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NJIT overseers to award NJIT physicist new medal and prize

The first NJIT Excellence in Research Prize and Medal will be awarded to Philip R. Goode, PhD, distinguished professor of physics by the NJIT Board of Overseers and NJIT President Robert A. Altenkirch on March 26, 2008. Goode is director of the Center for Solar-Terrestrial Research which has led a five-year project to build the worlds most capable solar telescope at Big Bear Solar Observatory (BBSO), Big Bear Lake, CA. First light has been slated for May, 2008.

The purpose of the award is to elevate the image of research on campus and in the community, said NJIT Board of Overseers Chairman Emil Herkert. Many professors at NJIT do notable work and we thought it long overdue that the research of these unique individuals be celebrated on the campus and in the region. The NJIT Board of Overseers serves as the governing body for the NJIT Foundation and provides a key advisory link with a wide range of organizations in the business community.

Goode [] has been director of BBSO since NJIT assumed leadership of the facility in 1997. Big Bear was developed by California Institute of Technology beginning in 1969.

BBSOs new solar telescope will be a 1.6 meter clear aperture, off-axis telescope featuring the worlds largest solar aperture. The telescope will feed the high-order adaptive optics system, which in turn will feed the next generation of technologies for measuring magnetic fields and dynamic events using visible infrared light. The new instrument also features a parallel computer system for real-time image enhancement.

Goode, of Westfield, has studied for many years the oscillating waves of the suns atmosphere, known as helioseismology. Goodes research has also focused on magnetic fields. He is expert at combining BBSO ground-based data with satellite data to determine dynamic properties of the solar magnetic fields. His other areas of interest include working to place a lower limit on solar irradiance and to probe the solar interior. Such studies impact scientists understanding and ability to predict space weather.

In recent years, industry, government and scientists have begun placing increasing attention upon space weather to learn more about which solar magnetic storms can have deleterious effects on satellites, the terrestrial power grid and telecommunications.

Since 1998, Goode has focused on climate studies in which the Earths large-scale reflectance has been measured using earthshine. He and BBSO researchers have spent time modeling their earthshine data for the Earths reflectivity using satellite cloud cover and found appreciable decadal variation of reflectance due to cloud changes. BBSO is building a global network of earthshine telescopes to measure the Earths global reflectance and spectrum.

Herkert, of Hanover Township, has been a longtime friend of the university. The now retired former chairman and chief executive officer of Hatch Mott MacDonald Infrastructure and Environment, Herkert has long championed the advancement of the university, serving in many volunteer roles.

The NJIT Board of Overseers is a special resource for the university. An overseer is a critical link between academe and the business community, providing information on corporate and state priorities and assisting NJIT in meeting research and funding goals. The corporate perspective of the overseers helps to clarify the universitys research focus and indeed, may introduce entirely new research directions for consideration.


Contact: Sheryl Weinstein
New Jersey Institute of Technology

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