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AFIT Faculty Appointed as AFTAC Endowed Term Chairs
Posted Friday, March 09, 2018

 


Maj Omar Nava, Capt James Bevins, Dr. Glenn Sjoden, Dr. James Petrosky, Lt Col James Fee and Dr. Adedeji Badiru pictured at the ceremony appointing Maj Nava, Capt Bevins and Dr. Petrosky as AFTAC Endowed Term Chairs

On January 16, 2018, the Air Force Technical Application Center (AFTAC) Chief Scientist, Dr. Glenn Sjoden, held a ceremony to appoint the second group of AFIT faculty as AFTAC Endowed Term Chairs (ETC).  Maj Omar Nava was appointed the AFTAC ETC for Numerical Weather Modeling, Capt James Bevins was appointed the AFTAC ETC for Nuclear Treaty Monitoring and Dr. James Petrosky was re-appointed the AFTAC ETC for Nuclear Materials.  The two-year appointments include financial research support and direct collaboration with an assigned AFTAC staff scientist.

The research and educational relationship between AFTAC and AFIT’s Graduate School of Engineering and Management is decades old, owing mostly to the large number of AFIT graduates who have worked at AFTAC.  Close to 100 AFIT alumni currently work at AFTAC including their Chief Scientist, Dr. Glenn Sjoden, who earned his master’s degree in nuclear engineering from AFIT in 1992.

AFTAC and AFIT’s Graduate School of Engineering and Management formally established a research and education partnership via a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) in 2016. Among the initiatives outlined in the MOA is the establishment of a first-of-a kind “Endowed Term Chair” at AFIT to help focus the efforts of AFIT faculty on AFTAC mission requirements.   The same year, two faculty members were appointed as chairs:  Dr. James Petrosky was appointed the AFTAC Endowed Term Chair for Nuclear Materials and Lt Col James Fee was appointed the AFTAC Endowed Term Chair for Nuclear Treaty Monitoring.  In fall 2017, AFTAC added a third ETC to focus on Numerical Weather Modeling to further enhance education and research in this important area.

The three AFTAC ETCs are faculty members within AFIT’s Graduate School of Engineering and Management’s Department of Engineering Physics.  Dr. Badiru (pictured above) is the Dean of the Graduate School at AFIT.

Maj Omar Nava is an Assistant Professor of Atmospheric Science.  He earned his master’s degree in Applied Physics from AFIT in 2011 and his doctorate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences from The University of California Los Angeles in 2016.  His research interests include space weather, tropical cyclones, and idealized numerical modeling. Maj Nava emphasizes that “we are grateful for this opportunity to conduct collaborative research with AFTAC. I know our weather officer students will greatly benefit from working with the experts in the Meteorological Modeling and Analysis Division, in terms of their academic and professional development.”

Capt James Bevins is an Assistant Professor of Nuclear Engineering.  He earned his master’s degree in Nuclear Engineering from AFIT in 2011 and his doctorate in Nuclear Engineering from the University of California, Berkley in 2017. His research interests include optimization and design of custom neutron spectra, neutron spectroscopy, post-detonation forensics, and weapons effects.  Captain Bevins plans to use the ETC support to continue to develop novel methods of producing synthetic nuclear weapons debris and improving the ability to design custom neutron energy spectra.

Dr. Petrosky is a Professor of Nuclear Engineering and the Nuclear Engineering MS Curriculum Chair in AFIT’s Department of Engineering Physics. He earned his doctorate in Engineering Physics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1995. Dr. Petrosky has expertise in radiation effects on electronic devices, EMP, experimental design, radiation detection, and nuclear weapon effects. His research spans narrow and wide band gap materials using combinations of electrical, optical, and absorption spectroscopy to gain information on the damaging effects of ionizing and non-ionizing radiation.