Adventist Journal Online | Andrews University engineering professor wins prestigious award

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Jay Johnson received the Shen Kuo Award for Interdisciplinary Achievement.

Jay Johnson, Professor of Engineering at Andrews University, recently received the Shen Kuo Award for Interdisciplinary Achievement from the International Association of Geomagnetism and Aeronomy (IAGA).

Scientists at IAGA study the magnetic and electrical properties of planets. The organization focuses on both geomagnetism – the study of the Earth’s magnetic field – and aeronomy – the science of the upper atmosphere.

Johnson’s work within the organization has spanned several divisions of IAGA over the years, contributing to sessions on magnetopause transport (2003), magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling (2005), sources and wells of the plasma sheet (2009-2012) and the dynamic process magnetoqueue (2021).

His research results from the modification of a calculation carried out during his post-doctoral stay at Princeton University. The calculation focused on “single particle trajectories of an ion in an Alfven wave”. Since then, Johnson’s findings have become fundamental for studies relating to the acceleration and heating of ions in the auroral region, the magnetosheath, and the solar wind.

The Shen Kuo Medal is awarded every two years, recognizing individuals whose work has a broad impact on several fields of research, including the fields of geomagnetism, ionosphere, magnetosphere, solar, solar wind, and planetary science. It is named after a Chinese mathematician, physicist, engineer, and poet who lived in the 11th century and was notable for his interdisciplinary contributions to various fields of knowledge. Candidates for the award must be internationally renowned scientists active in multiple fields of research, supported by scientific bodies outside the IAGA. Applications are reviewed by an executive committee.

Johnson said: “I am delighted and honored to have been selected for this prestigious award. I am especially grateful to my mentors at MIT [Tom Chang] and Princeton [Frank Cheng], who encouraged me to explore new ideas and for their extraordinary example of impact in their own way on several areas of research.

He expressed appreciation for several other researchers who worked with and under him to develop further research based on his initial findings, including Yu Lin (Auburn University), Simon Wing (APL), Eun-Hwa Kim, and Peter Damiano and Peter Porazik (Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory). Johnson explained that “the collaborations have helped broaden the impact of our joint work through theory / data comparison.” Collectively, their work has covered everything from compressions in the solar wind to modeling waves in space plasma, electron acceleration, gyrokinetic models, and more. The various findings have important implications for current space missions and existing space systems.

“Dr. Johnson is a great scholar and teacher,” said Hyun Kwon, president of the AU School of Engineering. “As he always strives to be the best at his research, he always strives to improve his lectures and classroom experiences.” She added, “Despite his stellar research and reputation, he is humble and friendly in person. We are so happy to have him as a colleague, teacher, neighbor and friend, ”Kwon said.

Johnson said he was grateful for the support from the AU and the engineering and physics departments. “[They] allowed me to maintain a strong and active research program, ”said Johnson. He has also included students in his research program and thanks all “Andrews’ talented students who have contributed to our research projects”.

Going forward, Johnson and his colleagues will continue to study the dynamics of solar / stellar cycles, including running and analyzing global simulations on Saturn. They received collaborative funding for further research on the ionosphere, magnetosphere, radiation belts and electronic energy.

The original version of this story was published on Andrews University news site..


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