Heather Mineart

Heather R. Mineart, M.B.A.

Departmental Administrator

Heather has been with the University of Iowa (UI) for 20 years and has worked in the Department of Physics & Astronomy for the last 17 years, currently serving as Interim Departmental Administrator. She holds a Master of Business Administration and a Bachelor of Business Administration and Human Resource Management from Mount Mercy University, Cedar Rapids Iowa. She serves in various committees/councils across campus including past president of UI Staff Council, the Strategic Plans Faculty and Staff Success Development Team and various high level leadership searches.

 

Scott Bounds, Ph.D.

Associate Research Scientist/Engineer
 

Kerem Cankocak

Research Scientist/Engineer
 

Brad Carson

Senior Systems Administrator
Andrew Carton

Andrew J. Carton

Electrical Design Engineer

Lead Electrical, Test and GSE. Systems Engineer (Magnetic Search Coil), Electrical Design Engineer.
Projects: Helped design space instrumentation for the Magnetic Search Coil on TRACERS and VIPER sounding rocket, and PLASMIC instrument for the LAMP sounding rocket. Also designed the control electronics for Iowa's Thermovacuum chamber.

 
ivar-christopher

Ivar W. Christopher

Ivar has extensive experience in analyzing large, complex data sets, primarily in the space plasma wave research field, as well as in  implementing operations (planning and commanding) for the plasma wave instrument on the Cluster spacecraft and will be doing similar work for the TRACERS mission. He also is experienced in processing and archiving of science data for multiple spacecraft missions.

Danielle Crawford

Danielle Crawford

Senior Systems Administrator

Dani is Science Operations Center (SOC) manager for TRACERS and was SOC Manager for EMFISIS instrument on Van Allen Probes, launched 2012.

Jeff Dolan

Jeff Dolan

Principal Engineer

Dolan is the instrument systems engineer for the TRACERS project. He served as the lead system engineer for the design, delivery, and assembly of electric and magnetic field instruments flown on the NASA sponsored Van Allen Probe spacecraft. He successfully collaborated with colleagues across the nation, supporting the integration and testing of the instruments following their installation.

Richard Dvorsky

Richard Dvorsky

Principal Engineer (Mechanical)

Mechanical Engineer, Mechanical Systems Engineer
Projects: Juno, Van Allen Probes, MMS, TRACERS, Sounding Rockets

mike estenson

Mike A. Estenson

Research Design Engineering Manager

CLAS Research Support, Design, Engineering, Repair, Calibration, ESD support, Troubleshooting
Projects: Support all of U of I campus, and outside customers for technical support needs. Includes diverse projects from many colleges and departments.

Diane Fountain

Diane Fountain

Director of Human Resources, CLAS
Zach Girazian

Zachary Girazian, Ph.D.

Associate Research Scientist/Engineer

Zach uses spacecraft data to study how the upper atmospheres and ionospheres of Venus and Mars are impacted by the Sun and space environment. He has participated on the science teams of ESA’s Mars Express and Venus Express missions, and is currently a member on the science team of NASA’s MAVEN mission. Zach also has an excellent track record of obtaining funding; he received NASA fellowships as both a graduate student and postdoc, and has won two NASA grants as Principal Investigator while at the University of Iowa.

Larry J. Granroth

Larry J. Granroth

Larry's specialty is research computing support, with over 40 years of experience with the world's foremost radio and plasma wave research group founded by Prof Donald Gurnett. He has been the lead software developer for multiple NASA missions, been involved with the Planetary Data System since its inception, designed and implemented the computing infrastructure supporting numerous spaceflight projects, and most importantly "made things work". He has expert knowledge in data analysis, scientific programming, computing infrastructure, systems administration, and data archiving.

Christian Hansen

Christian Hansen

Project Engineer (Mechanical)

Christian is a mechanical engineer in the Physics and Astronomy Department at the University of Iowa and has been supporting various spaceflight projects since 2018. Christian’s core competencies are CAD modeling of complex parts and assemblies for both ground and spaceflight applications, steady state conductive thermal analysis, structural analysis of launch loads (vibration and static), and thermal vacuum systems. His recent work has been developing the MAGIC (MAGnetometers for Innovation and Capability) payload as well as the TRACERS ACE (Analyzer for Cusp Electrons) instrument.

DHartley

David Hartley, Ph.D.

Assistant Research Scientist/Engineer

Dave uses in-situ spacecraft observations to study the dynamics of the Earth’s magnetosphere. He uses plasma wave observations from the EMFISIS instrument on NASA’s Van Allen Probes satellite mission, as well as MMS measurements, to study very low frequency (VLF) waves which play a critical role in driving variations in the different particle populations contained within the inner magnetosphere. Dave is currently Principal Investigator of two NASA grants, and Co-Investigator on an NSF-GEM grant.

George Hospodarsky

George Hospodarsky, Ph.D.

Research Scientist/Engineer

George has over 30 years of experience in the design, testing, calibration, operation, and analysis of scientific data from radio and plasma wave instruments and sensors flown on spacecraft and sounding rockets, including the TRACERS, Galileo, Juno, Cassini, Van Allen Probes, VIPER, Wind and Polar missions. Responsible for search coil magnetometer development, performance and calibration for the Polar, Wind, Juno, Van Allen Probes, VIPER and TRACERS missions. Research is mainly on the radio and plasma waves found in the magnetospheres of the outer planets and Earth.

 

Masafumi Imai

Assistant Research Scientist/Engineer
 

F D Ingram

Research Scientist/Engineer
Bill Kurth

William Kurth, Ph.D.

Research Scientist/Engineer

Bill is a long-time member of the Radio and Plasma Wave Group at Iowa. He studies radio and plasma waves in planetary magnetospheres, the solar wind, and the interstellar medium. He is a co-investigator on the Voyager Plasma Wave investigation currently in the interstellar medium and is the lead for the Waves instrument on Juno in orbit at Jupiter. He was also the lead for the Waves instruments on Van Allen Probes and a Principal Investigator on the Cassini Mission to Saturn. Bill is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union and was awarded the NASA Outstanding Public Leadership Medal.

 

Misty Lyon

Assistant to the Departmental Executive Officer
 

J. Douglas Menietti, Ph.D.

Research Scientist/Engineer

Dr. Menietti has extensive experience in space plasma data analysis and computation. Recent interests include wave growth analyses using the WHAMP dispersion solver for the space plasma environment. He has performed extensive analyses of Galileo and Polar plasma wave data and is credited with discovering control of Jovian Hectometric (HOM) emission by Ganymede. He has conducted analysis of Cassini plasma wave data studying diffusive acceleration of the electrons by chorus and Z-mode emission. Currently he is a Participating Scientist on the Juno Mission studying plasma waves in the Jovian magnetosphere.

 
Mullen

Jeanne Mullen

Academic Clinical Program Management Assoc.
Graduate Program Coordinator
 
 

Aldo Penzo

Research Scientist/Engineer
Jolene Pickett

Jolene Pickett

Researcher

Jolene's research interests lie in the area of space physics, specifically Electrostatic Solitary Waves, Auroral Kilometric Radiation and Chorus Waves observed in space plasmas. She is the NASA Principal Investigator of the Wideband Data (WBD) plasma wave instrument flying onboard the European Space Agency four-spacecraft Cluster mission, which has been in orbit for over 20 years.

 

Chris Piker

Senior Database Administrator
 

Jose Repond

Research Scientist/Engineer
Caroline Roberts

Caroline Anna Roberts, Ph.D.

Graduate Mentor Program (GradMAP) Coordinator
Instructional Services Specialist

Caroline received her BS in Physics from Sewanee: The University of the South and her MS in Physics and PhD in Astronomy from Georgia State University. In the University of Iowa Department of Physics and Astronomy she is the Astronomy Laboratory Coordinator and Van Allen Observatories Manager, supervising the experience of undergraduate students taking Astronomy lab classes in the department and overseeing the operation of the department’s 17- and 20-inch telescopes used for labs, research, and outreach. She is also a co-coordinator of the department’s “Hawkeyes in Space” outreach program and the program advisor for GradMAP, the department graduate student peer-mentoring group.

 
Lori Roller

Lori Roller

Quality Assurance Manager

Lori Roller is the Quality Assurance Manager for the Department of Physics and Astronomy and has the responsibility for determining the effectiveness of the Quality Management System (QMS) process and controls system for ISO 9001 and is responsible for developing, implementing, and maintaining quality standards, methods, instructions and planning on spaceflight projects and service centers. Her role is to facilitate the inspection and provide technical oversight to the manufacturing build and testing on mechanical, electronic components, assemblies, and products.

 

Suranga Ruhunusiri, Ph.D.

Associate Research Scientist/Engineer

Suranga’s research interests include building detectors to characterize charged particles in planetary plasma environments, applying machine learning methods for characterization of planetary plasma environments, and investigating plasma turbulence in planetary and cometary environments.

 

Brett Scheiner

Assistant Research Scientist/Engineer
 
 

Sercan Sen

Research Scientist/Engineer
David Sheets

David Sheets

Principal Engineer

David is an engineer with both electrical / software design and systems engineering experience. He is currently working as the systems engineer for the TRACERS ACE instrument and cognizant for several of the subsystems thereof.

Kristine Sigsbee

Kristine Sigsbee, Ph.D.

Associate Research Scientist/Engineer

Kristine investigates challenging questions in heliophysics about Earth’s magnetosphere, space weather, geomagnetic storms, and the Van Allen radiation belts.

Photo of Kevin Steele

Kevin Steele

Application Programmer/Analyst
Dale Stille

Dale Stille

Instructional Services Specialist

Dale has been with the University and the Department of Physics and Astronomy as the Instructional Resource Specialist for 35 years. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Buena Vista University in Storm Lake Iowa, and a Master’s degree in Chemistry from the University of Iowa. He is a member of the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT), American Physical Society (APS), and the Physics Instructional Resource Association (PIRA). He is also a Co-Coordinator of the Departments “Hawk-Eyes on Science”, and “Hawkeyes in Space” outreach programs.

Ali Sulaiman

Ali Sulaiman, Ph.D.

Assistant Research Scientist/Engineer

Ali's research specializes in explaining how energy (space plasma waves) propagate between the magnetospheres, ionospheres, satellites, and rings of the gas giants. His research portfolio is built on his involvement in NASA's Juno mission to Jupiter, NASA/ESA's Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn, and ESA's future Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer mission to Jupiter. Ali was the recipient of the 2019 University of Iowa Postdoctoral Scholar Excellence Award, the 2017 International Union of Radio Science Young Scientists Award, and the 2016 Springer Thesis Prize (Recognizing Outstanding PhD Research).

 

Toby Thompkins

Engineering Coordinator
Darrelle Wilkinson

Darrelle Wilkinson

Team member of Juno, TRACERS, Cassini, and Van Allen Probes missions. Work includes but is not limited to instrument commanding, data analysis, and dataset management