The 42nd Annual University of Alabama High School Physics Contest will be held on Friday, February 16, 2018 at the Ferguson Center on the campus of the University of Alabama. This event is open to all high schools and usually attracts schools from surrounding states as well as many from Alabama. As with last year, we will be holding a career panel to advise high school students about their options if they choose to pursue a Physics degree. The panel will be held from 1:00 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. in the Ferguson Ballroom.

Our panelists include:

Dr. Stephen Granade is a physicist who specializes in sensors for robotic vehicles. At Dynetics he is a Principal Analyst working on sensors for Army Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. He has worked on sensors that can read your fingerprint from 10 feet away, systems that let unpiloted helicopters land automatically, and a video-based sensor that helped guide the Space Shuttle to the Hubble Space Telescope.

His PhD research was on laser cooling and trapping neutral atoms to nearly absolute zero in order to create Fermionic superfluids and to study quantum mechanical effects on a macro scale. He is the host of NASA’s “No Small Steps” YouTube series, and has provided scientific commentary for FoxNews.com, CBS Marketwatch, and Jalopnik.

Sarah Bradford is an Engineer at Modern Technology Solutions, Inc., Huntsville, AL. She graduated from the University of Alabama with a Masters degree in Physics with a specialization in Astronomy. Her research at UA involved imaging overlapping pairs of galaxies to understand the dust content in the galaxies.

Dr. Jeremy Bailin is a theoretical astrophysicist investigating the nature of galaxy formation, studying how the nearly uniform Universe that existed after the Big Bang transformed over almost 14 billion years into galaxies like the Milky Way.  Dr. Bailin is particularly interested in the structure and history of spiral galaxies, their dark matter and stellar halos, and their satellites.

Dr. Bailin received his doctoral degree from University of Arizona in 2004. He joined the faculty of The University of Alabama in 2012.

Dr. Amy Jones in an observational astronomer. She is currently a postdoctoral researcher studying the chemical evolution of nearby galaxies.
She received her doctoral degree from the University of Austria in 2014.

Dr. Marcos Santander  is an astroparticle physicist whose research focuses on high-energy neutrinos and gamma-ray astrophysics. His group works on multi-messenger searches from neutrino and gravitational wave sources using gamma- and X-ray telescopes. He also studies gamma-ray emission from distant galaxies and is involved in the development of a new ground based gamma-ray telescope. Dr. Santander is a member of the IceCube neutrino observatory, the VERITAS gamma-ray observatory, and the Cherenkov Telescope Array consortium.

Dr. Santander joined the faculty of The University of Alabama in 2017.

Dr. Dawn Williams  is an astroparticle physicist who uses measurements of neutrinos, cosmic rays and gamma rays from outside the solar system to explore the high energy Universe. Dr. Williams group is developing techniques to identify tau neutrinos detected with the IceCube experiment, the largest neutrino detector on Earth, located at the geographic South Pole, deep in the Antarctic icecap. IceCube was built to detect the most energetic astrophysical neutrinos from objects such as accreting super massive black holes and gamma ray bursts.

Dr. Williams received her doctoral degree from UCLA in 2004. She joined the faculty of The University of Alabama in 2008.

Julie Covin  (Teacher/ASIM) is the Physics Specialist for Alabama Science in Motion (ASIM) at the University of Alabama. She works through the UA/UWA In-Service Teacher Education Center with 12 school systems in nine counties in West Central Alabama.  She provides training, equipment and support to teachers of high school physics. ”

Alexander Daniels is a graduate student at the University of Alabama pursuing a Masters/PhD in Physics. He is a McNair Scholar and the recipient of the McNair Graduate Fellowship.

James Parkes is a senior undergraduate Physics major at the University of Alabama. He is a winner and recipient of the HSPC scholarship and will be attending graduate school to pursue a PhD in the Fall.

Other Resources:

American Physical Society (APS): Find physics job listings, education and career advice (e.g.,Why Study Physics?), upcoming workshops and meetings, and career and job-related resources.

American Institute of Physics (AIP): Find employment data for physicists and astronomers, hiring trendscareer options (PDF), and other career resources.

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