Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Introductions: Edgar Andrew Bering III

This year we have a bunch of undergrads, and recent grads from the University of Houston helping out in Kiruna. They will also be taking on some of our twitter feed and posts. So we figured it might be a good idea to introduce them and say "Hi" and "welcome to the team". 

Today we introduce the ring leader :) Edgar (Gar for short) Andrew Bering the third, and yes that is his full actual name. He's a professor of physics and electrical and computer engineering at the University of Houston. He got a physics undergraduate degree from Harvard College in 1967 and his PhD in 1974 from University of California Berkeley. 

Dr. Bering joined University of Houston, in 1974, became an Assistant Professor in 1975, became a full professor in 1989 and received his present dual appointment in 1998. He has published 133 Refereed papers, 75 Technical Reports, 95 Invited Talks, and 364 other Abstracts. In 2000, he was a member of the VASIMR team that won the Rotary National Award for Space Achievement, Stellar Award, Team Category. In 2004, he received the AIAA Best Paper of the Year award in Plasmadynamics and Lasers. He has been involved in Education and Public Outreach since 1990. In 2005, he received a Special Service Award from AIAA for his work on the Mars Rover Model Competition outreach program. Thus his twitter handle @MarsRoverUH (and of course you can follow the BARREL campaign @keV_balloons). He is an Associate Fellow of the AIAA.

Dr. Bering created the annual Houston-wide UH Mars Rover model competition for budding engineers in grades 3-8 in 2002. From 2002 to 2005, this event experienced 40% per annum growth. As many as 720 students, 60+ teachers, 550 volunteers and 1000+ parents have attended these events. He has extensive experience conducting teacher training activities.  Dr. Bering has been active in several other youth oriented service activities, ranging from coaching baseball to tutoring neighborhood kids in physics. He was an Assistant Scoutmaster in BSA Troop 642. He has a son and a daughter, both now in their 20’s. Both of them majored in STEM subjects in college.

A mission like BARREL right up Gar's alley. Dr. Bering has participated in experiments to measure electron bremsstrahlung beneath auroras, electron bremsstrahlung accompanying both natural and triggered VLF events, auroral zone electric fields, plasmapause electric fields, electric fields at high altitude owing to thunderstorms, and the electromagnetic radiation spectrum of lightning at high altitude, VLF magnetic fields accompanying active experiments in the ionosphere, dc plasma properties in the ionosphere near pulsating aurora, electric fields near the magnetospheric cusp and atmospheric electric parameters at the South Pole. Dr. Bering is presently involved in the development of the Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket (VASIMR) at the Ad Astra Rocket Company. He is also working on the analysis and interpretation of the data from his recent Antarctic balloon campaigns, emphasizing studies of the role of ULF waves in the transport, energization and precipitation of radiation belt particles. And he and a couple of students (one who we'll meet tomorrow) helped out with BARREL during last years campaign.

We're glad to have him back up in Sweden with us! And we're looking forward to hearing more from you during the campaign!