be found at http://www.ct.gov/ethics/site/default.asp.

The University of Connecticut is committed to building and supporting a multicultural and diverse community of students, faculty and staff. The diversity of students, faculty and staff continues to increase, as does the number of honors students, valedictorians and salutatorians who consistently make UConn their top choice. More than 100 research centers and institutes serve the University’s teaching, research, diversity, and outreach missions, leading to UConn’s ranking as one of the nation’s top research universities. UConn’s faculty and staff are the critical link to fostering and expanding our vibrant, multicultural and diverse University community. As an Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity employer, UConn encourages applications from women, veterans, people with disabilities and members of traditionally underrepresented populations.

Advertised: Oct 19 2021 Eastern Daylight Time

Applications close: Jan 17 2022 Eastern Standard Time

Prof. Chiara Mingarelli awarded NSF grant

Chiara Mingarelli, Assistant Professor of Physics at UConn, is the lead researcher on a $650,000 Collaborative Research Grant from the National Science Foundation, half of which is earmarked for UConn, to conduct an experiment to prove the existence of supermassive black hole binaries. This grant will combine, for the first time, traditional astronomy with gravitational wave astronomy.

“This project is really setting up a whole new way to think about low-frequency gravitational-wave and extragalactic astronomy,” Mingarelli says. “With our new method, not only can we make predictions about the amplitude of the gravitational wave background, but we can also make predictions of where the likeliest and closest supermassive black hole systems are.”

For more information about Prof. Mingarelli research, see the recent article in UConn Today.

Professor Daniel Anglés-Alcázar research featured in ‘UConn Today’ and CBC radio interview

At the center of galaxies, like our own Milky Way, lie massive black holes surrounded by spinning gas. Some shine brightly, with a continuous supply of fuel, while others go dormant for millions of years, only to reawaken with a serendipitous influx of gas. It remains largely a mystery how gas flows across the universe to feed these massive black holes. UConn Assistant Professor of Physics Daniel Anglés-Alcázar, lead author on a paper published in The Astrophysical Journal, addresses some of the questions surrounding these massive and enigmatic features of the universe by using new, high-powered simulations.

For more details, please check the article in UConn Today, and Prof. Anglés-Alcázar’s recent radio interview by Canadian Broadcast Corporation.

Prof. Battersby’s research featured in UConn Today article

Professor Cara Battersby (center)
Professor of Physics Cara Battersby (center) talks to attendees at a solar eclipse viewing in 2017.

Professor Cara Bettersby’s research is featured in the article “The Study of Big Data: How CLAS Researchers Use Data Science” published by UConn Today.

Prof. Battersby’s work focuses on describing and studying the center of the Milky Way galaxy, which she calls an “experimental playground” for the distant cosmos. Her work described the spectroscopy of the galaxy’s center, which analyzes imagery to understand the chemical makeup of the area, as well as its temperature and the velocity of objects.

Battersby works on data from the Submillimeter Array facility, a collection of eight powerful telescopes situated atop Mount Maunakea in Hawaii. The telescope can collect up to a terabyte of data every day, and Battersby’s project used 61 days of data.

Battersby refers to her computer as “her laboratory,” and ensures the students in her classes do, too. In her courses, she often assigns programming and analysis problems, like using a large data set to determine the material composition of the Sun.

“We have a lot of the tools to train students in data science,” she says. “Research is moving in that direction, and students in our programs are prepared for it.”

 

Professor Nora Berrah Awarded a Blaise Pascal Chaire d’Excellence to Conduct Research in France

Professor of Physics Nora Berrah has been awarded the International Blaise Pascal Chaire d’Excellence, a prestigious honor whose previous winners include scientists and scholars from a wide range of disciplines, including multiple Nobel laureates. Her award was selected by a committee of scientists and voted on by the Permanent Commission Regional Council of the Région Île-de-France.

Prof. Berrah in her lab
Prof. Berrah in her laboratory.

This award is bestowed to scientists of international reputation who are invited to conduct research in the Paris area. The goal is to establish international collaborations and exchange, as well as share science globally. In Berrah’s case, the collaboration is between UConn and the Commissariat à l’énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives de Saclay (CEA, Paris Saclay). The collaborative work is aimed to push the frontiers of science, as well as enrich and facilitate international research.

The Région Île-de-France selects every year four  laureates of high international standing in their field of expertise. All research areas are included, such as the humanities, arts, and sciences, in the selection of the awardees. Six Nobel laureates have been selected for the award since 1996. Prof. Berrah was selected by the Blaise Pascal Chaire Committee for the field of Fundamental Physics.

For more information about Professor Berrah’ award, see the article in UConn Today

The passing of Dr. David Katzenstein, a friend and benefactor of the UConn Department of Physics

Dr. David Katzenstein, a friend, and benefactor of the UConn Department of Physics, passed away on January 25, 2021 due to Covid-19. David was the son of Henry Katzenstein, the first Physics Ph.D. from UConn and a major benefactor of our Department. Currently, both the annual Katzenstein Distinguished Lecture and the Katzenstein Prize for a senior, undergraduate paper were endowed by the Katzenstein family.

David himself was an Emeritus Professor of Medicine at the Stanford University Medical School, specializing in Infectious Diseases and Geographic Medicine. He focused on the treatment and prevention of HIV-AIDS, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. He died in Harare, Zimbabwe where he had moved in 2016 to continue his important work after his retirement from Stanford.

Obituary in NYTimes: David Katzenstein, AIDS Researcher With Focus on Africa, Dies at 69