Brian Walsh


Advisor: Ted Fritz
PhD Thesis: Energetic Particles in the Earth’s Magnetospheric Cusps
Current Position: Research Associate, University of Maryland, College Park/NASA GSFC

Brian Walsh worked alongside his advisor to study the role of the magnetospheric cusps in heating charged particles using measurements from the European Space Agency’s Cluster mission.  During his third year as a graduate student he was elected as the student representative and steering committee member for the National Science Foundation, Geospace Environment Modeling organization. Brian also became involved in the BUSAT program, which is a student led effort to build all the necessary parts for a functioning scientific spacecraft.  As a truly interdisciplinary effort, students from a number of departments worked as a group to develop all the necessary subsystems for the spacecraft. Upon graduating from Boston University in 2011, Brian received the NSF Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences (AGS) Postdoctoral Fellowship and traveled to NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. He is currently a research associate at the University of Maryland, College Park and NASA GSFC.

Why BU?

“Boston University provided a diverse research opportunity which facilitated growth and helped develop my approach to science.  The expertise of the faculty and researchers spans a wide range of overlapping topics.  As a student learning about the field, this provided me with an expert to guide me through the topics in a variety of areas in astronomy and space physics.  As I developed and conducted more research on my on, the diverse skill set of the department allowed me to integrate techniques and ideas from different fields and researchers into my work.  Although many of the topics may seem different at first glance, learning about things such as the formation of planetary atmosphere’s and fine auroral structures on Earth were valuable in understanding plasma heating from my work.  The diverse backgrounds of the researchers at Boston University allows for these connections to be made which facilitates new scientific discovery.”