Promoting STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields by recruiting and training the next generation of aerospace stakeholders.    

Graduate Fellowship Award Recipients

Each year the Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium awards a number of undergraduate scholarships and graduate fellowships to the best and brightest college and university students from WSGC affiliate member institutions. The WSGC fellowship awards are based on academic performance, space and aerospace-related promise and the submission of a specific research proposal. The fellowships funds help defer the costs of the student's research. WSGC is pleased to announce and congratulate the following students on their WSGC Graduate Fellowships:

2014-2015

Blakesley Burkhart Anna Williams
UW-Madison
Research Title: Origin of Cosmic Magnetic Fields
Synopsis: I use radio observations to study the properties of magnetic fields in galaxies when the universe was nearly half its current age. This helps constrain models on the cosmic origin of magnetic fields.

Blakesley Burkhart Claire Murray
UW-Madison
Research Title: Understanding the neutral interstellar medium as a key to star formation
Synopsis: By constraining the properties of warm neutral hydrogen in the Milky Way, I will determine the role of diffuse atomic gas in the formation of dense, star-forming material.

Blakesley Burkhart Jenna Ryon
UW-Madison
Research Title: Star Cluster Populations in Nearby Galaxies
Synopsis: Star formation in galaxies commonly results in the production of star clusters. I propose to characterize the star cluster populations of several nearby galaxies using Hubble Space Telescope imaging.

Blakesley Burkhart Katelynn Milliman
UW-Madison
Research Title: Formation History of Anomalous Stars in Open Clusters
Synopsis: Open clusters have a wide variety of stars not explainable by standard stellar evolution models. I propose to study these anomalous stars and determine their origins and formation history.

Blakesley Burkhart Leslie Wade
UW-Milwaukee
Research Title: Constraining the neutron-star equation of state
Synopsis: I will develop an improved approach to measuring the neutron-star equation of state, which describes the structure of all neutron stars, with gravitational-wave detectors.

Blakesley Burkhart Madeline Wade
UW-Milwaukee
Research Title: A Continuing Search for Gravitational-Waves from Sub-Solar Mass Black Holes
Synopsis: I am searching for gravitational-waves from primordial black holes. This search will either lead to the first evidence for primordial black holes or to more stringent limits on their existence.

Sydney Chamberlin Sydney Chamberlin
UW-Milwaukee
Research Title: Contributions to Unmodeled GW Searches with aLIGO's ExcessPower Pipeline
Synopsis: Gravitational waves (GWs) are tiny ripples propagating through universe at the speed of light. This work aims to develop and enhance data analysis infrastructure designed for the detection of GWs.

2013-2014

Blakesley Burkhart Blakesley Burkhart
UW-Madison
Research Title: Magnetized Turbulence in the Interplanetary and Interstellar Media
Synopsis: The interstellar and interplanetary media are magnetized and turbulent. I propose to apply statistics to observational data aimed at getting information on valuable plasma physics parameters.

Sydney Chamberlin Sydney Chamberlin
UW-Milwaukee
Research Title: Data analysis Developments in Broadband Gravitational Wave Detection
Synopsis: Gravitational waves (GWs) are produced by sometimes violent astrophysical events. I am developing data analysis techniques to detect GWs, and subsequently reveal the astrophysics behind them.

Justin Ellis Justin Ellis
UW-Milwaukee
Research Title: Detecting Gravitational Waves with Pulsar Timing Arrays
Synopsis: The detection of Gravitational Waves will open a new window into astrophysics. For this project we will develop data analysis methods that can accurately detect and characterize GW sources.

Teri Gerard Teri Gerard
UW-Milwaukee
Research Title: Hydrothermal Alteration of Lavas at Lassen Volcanic National Park: Potential Mars Analog
Synopsis: Determining the mineralogical and geochemical trends that occur in varied hydrothermal systems furthers our understanding of the origin of alteration minerals seen on Mars.

Danielle Nielsen Danielle Nielsen
UW-Madison
Research Title: Investigating the Intragroup Medium with Bent-Double Radio Galaxies
Synopsis: Characterizing the intragroup medium is important for understanding both galaxy and group evolution. I propose to investigate the nature of bent-double lobe radio galaxies as probes of the IGM.

Jenna Ryon Jenna Ryon
UW-Madison
Research Title: Star-Forming Structures in Nearby Galaxies
Synopsis: Star formation plays a key role in the evolution of galaxies over cosmic time. I propose to study the connections between small- and large-scale stellar structures in a range of galactic environments.

Madeline Wade Madeline Wade
UW-Milwaukee
Research Title: Search for Gravitational-waves from Sub-solar Mass Black Holes in LIGO Data
Synopsis: I am searching data taken by initial LIGO for gravitational-wave signatures from sub-solar mass black hole binaries in hopes of discovering a direct detection of gravitational-waves.

Anna Williams Anna Williams
UW-Madison
Research Title: Origin of Cosmic Magnetic Fields
Synopsis: I am working on a large radio survey to look for large-scale magnetic fields in galaxies. We will compare our results with current theories to constrain the origin of magnetic fields in the universe.

Katelyn Milliman Katelyn Milliman
UW-Madison
Research Title: Formation of Blue Stragglers in Open Cluster Environments
Synopsis: Determining and modeling the dominant formation channel for blue stragglers, stars that are living longer than standard theory predicts.

Sean DuBois Sean DuBois
UW-Madison
Research Title: Ecosystem Metabolism Assessed Across Climatic and Vegetation Gradients
Synopsis: Calculating forest metabolism rates from hyperspectral remote sensing data. Eddy covariance flux tower data is used to create an ecosystem model to verify results.

2012-2013

Eric Alar Eric Alar
UW-Madison
Research Title: The Thermal Response of Non-Rare-Earth Cryocooler Regenerator Disks
Synopsis: To measure a time difference in heat waves propagated through a traditional regenerator and a new non-rare-earth composite regenerator, revealing an improvement in pulse tube cryocoolers.

Chris Anderson

Christopher Anderson
UW-Madison
Research Title: 21cm Intensity Mapping with Prototype Receiver
Synopsis: Survey of hydrogen, measuring 21-cm photon emission. Redshift allows us to look back in cosmic time. Clumping of hydrogen will allow us to infer dark matter distribution.


Blakesley Burkhart Blakesley Burkhart
UW-Madison
Research Title: New Measures of Interstellar Turbulence: Connecting Observations & Numerics
Synopsis: The interstellar medium is known to be turbulent. I propose to investigate statistics of magnetized turbulence applied to observations and simulations.

Sydney Chamberlin Sydney Chamberlin
UW-Milwaukee
Research Title: Developing a Data Analysis Pipeline for the NANOGrav Pulsar Timing Array
Synopsis: Gravitational waves, when detected, promise to open a new observational window on the universe. To make their detection possible, we propose to develop and implement a data analysis search pipeline.

Justin Ellis Justin Ellis
UW-Milwaukee
Research Title: Towards Gravitational Wave Detection Using Pulsar Timing Arrays
Synopsis: The detection of gravitational waves will open a new window into astronomy and astrophysics. The construction of sensitive and efficient data analysis pipelines will allow us to accomplish this goal.

Amanda Gault
UW-Madison
Research Title: Millimeter-wave Bolometric Interferometer Data Analysis
Synopsis: The Millimeter-wave Bolometric Interferometer, a test-bed for technology for the Einstein Inflation Probe, made observations in 2009. The data from these observations will be analyzed.

Teri Gerard Teri Gerard
UW-Milwaukee
Research Title: Fumarole Alteration of Hawaiian Basalts: Potential Mars Analog
Synopsis: Determining the mineral assemblages and geochemical pathways associated with fumarole alteration of Hawaiian basalts: a potential Mars analog

Jordan Gerth Jordan Gerth
UW-Madison
Research Title: Unifying Meteorological Techniques for Building a Consistent Cloud Analysis
Synopsis: The purpose of this project is to build an hour-averaged sky cover analysis which serves as a validation tool for cloud forecasts produced by the National Weather Service as part of their operations.

Phil Gopon Phillip Gopon
UW-Madison
Research Title: Soft X-Ray EPMA Analyses of Nanophase Lunar Fe-Si Compounds
Synopsis: Our goal is to measure the chemistry of sub-micron iron-silicides found in lunar regolith believed to be associated with impact structures.

Amy Lowitz Amy Lowitz
UW-Madison
Research Title: Detectors for Measurements of the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation
Synopsis: Developing microwave kinetic inductance detectors for use in QUBIC, a novel instrument for observing anisotropies in the polarization of the cosmic microwave background.

Claire Murray Claire Murray
UW-Madison
Research Title: Probing the Warm-to-Cold Neutral Gas Transition as a Step in Star Formation
Synopsis: Investigating the conversion of cold to warm atomic gas as a key step in star formation, I will undertake a statistical study of the temperature distribution of warm neutral gas in the Milky Way.

Danielle Nielsen Danielle Nielsen
UW-Madison
Research Title: Bent Double Radio Sources and the Baryonic Content of the Universe
Synopsis: Bent double radio galaxies have relativistic jets which appear curved. I propose to determine if the observed curvature results from ram pressure and how well these galaxies probe the IGM of groups.

Darren Pilcher Darren Pilcher
UW-Madison
Research Title: Nutrient and Productivity Impacts of Dreissena Mussels in Lake Michigan
Synopsis: A coupled physical and biological 3-D model will be applied to Lake Michigan to quantify the carbon budget and assess the impacts of invasive Dreissena mussel species on productivity.

Leslie Wade Leslie Wade
UW-Milwaukee
Research Title: Continuous Gravitational Wave Searches from Galactic Neutron Stars
Synopsis: Advanced LIGO headlines the next generation of ground-based gravitational wave detectors. I am using a simulation to assess the detectability of the galactic neutron star population by Advanced LIGO.

Madeline Wade Madeline Wade
UW-Milwaukee
Research Title: Using the Measurability of Spin to Test the Cosmic Censorship Conjecture
Synopsis: In anticipation of a new era of gravitational wave detectors, I am developing a method for gaining information about astrophysical systems from a gravitational wave signal.

Anna Williams Anna Williams
UW-Madison
Research Title: Origin of Cosmic Magnetic Fields
Synopsis: I am looking for magnetic fields in disk-like galaxies to determine how these systems have evolved since the universe was half its current age, and constrain the origin of cosmic magnetic fields.

Corey Wood
UW-Madison
Research Title: A Comprehensive Study of Galactic Winds in Nearby Disk Galaxies
Synopsis: We have created two new integral field units for studying both edge-on and face-on galaxies. We will use one of these IFUs to study galactic winds using a homogeneous target sample.

2011-2012

Blakesley Burkhart Blakesley Burkhart
UW-Madison
Research Title: From Kiloparsecs to Sub-AU: Characterizing Interstellar Turbulence
Synopsis: Turbulence is critical in understanding ISM structure, however it is not easily studied. I will develop tools to study turbulence in the ISM, focusing on two phase media and radiative transfer.

Sydney Chamberline

Sydney Chamberlin
UW-Milwaukee
Research Title: Optimal Strategies for the Detection of Non-Einsteinian Gravitational Waves
Synopsis: The detection of gravitational waves will usher in a new era of astrophysical research. To make detection feasible in the next decade, a series of statistical data analysis tools will be developed.


Jordan Gerth Jordan Gerth
UW-Madison
Research Title: Improving NWP with NPP
Synopsis: This proposal involves earth science research quantifying the impact and value of NASA Earth Observing System (EOS) data on high-resolution numerical weather forecasts.

Amanda Gault
UW-Madison
Research Title: Millimeter-wave Bolometric Interferometer Data Analysis
Synopsis: The Millimeter-wave Bolometric Interferometer, a test-bed for technology for the Einstein Inflation Probe, made observations in 2009. The data from these observations will be analyzed.

Amy Lowitz Amy Lowitz
UW-Madison
Research Title: Q & U Bolometric Interferometer for Cosmology
Synopsis: QUBIC is a novel instrument for observing anisotropies in the polarization of the cosmic microwave background to confirm or refute important predictions in inflation theory.

Bradley Moore Bradley Moore
UW-Madison
Research Title: A Cold Cycle Dilution Refrigeration Cycle
Synopsis: A cold cycle dilution refrigeration cycle provides continuous cooling for space science instruments to temperatures below 1 Kelvin is critical for new infrared and x-ray astrophysics missions.

Danielle Nielson Danielle Nielsen
UW-Madison
Research Title: Exploring Diffuse Radio Emission in Galaxy Groups
Synopsis: Extended radio emission provides information on properties of galaxy clusters, such as magnetic fields and dynamical activity. We propose to study radio emission in galaxy groups.

Anna Williams Anna Williams
UW-Madison
Research Title: Two Perspectives of Star Formation at Two Cosmic Epochs
Synopsis: This project aim is to better understand galaxy evolution by measuring the metallicity of galaxies during the peak epoch of star formation, and by looking for AGN feedback in post-starburst galaxies.

Isak Wold Isak Wold
UW-Madison
Research Title: A Search for Ultraluminous Infrared Galaxies at Early Cosmic Times
Synopsis: The goal of this program is to determine if our current understanding of galaxy evolution can accommodate the observed population of distant ultraluminous infrared galaxies (ULIRGs).

2010-2011

Blakesley Burkhart
UW-Madison
Research Title: Characterizing Magnetohydrodynamic Turbulence in the ISM
Synopsis: The study of turbulence is important in order to gain insight into the ISM. I propose to use dendrograms and tsallis statistics to gain insight into turbulence parameters, sonic & Alfven Mach numbers.

Sydney Chamberlin
UW-Milwaukee
Research Title: Gravitational Wave Tests of the Theory of Gravity
Synopsis: Recent developments in gravitational wave astronomy may be used to test various metric theories of gravity.

Jordan Gerth
UW-Madison
Research Title: Blending MODIS and in-situ observations as NWP initial conditions for NPP
Synopsis: This proposal seeks funding for research quanitifying the impact and value of NASA Earth Observing System (EOS) data on weather forecasts in the Great Lakes region.

Natalie Gosnell
UW-Madison
Research Title: Survey of Open Cluster X-Ray Populations
Synopsis: There is a well-established link in globular clusters between X-ray sources and cluster dynamics. This project sets out to find if a similar link exists with the X-ray populations of open clusters.

Kelley Hess
UW-Madison
Research Title: The Evolution of HI in Galaxy Groups in the Coma-A1367 Supercluster
Synopsis: Our goal is to study the cold neutral gas in galaxy groups to estimate the evolution that occurs through galaxy-galaxy interactions, and through ram pressure stripping.

Stefanie Knauf
UW-Madison
Research Title: Flow and Heat Transfer Correlations for Passive Regenerators
Synopsis: Optimization of active magnetic regenerative refrigeration systems provides an environmentally safe, gravity independent, high-efficient substitute to current air conditioning and refrigeration units


Benjamin Lackey
UW-Milwaukee
Research Title: Extracting equation of state parameters from binary neutron star inspiral
Synopsis: Gravitational wave observations of binary neutron stars can strongly constrain the equation of state. I will develop techniques for extraction of state parameters from the data.

Marco Lo Ricco
UW-Milwaukee
Research Title: Analysis and Testing of Composite Materials Subject to Impact and Repair
Synopsis: Repair methodologies for lightweight, high-strength composite materials used in aerospace structures will be developed to aid decisionmakers in determining the efficacy of patches to their fleets.

Louis Nigra
UW-Madison
Research Title: Cancellation of Space-Based Intereference in Radio Telescopes
Synopsis: An innovative prototype Radio Frequency Interference cancellation system for the Arecibo radio telescope to reduce undesired GPS satellite signals that can degrade the quality of scientific data.

Joseph Ruffini
UW-Milwaukee
Research Title: Hematite & Sulfate Minerals in Lava Tubes: Potential Mars Anologues
Synopsis: The mineralogy and geochemistry of hematite, silica, and sulfate minerals in a basalitic cave environment: potential analog for Mars.

Andrew Schechtman-Rook
UW-Madison
Research Title: Decoding the Kinematics of Face-on Spiral Galaxies with a Genetic Algorithm
Synopsis: We employ a genetic algorithm and a realistic model to improve estimates of the vertical velocity dispersion in face-on spiral galaxies, a key component in measuring a galaxy's dark matter mass.

Jonathan Van Dyke
Medical College of Wisconsin
Research Title: Stretch Plus Contraction is Required to Prevent Muscle Atrophy
Synopsis: This study will examine the combined effect of contraction plus stretch on preventing muscle atrophy in a rat model and aid the development of exercise countermeasures for long-term human spaceflight.

2009-2010

Lisa Anderson

Lisa Anderson-Antle
UW-Milwaukee
Research Title: Simulated Weightlessness and Radiation in Bone Health
Synopsis: Space is a hazardous environment with the potential to challenge the long-term health of astronauts. As weightlessness may impact the influence of radiation on long-term tissue regeneration, it is important to understand the underlying molecular and cellular mechanisms so that effective interventions can be found. Our long-term goals are to determine the mechanisms of tissue degeneration and to develop effective countermeasures for musculoskeletal disuse. Studies using both physiological and molecular approaches will be used to achieve our objectives. This research is relevant to clinical conditions of physical inactivity and immobilization.

Emily Barrentiner
UW-Madison
Research Title: The Development of a Transition Edge Hot-Electron Microbolometer
Synopsis: Future NASA missions to probe the Cosmic Microwave Background polarization will need sensitive detectors provided by arrays of 1000s of bolometers. My project will develop a Transition-Edge Hot-Electron Microbolometer to fill this need.

Blakesley Burkhart
UW-Madison
Research Title: The Quest for Understanding Interstellar Turbulence: New Ways of Analyzing Data
Synopsis: Astronomers have long wanted to characterize sonic and Alfven Mach numbers in the ISM as well as measure the spectrum of turbulent velocities in order to test theoretical models. In response to this, I propose to conduct a study using new density and velocity diagnostic tools that will increase the information yield provided by column densities and emission and absorption lines. For my analysis of velocity spectrum, I will use the Velocity Channel Analysis (VCA) and the Velocity Coordinate Spectrum (VCS) to measure the turbulent velocity spectra. The anticipated outcome of this project using both density and velocity tools will be the localization of the places of energy injection and dissipation in various phases of the Milky Way, insight into the energetic connection between the warm and cold gas, characterization of magnetic and sonic Mach numbers, as well as clarification of the nature of the compressible turbulent cascade.

Amanda Gault
UW-Madison
Research Title: Observing with the Millimeter-wave Bolometric Interfrerometer
Synopsis: The Millimeter-wave Bolometric Interferometer, a test-bed for technology for the Einstein Inflation Probe, will begin observing this year. These observations and characterizations of the instrument will continue through 2009.

Aaron Geller
UW-Madison
Research Title: The Progeny of Stellar Dynamics and Stellar Evolution
Synopsis: Through detailed integration of forefront observations and theory, the proposed NGC 188 N-body simulation will greatly advance our understanding of the interplay of the fundamental fields of stellar evolution and stellar dynamics.

Jordan Gerth

Jordan Gerth
UW-Madison
Research Title: Applying MODIS Atmosphere Observations to Numerical Weather Prediction Simulations
Synopsis: This work proposes using the Weather Research and Forecast (WRF) Model with initial conditions modified by data from two NASA satellites equipped with a MODerate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) to assess the impact of space-based data on mesoscale weather simulations (occurring on a horizontal grid of 20-kilometer spacing or less) over regional sectors. A particularly notable region is the Great Lakes, where the marine-modified atmosphere plays a significant role in the weather of coastal communities. The end goal is to show improved temperature and moisture forecasts and provide this data to the National Weather Service (NWS) in real-time.


Diana Husmann

Diana Husmann
UW-Madison
Research Title: Time Lab between Solar PV Efficiency Breakthroughs and Mass-Production in Public and Private Research
Synopsis: Comparing solar PV efficiency breakthroughs coming from public and private labs to determine which breakthroughs have been commercialized the most quickly and suggest better commercialization methods.

Ryan Keenan

Ryan Keenan
UW-Madison
Research Title: Galaxy Evolution Study
Synopsis: This project is an astronomy collaboration involving the use of telescopes in the United States and in Chile to study the spectra of a large sample of galaxies for the purpose of constraining galaxy evolution through major mergers.

Benjamin Lackey
UW-Milwaukee
Research Title: Extracting Equation of State Parameters from Neutron-Star Observations
Synopsis: The neutron-star equation of state can be highly constrained with current observations and expected future electromagnetic and gravitational wave observations of compact binary systems. Both analytical and numerical work will be done to determine how these observations can be most accurately mapped onto the equation of state. The results can be used to determine the configuration of advanced gravitational wave detectors that will maximize their sensitivity to equation of state parameters encoded in the waveforms.

Claus Moberg

Claus Moberg
UW-Madison
Research Title: A Satellite- and Modeling-Based Source Apportionment Analysis of Tropospheric Ozone Pollution Over the Western United States
Synopsis: This project uses satellite- and ground-based observations of atmospheric variables to constrain a regional model of atmospheric chemistry over the Western United States. The goal of the project is to better determine the relative importance of stratospheric ozone contributions to ground-level concentrations of ozone pollution.


Jordan Muss

Jordan Muss
UW-Madison
Research Title: Measurement of Three-Dimensional Canopy Structure Using Discrete Lidar Data
Synopsis: Forest canopy structure will be measured using discrete lidar data and methods typically reserved for waveform data. A new technique will be developed that describes 3-D clumping of canopy elements.

Laura Trouille
UW-Madison
Research Title: X-Ray and Optical Spectral Properties of Active Galactic Nuclei
Synopsis: I explore the X-ray and optical spectral properties of a highly spectroscopically complete sample of Chandra Active Galactic Nuclei in order to better understand the interaction between the ionizing flux and the surrounding material.

Jonathan Van Dyke

Jonathan Van Dyke
Medical College of WI
Research Title: Understanding Stretch-Induced Subcellular Signals Responsible for Countering Muscle Atrophy
Synopsis: This research is designed to characterize the stretch-induced interaction between two subcellular signaling factors, p38 MAPK and MEF2, and their role in preventing loss muscle wasting in unloaded skeletal muscle.


2008-2009

Claudia Cyganowski
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Research Title: On a Bubble’s Edge: Molecular Gas and Triggered Star Formation
Synopsis: The GLIMPSE survey shows that small, infrared-bright dust bubbles produced by massive stars pervade the Galactic Plane.  Cyganowski will investigate whether the expansion of these bubbles triggers star formation in surrounding molecular gas.

Valerie Bennington
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Research Title: Understanding Lake Superior Biogeochemistry
Synopsis: I will create an ecosystem model appropriate for Lake Superior’s food web, nutrient limitations, and carbon chemistry.  I will couple this ecosystem model to the MIT general circulation model, adapted to Lake Superior’s bathymetry, to determine the annual flux of carbon between the lake and the atmosphere.  I will determine the importance of biological productivity on the lake’s annual flux, and I will quantify how physical climate variability affects productivity and the resulting carbon flux.  Such analysis will enable researchers to estimate the future carbon fluxes of Lake Superior in varying climate scenarios.  Lake Superior is oligotrophic and future land use may alter the supply of phosphorous to the lake.  I will determine whether changes in the macronutrient budget of Lake Superior could have an effect on its carbon exchange.  From all of these experiments, the importance of biological production to variability in the lake flux will be determined.  If biological production is a first-order control of lake flux variability, satellite-derived estimates of lake chlorophyll can be used to estimate changes in the lake flux.

Yakira Braden
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Research Title: Parameter Calibration and Computer Simulations for Complex Physical Systems
Synopsis: Today, companies across the world are constantly in search of innovative ideas that can reduce their cost of production and operation and increase their profits. Many industries aim to simulate a model of their physical system of interest as opposed to producing and testing the actual system. The proposed research of system identification, often referred to as parameter calibration, yields itself as an appealing and applicable cost effective solution that satisfies this goal. When applying parameter calibration in conjunction with computer simulation of complex physical systems, the model of this physical system is constructed in a simulation program called ADAMS and model parameters are calibrated in order to produce results that closely match the field data gathered from the physical system. ADAMS is a motion simulation solution for analyzing the complex behavior of mechanical assemblies. Parameter calibration will be a useful modeling tool in the aerospace industry, as far as system manufacturing is concerned, because it provides one with the insight needed to make an accurate estimation of the cost of production including man power, cost of materials, amount of materials needed, and construction completion time. Foreseeable design and construction problems can also identified.

Megan Christenson
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Research Title: Using Land Use Change as Predictor of Disease Emergence
Synopsis: Explore the hypothesis by conducting interviews in a community in Brazil where a Chagas disease outbreak has occurred in order to obtain data about the disease transmission and shifts in land use (i.e., deforestation).

Amanda Gault
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Research Title: Observing with the Millimeter-wave Bolometric Interfrerometer
Synopsis: The Millimeter-wave Bolometric Interferometer, a test-bed for technology for the Einstein Inflation Probe, will begin observing this year. These observations and characterizations of the instrument will continue through 2009.

Matthew Glenz
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Research Title: Proposal to Research Cosmic Neutrinos and Spectrum of Early Universe Fluctuations
Synopsis: Determine spectrum of early universe inflaton fluctuations in a way that does not depend
on regularization of the quantized fluctuation in curved spacetime; continue research into
cosmic neutrinos.

Kelley Hess
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Research Title: Environmental Impacts on the Evolution of Galaxy Groups in the Coma-A1367 Supercluster
Synopsis: Investigate the HI content of galaxy groups and their member galaxies surrounding the Coma-A1367 Supercluster. Within this large volume of the Universe, galaxy groups reside in a large range of environments. The goal of this study is to quantify the evolution of galaxies and their cold gas in groups, as a function of the local density.  This study will utilize the wealth of data acquired through the Arecibo Legacy Fast ALFA Survey.

Evan Alec Johnson
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Research Title: Multiscale Algorithm for Onset of Fast Magnetic Reconnection
Synopsis: An adaptive multiscale method will be developed to efficiently model the onset of fast reconnection.

Justin Madsen
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Research Title: Validation of Novel Rigid Body Frictional Contact Algorithms Using Tracked Vehicle Simulation: A Stepping Stone for Billion Body Dynamics
Synopsis: Computer modeling and simulation of mechanical systems with many rigid body frictional contacts is currently limited due to inefficient formulation. A time-stepping method which describes frictional impacts and contacts as unilateral constraints and solves the resulting linear complementarity problem on the velocity-impulse level with a novel fixed-point iteration process has recently been introduced. Research will be done to determine the accuracy of this new formulation by running a series of simulations on a hydraulic excavator model.

Michael Morrissey
Marquette University
Research Title: Examination of Granular Surface Impact via Particle Vision Velocimetry
Synopsis: The objective of this research project is to better understand the dynamics associated with the impact of loose granular material.  This is an important phenomenon to study when exploring different bodies in our universe.  Using these different projectiles as a simple probe, NASA would be able to launch an object at any surface in space and observe the crater formation and the debris that ejects from the crater to better understand the geology within.  When an object impacts a granular surface, a shock wave forms below, meanwhile, the ejecta, initially below the surface, rises and lands on top of the surface.   When this crater and debris is studied, one can better determine the geological makeup of the planet and possibly the existence of water, a key component of sustained human space exploration.  Experimental simulations will illustrate a metal sphere accelerating through a surface of sand, which will be recorded by a high speed camera.  The images will then be post-processed by PIV software to better understand the shock wave preceding the sphere, as well as the ejecta accelerating upwards.  Preliminary experiments indicate this technique is viable.

Harrison Skye
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Research Title: Modeling and Experimentation with a Cascaded Mixed Gas Joule-Thomons Cryocooler for Aerospace Applications
Synopsis: Cryocoolers are a common critical component for space flight missions that provide cooling for liquid propellant storage, infrared detector arrays, and a variety of other applications.  Multiple stage Mixed Gas Joule-Thomson (MGJT) cryocoolers divide the large temperature range that must be spanned in most applications into two smaller temperature spans are each addressed more using a more compact system.  The system offers high reliability and excellent vibration and electrical resistance because the compressors operate at warm temperatures and are decoupled from the load heat exchanger.  The system operates in a continuous flow loop and is therefore the working fluid is readily transported to integrate to distant or spatially large loads.  This paper describes a project that will use a numerical model of a MGJT cycle to select optimal gas mixtures in order to provide a maximal amount of refrigeration given hardware constraints including compressor and heat exchanger size.  An experimental test facility will be constructed to measure key temperatures, pressures, flow rates, and thermal loads which characterize the performance of the system.  The experimental performance results will be incorporated into the numerical model to select an optimal mixture for the specific system studied here.  Experimental measurements will be used to verify the increase in available refrigeration and to refine the predictive capabilities of the model.

2007-2008

Ella Braden
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Research Title
: The Young Open Cluster M35 as a Probe of Stellar Dynamics and Binary Populations
Synopsis: In order to improve current understanding of stars and stellar evolution, Braden will analyze the binary frequency, mass-segregation, stars showing anomalous spectra and eclipsing binaries in the young open cluster M35.

Claudia Cyganowski
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Research Title: On a Bubble’s Edge: Molecular Gas and Triggered Star Formation
Synopsis: The GLIMPSE survey shows that small, infrared-bright dust bubbles produced by massive stars pervade the Galactic Plane.  Cyganowski will investigate whether the expansion of these bubbles triggers star formation in surrounding molecular gas.

Emily Freeland
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Research Title: Bent-Double Radio Sources as Probes of the Intragroup Medium
Synopsis: The vast majority of galaxies, including the Milky Way, reside in loose groups which are small dynamical systems typically containing a handful of large galaxies and a large number of smaller ones.  Groups probably contain a significant fraction of the total baryonic mass in the local universe in their intragroup medium (IGM).  Aside from a handful of X-ray observations almost nothing is known about the IGM in these systems.  This is a continuation of a thesis project consisting of radio and optical observations that will allow Freeland to measure the density of the IGM to an unprecedented degree.

Amanda Gault
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Research Title: Microwave Instrumentation and the Millimeter-wave Bolometric Interferometer
Synopsis: Advanced microwave phase modulators will provide lock-in detection of small CMB signals.  These are being tested for use in the Millimeter-wave Bolometric Interferometer, a test-bed for technology for the Einstein Inflation Probe.

Matthew Glenz
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Research Title: Proposal to Research a New Modeling of Inflation and High Energy Neutrino Detections to Probe Distant Universe
Synopsis: Develop new method of modeling inflation to explore the history of the universe and examine neutrino interaction signatures to be used as probes of physics in the distant universe.

Kelley Hess
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Research Title: Gas Evolution in Galaxy Groups as a Function of Environment
Synopsis: The properties of gas in and around galaxies trace the evolutionary history of large-scale structures over the lifetime of the universe.  The most interesting and least well studied of these structures are groups: collections of a handful of massive galaxies and large numbers of small galaxies.  Close to 70 percent of all galaxies are believed to reside in such groups, and therefore they are a key evolutionary link between individual galaxies and the massive clusters.  Hess will identify a sample of galaxy groups detected in the Arecibo Legacy Fast ALFA (ALFALFA) survey, and use the observations to study the characteristics of the cold neutral gas that lies within the late-type galaxies.  Meanwhile, X-ray observations identify active galactic nuclei (AGN), and trace the hot gas that lies in the intragroup medium.  By examining and quantifying the properties of gas in a sample of groups, Hess hopes to understand the impact of AGN on groups, and how the groups evolve as a function of environment.

Evan Alec Johnson
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Research Title: Relaxation Algorithm for Two-Fluid Space Plasmas
Synopsis: A relaxation method will be developed to switch naturally and adaptively between two-fluid and one-fluid plasma models.

Tobias Keidl
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Research Title: On Finding Fields and Self-Force in a Gauge Appropriate to Separable Wave Equations
Synopsis: Keidl will look at a binary black hole system composed of a supermassive black hole orbited by a stellar sized black hole and will examine the motion and radiation emitted by this system to calculate a waveform suitable for use by LISA.

Amanda Kepley
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Research Title: Magnetic Fields in Irregular Galaxies
Synopsis: Kepley will investigate the magnetic field structure of irregular galaxies using observations at radio wavelengths in order to understand how large-scale fields are generated in these galaxies.

Ryan Taylor
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Research Title: Computational Fluid Dynamic Modeling of Pulse-Tube Refrigerators
Synopsis: Taylor will carry out fundamental work that will enable the deployment of high efficiency pulse-tube refrigerators (PTRs) for aerospace applications by developing an experimentally-verified and powerful CFD model that can be applied to the design of efficient pulse tubes.  The specific objective of the work is the development of computational fluid dynamic (CFD) models of pulse tube/flow transition behavior using the commercial software FLUENT.  These CFD models will be experimentally-validated using data taken at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Boulder, CO.  The experimentally-validated model will be used to generate design charts which will enable a pulse-tube designer the ability to use the most optimal pulse-tube design for a given set of operational parameters to maximize system efficiency.

Jonathan Van Dyke
Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
Research Title: Searching for a Muscle Atrophy Countermeasure in Over-Wintering Black Bears
Synopsis: Van Dyke will study the mechanism bears use to maintain muscle mass during hibernation and resist the negative effects of reduced weight bearing activity.  This may be applied in humans to preserve skeletal muscle in microgravity.

2006-2007

Emily Barrentine
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Research Title: Development of a Transition-Edge Hot-Electron Microbolometer
Synopsis: Future missions to probe the Cosmic Microwave Background polarization will need sensitive detectors provided by arrays of 1000s of bolometers. My project will develop a Transition-Edge Hot-Electron Microbolometer to fill this need.

Kathryn Devine
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Research Title: Infra-Red Dark Clouds - Internal Conditions and Link to Massive Star Formation
Synopsis: I will investigate the relationship between infrared dark clouds and high mass star formation to establish whether IRDCs are similar to low-mass pre-protostellar cores and the IRDC fraction exhibiting star formation.

Emily Freeland
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Research Title: The Environments of Bent-Double Radio Galaxies
Synopsis: Attempts to measure the baryon content of the local universe have as yet been unsuccessful in accounting for greater than one third of the baryon density seen at high redshifts. Hydrodynamical simulations predict that 30-40% of the baryons in the local universe reside in a warm-hot intergalactic medium (WHIM). This WHIM may account for a large component of baryonic matter in groups of galaxies. One method of probing the density of a warm intragroup medium is examining its impact on the jets of radio galaxies. These jets have an impact on their surrounding environment. Radio halos and relics have been detected in clusters of galaxies but their origin is unknown. Previous searches for this diffuse non-thermal radio emission have concentrated on clusters and little is known about this emission in groups of galaxies. Recent searches of 327 MHz radio catalogs have reported three groups of galaxies which have radio luminosities similar to clusters and do not follow the cluster LR - LX relation. I propose to use low frequency (610 and 235 MHz) radio continuum observations, optical spectroscopy and imaging, and previous optical and radio catalogs to study the environments of a large sample of bent-double radio sources in galaxy groups.

Amanda Gault
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Research Title: Microwave Instrumentation and the Millimeter-wave Bolometric Interferometer for Studying CMB Polarization
Synopsis: Advanced microwave phase modulators will provide lock-in detection of small CMB signals. These are being tested for use in the Millimeter-wave Bolometric Interferometer, a test-bed for technology for the Einstein Inflation Probe.

Aaron Geller
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Research Title: New Astrophysics from Old Open Clusters
Synopsis: I propose to make high-resolution radial-velocity measurements to determine membership and binary star orbits for WOCS clusters. These data will serve as a testing ground for a complete theory of stellar evolution and dynamics.

Karen Tabetha Hole
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Research Title: Supernova Asymmetry through Spectropolarimetric Modeling and Observation
Synopsis: An investigation of supernova explosions using spectropolarimetric observations and simulations to constrain progenitors and explosion mechanisms for both Type Ia and core-collapse supernovae.

Peter Hyland
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Research Title: Exploring the Earliest Times with the Millimeter-wave Bolometric Interferometer
Synopsis: The Millimeter-wave Bolometric Interferometer is an experiment which utilizes two mature technologies to measure the polarized component of the CMB and provide a window on the earliest times and highest energy scales in the universe.

Evan A Johnson
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Research Title: Adaptive Heterogenous Multiscale Methods for Space Plasmas
Synopsis: Adaptive domain decomposition methods will be developed to adaptively switch between numerical methods for kinetic and fluid models of plasmas to achieve optimal efficiency and physical correctness.

Tobias Keidl
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Research Title: Gravitational Radiation for a Two Black Hole Binary System
Synopsis: In this proposal, we look at a binary black hole system composed of a supermassive black hole orbited by a small stellar sized black hole. We will examine the detailed motion and radiation emitted by this system to provide a template for LISA.

Benjamin Longmier
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Research Title: Electric Propulsion Using a Neutralizing Non-Ambipolar Electron Source
Synopsis: Non-Ambipolar Electron Sources have the potential to increase the lifetime of state-of-the-art Hall and Ion thrusters for spacecraft missions throughout the solar system. This research aims to do this using an rf plasma source.

Matthew Povich
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Research Title: Taking the Pulse of the Milky Way
Synopsis: I propose to estimate the star-formation rate of the Milky Way utilizing the GLIMPSE survey combined with various supplementary datasets. A Spitzer Legacy Science Program, GLIMPSE utilizes the unique capabilities of the Infrared Array Camera on board the Spitzer Space Telescope to look through heavy obscuration in the Galactic disk and observe young stars in the infrared that are rendered invisible at optical wavelengths by extinction. The GLIMPSE point-source catalog and archive contain the infrared colors and spectral energy distributions for several tens of millions of sources, a significant fraction of which are young stellar objects. This provides a means of directly characterizing the stellar content of numerous star formation regions. Previous estimates of the Galactic star-formation rate have relied upon indirect methods of detecting O stars and extrapolating across the initial mass function to lower-mass stars. My research will combine the population statistics across the Galactic disk and ultimately lead to a refinement or revision of the birthrate.

Harrison Skye
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Research Title: Rectified Continuous Flow Loop for the Thermal Management of Large Structures
Synopsis: Distributed loads are frequently encountered in large deployable structures used in space applications such as optical mirrors, actively cooled sunshades, and on focal plane electronics. An innovative mechanism for providing distributed cooling is via an oscillatory cryocooler such as a pulse-tube that is integrated with a fluid rectification system consisting of check-valves and buffer volumes in order to extract a small amount of continuous flow. This continuous flow allows relatively large loads to be accepted over a long distance with a small temperature difference and has advantages relative to vibration and electrical isolation. Also, it is possible to provide rapid and precise temperature control via modulation of the flow rate. The same working fluid, helium, can be used throughout the entire system, reducing complexity and simplifying the contamination control process.

2005-2006

Borg, Lori
UW-Madison
Major/Title:  Atmospheric and Oceanic Science

Chomiuk, Laura
UW-Madison
Major/Title:  Astronomy

Cyganowski, Claudia
UW-Madison
Major/Title:  Astronomy

Devine, Kathryn
UW-Madison
Major/Title:  Astronomy

Freeland, Emily
UW-Madison
Major/Title:  Astronomy

Gault, Amanda
UW-Madison
Major/Title:  Physics

Hamann, Joseph
UW-Madison
Major/Title:  Materials Science & Engineering

Hole, Karen
UW-Madison
Major/Title:  Astronomy

Howard, Matthew
UW-Madison
Major/Title:  Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences

Hyland, Peter
UW-Madison
Major/Title:  Physics

Keidl, Tobias
UW-Milwaukee
Major/Title:  Physics

Kulie, Mark
UW-Madison
Major/Title:  Atmospheric Science

Longmier, Benjamin
UW-Madison
Major/Title:  Engineering Physics

Trouille, Laura
UW-Madison
Major/Title:  Astronomy

Westfall, Kyle
UW-Madison
Major/Title:  Astronomy

2004-2005

Borg, Lori A.
University of Massachusetts at Amherst
Research:  Aerosols, Clouds, and Precipitation Monitoring over the Great Lakes
Synopsis:  Recent studies highlight the implications of human activities on climate in the Great Lakes region. The proposed project will address one aspect of human activities by monitoring the impact of pollution on the clouds and aerosols.

Crawford, Steven
U. of Wisconsin--Madison
Research:  ACS Imaging of Luminous Compact Blue Galaxies: Morphology and Structure
Synopsis:  Despite their small size, Luminous Compact Blue Galaxies dominate the global star formation rate at intermediate redshifts and provide an important test of hierarchical structure formation scenarios.

Dellenbusch, Kate
University of Wisconsin - Madison
Research:  Star Formation and its Trigger in Starburst Dwarf Galaxies
Synopsis:  Dwarf galaxies are the most numerous type of galaxy in the universe. It is not clear whether an evolutionary connection exists between different dwarf morphological types, and what role star formation may play in this evolution.

Freeland, Emily
University of Wisconsin - Madison
Research:  The Gas Content of Groups of Galaxies
Synopsis:  Intermediate between isolated galaxies and rich clusters, groups of galaxies are the most ubiquitous dynamical systems in the universe. Nonetheless, very little is known about the structure and evolution of their gas content.

Hamann, Joseph A.
University of Wisconsin - Madison
Research:  Synthesis & Stability of Amorphous Aluminum Alloys - Advancing Towards Bulk Processing Techniques

Hole, Karen
University of Wisconsin - Madison
Research:  Magnetic Disk Locking and the Angular Momentum Problem in Young Stars
Synopsis:  Magnetic disk locking is a leading theory to explain the difference between the observed rotation speeds of CTTSs and those predicted from conservation of angular momentum in a collapsing molecular cloud. Still, the theory is not yet able to explain the properties of observed CTTSs.

Hyland, Peter
University of Wisconsin - Madison
Research:  A Search for Gravity Waves from the Big Bang using the Cosmic Microwave Background

Keidl, Tobias S.
University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee
Research:  Gravitational Radiation for a Two Black Hole Binary System
Synopsis:  Understanding of the self force of a small black holes spiraling into a large black hole represents an important area of research. This research aims to compute the gravitational self force of such systems.

Komp, William
University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee
Research:  Accelerating the Universe with Vacuum Metamorphosis

Norman, Ryan
University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee
Research:  Kaon Transport for Space Radiation and the Continued Development of HZETRN
Synopsis:  Space radiation and its effects on human life and sensitive equipment are of concern to a safe exploration of space. The radiation fields are modified in quality and quantity by intervening shielding materials. The production of kaons and other mesons are thought to account for some of these modifications.

Tuchowski, Fern
University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee
Research:  The Experimental Study and System Optimization of a Direct Methanol Fuel Cell
Synopsis:  Direct methanol fuel cells promise to be convenient and efficient sources of energy that can be used in many environments, including space. This project proposes to modify the membrane of the DMFC and employ a fuel catalyst to improve its performance.

Wehner, Elizabeth
University of Wisconsin - Madison
Research:  The Pre-Burst Nature of Starbursting Galaxies w/Evidence of Recent Merging
Synopsis:  This project will explore the connection between "starburst" galaxies, those experiencing extreme star formation, and intergalactic collisions. Understanding this link will test two competing theories and provide valuable insight into how galaxies form and evolve.

Westfall, Kyle
University of Wisconsin - Madison
Research:  Toward the Disk Mass-to-Light Ratio of Faint Galaxies
Synopsis:  I propose to break the disk-halo degeneracy in the mass decomposition of galactic rotation curves in the interesting case of low-surface brightness (LSB) galaxies. The proposed work requires the continuation of the upgrade to the Bench Spectograph on the WIYN 3.5-meter telescope.

2003-2004

Baewer, David
Medical College of WI
Research:  Daily Stretching of Soleus Muscles

Cook, Blake
UW-Milwaukee
Research:  Forced Induced Response on Axial Fan

Crawford, Steven
UW-Madison
Research:  The Ultimate Fate of Luminous Compact Galaxies

Hamann, Joseph
UW-Madison
Research:  Synthesis and Stability of Amorphous A1 Alloys

Hole, Karen
UW-Madison
Research:  Investigation of Stellar Evolution

Kepley, Amanda
UW-Madison
Research:  Extended HI in Local Group Dwarf Irregular WLM

Komp, William
UW-Milwaukee
Research:  Vacuum Metamorphosis and the Accelerating Cosmos

Madsen, Gregory
UW-Madison
Research:  Continuing a WHAM Study of the Heterogeneous Nature of the Worm

Norman, Ryan
UW-Milwaukee
Research:  Pion Production Cross Sections and HZETRN

Sams, Oliver
Marquette
Research:  Hybrid Rocket Engines

Steffen, Aaron
UW-Madison
Research:  The Evolution of the X-ray Luminosity Function

Wehner, Elizabeth
UW-Madison
Research:  The Pre-burst Nature of Star bursting Galaxies

2002-2003

Blattnig, Steve
UW-Milwaukee
Research:  MESTRN: a Meson-Muon Transport Code For Space Radiation

Dake, Timothy
Marquette
Research:  Cooling of the Next Generation Micro-Chips in Aerospace Communications

Glenn, Andrew
UW-Madison
Research:  Structure and Evolution of Brightest Cluster Ellipticals

Hamann, Joseph
UW-Madison
Research:  Synthesis & Stability of Amorphous Al Alloys: Advancing Towards Bulk Processing Techniques

Komp, William
UW-Milwaukee
Research:  Vacuum Dominated Cosmologies

Madsen, Gregory
UW-Madison
Research:  A WHAM Study of the Heterogeneous Nature of the Warm Ionized Medium

Sams, Oliver
Marquette
Research:  Computational Modeling of a Vortex Injection Liquid Rocket Engine

Steffen, Aaron
UW-Madison
Research:  Measuring the Global Accretion History Of Active Galactic Nuclei

Vyas, Anand
Marquette University
Research:  Theoretical Characterization of Vortex Injection Core Flow in Rocket Combustion Chambers

2001-2002

Steve Blattnig
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Research:  Pion and Muon Transport for Space Radiation Applications

Andrew Glenn
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Research:  Structure and Evolution of Brightest Cluster Ellipticals

Joseph Hamann
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Research:  Synthesis & Stability of Amorphous Al Alloys: Advancing Towards Bulk Processing Techniques

Nicole Homeier
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Research:  Near-Infrared Survey for Emission-Line Stars in the Inner Milky Way

William Komp
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Research:  Vacuum Cold Dark Matter Dominated Epoch of FRW Cosmology

Nathan Miller
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Research:  Using Chandra Line Profiles to Probe Hot-Star X-ray Sources

Christopher Watson
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Research:  Magneto-turbulent Entrainment in Protostellar Outflows

2000-2001

Sean C. Ahern
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Christopher J. Conselice
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Dirk M. Fabian
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Daniel J. Pisano
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Christopher G. Watson
University of Wisconsin-Madison

1999-2000

Sean C. Ahearn
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Research:  Particle Production in High Energy Cosmic Ray Interactions

Susan Bellman
University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh
Research:  Metallicity Survey of the Dwarf Spheroidal Galaxy Draco

Steve R. Blattnig
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Research:  Pion Transport for Space Radiation Applications

Christopher J. Conselice
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Research:  Design Specifications for the Next Generation Space Telescope

Jennifer L. Hoffman
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Research:  Curing Color-Blindness in Binary Star Numerical Models

Daniel Pisano III
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Research:  Building Isolated Galaxies