Fall Semester CASPER Seminar Series Begins at Baylor Sept. 25

Sept. 24, 2009

WACO, Texas - Baylor University's Center for Astrophysics, Space Physics and Engineering Research (CASPER) will host several Friday seminars through the fall semester. The lectures are held from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m., in room C231 of the Baylor Sciences Building. CASPER conducts research in a number of theoretical and experimental areas. CASPER is an official Baylor center formed by a partnership between Baylor and Texas State Technical College that exists through a signed agreement between the Presidents of the two institutions.

There are currently four primary research groups within CASPER, the Astrophysics and Space Science Theory Group (ASSTG), the Early Universe Cosmology and Strings Group (EUCOS), the Gravity, Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics Group (GCAP), and the experimental group which operates CASPER's Hypervelocity Impacts and Dusty Plasmas Lab (HIDPL), and the Space Science Lab.

CASPER Seminars

Sept. 25-Rene Laufer, associate research scientist for CASPER, will present current ideas, visions and plans for the small satellite-related research program at CASPER in collaboration with national and international partners that focus on Earth- and moon-based applications. Since 2005, Laufer has been the assistant editor of the Lunar Base Quarterly of the Lunar Development Forum. Laufer received his doctorate from Stuttgart University in aerospace engineering.

Oct. 2-John W. Alred, works at NASA Johnson Space Center as Deputy System Mangaers for Space Environements, the International Space Station Medical Project (ISS MP), non-metallic materials team, materials and processes branch. Alred received his doctorate in physics from Baylor in 1982.

Oct. 9- David Jack, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Baylor, will discuss "Physics Based Modeling of Processing in Final Product Performance for Engineering Composites with Discrete Inclusions." Jack's interests include constitutive modeling of contemporary composite processes, rigid and flexible suspension dynamics, predictive schemes for industrial processes and products with natural fibers and nanotubes, and conductivity analysis of carbon nanotube networks for high-current applications. Jack received his doctorate in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from the University of Missouri in 2006.

Nov. 13-Trevor Garner, a lab researcher at the University of Texas Space and Geophysics Laboratory, is involved in a joint effort with National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC) personnel on modeling the earth's coupled ionosphere and magnetosphere. At Baylor, he will discuss Global Positioning Systems, how GPS works in space weather and how space weather affects GPS. Garner received his doctorate in Space Physics from Rice University.

Nov. 20-John Lacy, an astronomer and a professor of astronomy at the University of Texas, received his doctorate in physics from the University of California-Berkeley. For his work, Lacy was given the 2004 Maria and Eric Muhlmann Award by the Astronomical Society of the Pacific. As a graduate student, he built an instrument and used it to discover a black hole in the center of the Milky Way Galaxy. Lacy has made a career designing, building and using other instruments, including the Texas Echelon Cross Echelle Spectrometer, TEXES. Lacy and his team have used TEXES at the McDonald Observatory in Texas and the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility on Mauna Kea in Hawaii.

Dec. 4-Glenn Lightsey specializes in the dynamics and control of space vehicles using avionic sensors such as the Global Positioning System for navigation and attitude determination. His research interests include vehicle dynamics and control, relative navigation and control of multiple vehicles, and GPS. Prior to joining the Cockrell School of Engineering in 1999, he worked at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center for 13 years.

by Colton Wright, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805

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