Thursday, December 21, 2023

Professors Keri Hoadley and Casey DeRoo in the Department of Physics and Astronomy have been awarded Nancy Grace Roman Technology Fellowships in Astrophysics for Early Career Researchers.

NASA's Roman Technology Fellowship will supply $500,000 over two years to support their research in space-based instrumentation. Prof. Hoadley's award is to study technologies related to UV polarization, while Prof. DeRoo's award is focused on the development of diffraction gratings made via electron-beam lithography.

“This award lets us upgrade the grating fabrication techniques we’re using at Iowa to the very cutting-edge, hopefully unlocking some novel use cases for this technology," DeRoo said.

This annual NASA fellowship allows researchers to develop the skills necessary to become principal investigators (PIs) of future astrophysics missions and fosters new talent by putting early-career instrument builders on track towards long-term positions. Specifically, the fellowship facilitates the development of skills necessary to lead astrophysics flight instrumentation development projects, as well as the development of innovative technologies that have the potential to enable major scientific breakthroughs.

Prof. Hoadley and Prof. DeRoo were each named RTF Fellows in 2020. Only three fellows were awarded in that year, with two from Iowa. Iowa has a strong track record of these fellowship awards, having a third of the approximately 30 fellows in the history of the program.

Proposals for the Roman Technology Fellowship are solicited through both the NASA Astrophysics Research and Analysis (APRA) and Strategic Astrophysics Technology (SAT) program elements of the Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Sciences (ROSES) solicitation.