Baalrud earns prestigious NSF CAREER Award for research and museum project

Monday, February 16, 2015

Scott BaalrudScott D. Baalrud, Assistant Professor in the University of Iowa Department of Physics & Astronomy, has won a CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

The Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program is the NSF's most prestigious award in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education, and the integration of education and research.

Baalrud's project is titled, "Transport Phenomena in Ultracold Neutral Plasmas," and includes a complementary outreach program that will introduce the public to plasma physics through an interactive "What is Plasma" demonstration. The demonstration will be an integral part of a larger exhibit on the history of space science at the University of Iowa to be displayed in the UI Old Capitol Museum, and later as a traveling exhibit in the UI Mobile Museum.

The total amount of the grant over the project's five-year period is estimated at $550,000.

Baalrud earned his doctoral degree in Engineering Physics in 2010 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and joined the UI in 2013. He leads the Fundamental Plasma Theory Group, which conducts research in basic and applied plasma physics.

The Department of Physics & Astronomy is part of the UI College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Iowa is a comprehensive college offering 73 majors in the humanities; fine, performing and literary arts; natural and mathematical sciences; social and behavioral sciences; and communication disciplines. More than 17,000 undergraduate and 1,900 graduate students study each year in the college’s 37 departments, led by professors at the forefront of teaching and research in their disciplines. The college teaches all UI undergraduates through the General Education Program, and confers about 70 percent of the UI's bachelor's degrees each academic year.