2022 News

CONNECT Received Five-Year, $5 Million Renewal Grant from the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration
The funds will go toward UTSA’s efforts to educate and train the next generation of scientists and engineers, to provide innovative solutions to challenges related to nuclear security, and to bolster the nation’s pipeline of underrepresented students prepared for research careers.
» UTSA Today

Laura Vega: First an APS Bridge Program Graduate, Now a NASA Astrophysicist
After earning her physics bachelor’s degree in 2013 from UTSA, Laura participated in the Fisk-Vanderbilt Master’s-to-PhD APS Bridge Program. Today, she is a postdoctoral researcher at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.

Dr. Angela Speck Co-Author of Research Article Published in Nature Astronomy
"The messy death of a multiple star system and the resulting planetary nebula as observed by JWST" analyses images of the planetary nebula NGC 3132 from the James Webb Space Telescope Early Release Observations.
» Nature Astronomy

UTSA Students Are Considering the Philosophy of Space Exploration – In the Metaverse – and Liking It
Dr. Chris Packham co-taught "Philosophy of Space Exploration" entirely in the metaverse using virtual reality technology. His students wore Meta Quest 2 VR headsets to enter the metaverse classroom.
» SA Express News

Dr. Lorenzo Brancaleon Received a Two-Year, $229,891 ARL ML-RCP Grant
The funding will support Dr. Brancaleon’s research into the molecular aging process and UV-induced damage of retinal melanin, a pigmentation that plays an important role in the overall health of the retina.
» UTSA Today

Fellowships Recognize Outstanding Newly Tenured UTSA Faculty
Dr. Kathryn Mayer awarded Lutcher Brown Fellowship. She plans to use her fellowship funds to further support her team’s research during the upcoming year.
» UTSA Today

Beyond the Known Universe: A Study in Exoplanets with UTSA Professor Thayne Currie
Dr. Currie is a member of the James Webb Science Telescope (JWST) Early Release Science Program in Exoplanet Direct Imaging.
» UTSA Today

Dr. Elizabeth Sooby Selected for Prestigious DOE Early Career Award
The nearly $750,000 in grant funding over the next five years will support Dr. Sooby’s research on utilizing artificial intelligence to study complex melting phenomena of uranium compound while developing a technology to more efficiently discover and develop materials for high temperature applications.
» UTSA Today

Look to the Stardust: UTSA Professor Angela Speck Eyes Way to Cool the Earth
Dr. Speck is studying how injecting small dust particles into the stratosphere can cool the Earth.
» SA Express News

PhD Students Adrian Gonzalez and Geronimo Robles Are 2022 LANL Student Symposium Poster Winners in Materials Science Category
Adrian's poster: "Assessment of High-Density Fuels During Hydrogen Interaction"
Geronimo's poster: "Thermomechanical Performance of Al and Al2O3 Alloyed Fuel Composite U3Si2+50wt%UB2"

Facilitating Advanced Nuclear Reactor Technology through Fuel Innovation
Dr. Elizabeth Sooby discusses the need for fuel innovation and discovery to enable advanced nuclear reactor technology
» Innovation News Network

UTSA Hosts International Fuels Collaboration to Advance Nuclear Energy Research
The UTSA Department of Physics and Astronomy held an international collaboration to advance the technical readiness of high uranium density fuels (HDFs) and composites for small modular reactors on campus from July 12 to July 14.
» COS Spotlight

UTSA Professor to Help Decode James Webb Space Telescope Images
Dr. Chris Packham is one of the five board members of a collaboration selected to access data from the James Webb Space Telescope. GATOS (Galactic Activity, Torus and Outflow Survey) has been given 55 hours of telescope time on the Webb.
» San Antonio Report

UTSA, SwRI Collaborate to Make More Efficient Storage Materials for Hydrogen Fuels
Dr. Kathryn Mayer is one of the UTSA collaborators working to improve storage materials for hydrogen fuels with a hybrid metal-carbon microstructure that combines both chemical and physical hydrogen storage mechanisms.
» UTSA Today

A Work of Art: Dr. Chris Packham Describes New Worlds Captured by Webb Telescope
In this video, Packham shares what the Webb telescope has uncovered. His detailed account of images such as the Carina Nebula, which he describes as a work of art, is a reminder that how one looks at the sky has forever changed.
» UTSA Today

Dr. Richard Anantua Helped Capture the First Image of Black Hole at the Center of our Galaxy
In a milestone achievement, Dr. Anantua was on a team that recently made a major breakthrough: capturing the first image of Sagittarius A* ever. It was published in May to international acclaim.
» San Antonio Express News

Astrophysics Professor Chris Packham Studying Images from NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope
Dr. Packham is one of the select few given access to NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope for research and is including his students every step of the way.
» KSAT  |  San Antonio Express News

Galaxies Abound: James Webb Space Telescope Creates Bold New Opportunities for UTSA Astronomers
Dr. Chris Packham co-leads the GATOS (Galactic Activity, Torus and Outflow Survey) team. By July 14, they will have access to the first part of their awarded data of galaxies that host supermassive black holes, as revealed by the James Webb Space Telescope.
» UTSA Today

Dr. Angela Speck Presents Stardust Research at American Astronomical Society Conference
Entitled "Recalescence during crystallization of stardust: Resolution of the amorphous interstellar medium paradox," Dr. Speck’s presentation examines in-depth details surrounding stardust, including its formation and crystallization.
» UTSA Today

Q&A: Richard Anantua, UTSA Astrophysicist Integral in Groundbreaking Image of Black Hole
Dr. Anantua specializes in reverse engineering near-horizon supermassive black hole observations. He modeled and simulated the plasma physics of Sagittarius A* that helped make the image possible.
» UTSA Today

Dr. Angela Speck Explores How Stardust Could Address Climate Change
Dr. Speck studies the material ejected by dying stars. Understanding the composition of the dust that stars eject is vital in understanding the effect that dust has in both the galactic environment and Earth’s environment.
» UTSA Today

Dr. Andrey Chabanov Awarded $240,000 Research Grant from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research
Dr. Chabanov will use the funding to develop unique magnetic composite materials with zero net magnetization for magneto-optical applications.

Dr. Richard Anantua Part of a Q&A Panel for the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT)
The U.S. National Science Foundation with the Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration held a press conference to announce a groundbreaking discovery in the Milky Way.
» EHT article  |  EHT panel video

Physics PhD Grad Shaquan David Headed to Top Residency Program
After Shaquan earns his doctorate in physics in May 2022, he’ll be headed to one of the nation’s top residency programs at the Mayo Clinic.
» UTSA Today

Dr. Nicolas Large a University Excellence Award Winner
Dr. Large received the Advancing Globalization Award.
» UTSA Today

Birds Up Podcast, Episode 12 - James Webb Space Telescope & UTSA
This podcast features a conversation with Dr. Chris Packham who arranged for UTSA to be a partner in research with the James Webb Space Telescope.
» Birds Up Podcast

Dr. Chris Packham Featured in UTSA's The Paisano
Dr. Packham is part of the James Webb Telescope Project and one of the scientists around the world who will receive data collected by the James Webb Telescope.
» The Paisano

Physics Postdoc Dr. Sumeyra Tek Appointed to the American Physical Society Committee on International Freedom of Scientists
This Committee is responsible for monitoring concerns regarding human rights for scientists throughout the world.
» American Physical Society

UTSA Professor Uses Telescope To Look into Black Holes, 1 Million Miles from Earth
Dr. Chris Packham co-leads a team of over 50 astronomers and they've been given time to use a telescope to look into the centers of galaxies and massive black holes.
» KENS5 video

Dr. Angela Speck Recognized by World-Renowned Scientific Council
Dr. Speck is being honored by AAAS for distinguished contributions to interdisciplinary understanding of the effects of stardust across our cosmos, as well as for extensive service to the astronomy community and in exceptional public outreach.
» UTSA Today

UTSA Researchers Ready as James Webb Telescope Reaches Its Target 1 Million Miles from Earth
Dr. Chris Packman has been picked to gather data about black holes from the telescope. He plans to share his findings with students in San Antonio.
» San Antonio Express News

Alex Roush To Present on Climate Change at IR2022, an International Astronomy Conference
Alex's presentation will highlight the carbon emissions saved by holding the program remotely rather than in-person.
» UTSA Today

#ThisIsWhatAScientistLooksLike: Alex Roush
Alex is in the NASA L'SPACE Mission Concept Academy, a semester-long workforce training program.
» #ThisIsWhatAScientistLooksLike

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