This year, six physics students presented their research projects and results at the 12th Annual University of Wisconsin System Symposium for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity held at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside on April 27, 2012.

Mitchell Matheny (freshman, professional emphasis) presented the first stage of his astronomy-related research on the Spiral Structure in the First Quadrant of the Milky Way Galaxy. A reliable correlation between the recently-born stars and the features of interstellar gas and dust is established, which is now used to study various aspects of star-formation.

Steven Bartel (sophomore, professional emphasis) is working on a project aimed to provide Improved Distance Estimates to Galactic H II Regions. This will cast more light on the interaction between the massive stars and the interstellar matter.

Kevin Moran (junior, physics/engineering dual degree program) has accomplished his research on the Centaurus Star-Forming Field. Based on precise stellar photometry, the structure of this major star-forming region located in the Scutum-Centaurus spiral arm of the Milky Way was studied in great detail, which led to the identification of previously unnoticed groups of recently-born stars.

Scott Nelson (junior, physics/engineering dual degree program) and Alexander James Turinske (senior, professional emphasis) shared their research experience in the field of metal-oxide nanofibers, and specifically on Tailoring the Properties of Alumina Nanofibers by Doping with Nanoparticles. Their project involved preparation of alumina nanofibers using the electrospinning method, and characterization of these fibers using numerous analytical instruments.

Kenneth Hanson (senior, professional emphasis) described his experience in preparing and characterizing Electrospun ZnO and TiO2-doped ZnO Nanofibers. His project aims at finding the most suitable doping with titania nanopowders for enhancing the properties ZnO nanofibers.

View the 2012 UW System Symposium photo gallery.