VT SuperDARN graduate Evan Thomas wins AGU early-career award

By: miker  on: Tue., Aug. 06, 2019 12:13 PM EDT  (125 Reads)
The American Geophysical Union (AGU) announced the 2019 Section awardees on July 31, 2019. Dr. Evan Thomas has won the Basu United States Early Career Award for Research in Sun-Earth Science from the Space Physics and Aeronomy Section. Evan is a 2016 doctoral graduate from the VT SuperDARN Group (advised by Jo Baker and Mike Ruohoniemi) and a past awardee of a NSF postdoctoral research fellowship (performed at Dartmouth College under Dr. Simon Shepherd). He is now research faculty at Dartmouth College and is very active across the SuperDARN collaboration.

The citation for the award reads: 'For significant work that shows the focus and promise of making outstanding contributions to research in Sun-Earth systems science that further the understanding of both plasma physical processes and their applications for the benefit of society.'

Congratulations, Evan!

VT SuperDARN Graduate Student Muhammad Rafiq wins Poster Prize in CEDAR 2019 Competition

By: miker  on: Mon., June 24, 2019 02:09 PM EDT  (269 Reads)
PhD candidate Muhammad Rafiq won 2nd place in the MLT Student Poster prize competition held during the CEDAR 2019 Workshop in Santa Fe, June 17-21, 2019. The bibliographic details of his poster were: 'Maimaiti, M., B. Kunduri, J.M. Ruohoniemi, J.B. H. Baker, DATA04 - A Deep Learning Based Approach to Predict the Onset of Magnetic Substorms'. The competition was fierce as a total of 51 posters were entered for judging in the MLT category. Former VT SuperDARN graduate students also took away prizes - Mr. Pratik Joshi at University of Illinois (IT, 2nd place) and Ms. Garima Malhotra at University of Michigan (MLT, Honorable mention). Virginia Tech was especially well represented this year with at least six poster presentations by early-career researchers (see 'Read More').

Congratulations to Muhammad and all the prize winners!

(Photo credit: Astrid Maute)

VT SuperDARN Undergrad Ian Kelley calls at Summit Station, Greenland

By: miker  on: Mon., June 24, 2019 12:13 PM EDT  (254 Reads)
VT student and SuperDARN intern Ian Kelley is participating in the 2019 Greenland Climate and Space Science Research for Undergraduates program. He has reached Summit Station, located at the highest point on the Greenland ice sheet, 10,530 ft above sea level. He arrived in Greenland on a C-130 flight that landed in Kangerlussaq. Virginia Tech professor Bob Clauer is one of the program mentors (look for the grey beard). The purpose of the program is to enable research experiences in mapping climatic conditions for students from Hampton University, University of Albany, University of Michigan, and Virginia Tech. For more information see the VT News item http://vt.superdarn.org/tiki-read_article.php?articleId=312.(external link)
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Prior to the SuperDARN 2019 workshop held in Fujiyoshida, Japan during the first week of June, 2019, Dr. Mark Lester of Leicester University had indicated his intention to step down as Chair of the SuperDARN Executive Council. During PI discussions at the workshop it was decided to replace Dr. Lester with a new Chair and two Vice Chairs. The new Chair is Prof. Kathryn McWilliams of the University of Saskatchewan and the Vice Chairs are Prof. Nozomu Nishitani of ISEE / Nagoya University and Dr. Aurélie Marchaudon of IRAP/CNRS/IPEV.

Mark thanks all members of the SuperDARN community for their help and support and states that it was his privilege to have been the lead PI over the last 15 years.

Congratulations to Kathryn, Nozomu, and Aurélie!

Pictured: Prof. Kathryn McWilliams at the SuperDARN Workshop 2019 (Fujiyoshida, Japan)

Photo credit: SD2019 General Organizing Committee
VT SuperDARN student Muhammad Rafiq successfully presented his Project and Report in support of earning a Master of Arts Degree in the Department of Statistics on May 2, 2019. The title of his presentation was 'Deep Learning Application to Predicting Onset of Magnetic Substorms'. The background to this unusual accomplishment is a special degree program at Virginia Tech that enables graduate students to take courses and earn degree credit in Machine Learning (ML) techniques. Muhammad was advised on the Statistics side by Dr. Leanna L. House and has worked most closely with Dr. Bharat Kunduri on applying ML techniques to the analysis of geospace datasets. Muhammad is simultaneously a PhD candidate in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and has several radar-derived papers to his credit.

Congratulations, Muhammad!

(Photo credit: Dilraba Abla)

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Paul Kennedy successfully defends his MSc thesis on Software Defined Radio

By: miker  on: Fri., May 03, 2019 04:55 PM EDT  (358 Reads)
VT SuperDARN student Paul Kennedy successfully defended his M.Sc. thesis on Friday, May 3 to an examining committee of four professors. Paul was advised on his thesis work by Drs. Mike Ruohoniemi and Jo Baker and has worked closely with other faculty members (Dr. Greg Earle, Dr. Bob McGwier, and Mr. Kevin Sterne). The title of his thesis is 'Design of Software Defined Radio for SuperDARN Radars'. Paul designed and built a receiver system based on Red Pitaya software designed radio and succesfully collected data with it using the interferometer array of the Blackstone radar. Paul is a repeat awardee of the Virginia Space Grant Consortium (high school - undergraduate - graduate), has interned at MIT Lincoln Laboartory, and has distinguished himself in the field during working trips to several SuperDARN radars. He is planning to take up a position in research at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory this summer.

Congratulations, Paul!

(Photo credit: Dr. Xueling Shi)
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