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Contact Information: Tanya Klein Public Relations 973-596-3433

NJIT Physics Professor, a Space Weather Expert, Receives Top Honor

Haimin Wang, of Livingston, an NJIT professor, whose work focuses on the physics behind space weather in order to predict unexpected and unwanted solar activities and their effect on Earth, has received the NJIT Excellence in Research Award.

The honor was awarded Sept. 2, 2009 at the University Convocation, an annual celebration.  Wang is a distinguished professor in NJIT’s College of Science and Liberal Arts where he serves as director of the Center for Solar Research.

Scientists study space weather because activity on the sun—solar flares and the coronal mass ejections which they later may evolve into—can cause problems.  Among the most notable: Telecommunication cable disruptions, electricity grid blow-outs and radiation affecting passengers on flights of polar routes.

Wang’s work, supported by the National Science Foundation and NASA, which currently totals more than $2 million, has most recently proven that flares and coronal mass ejections implode inward before the well-known outward explosion.  Such information would be of great use to scientists aiming to predict eruptions affecting earth and to understand the physics of these eruptions. 

Wang recently was a featured speaker at the Chinese Academy of the Sciences on the occasion of the solar eclipse of the century, July 22, 2009 in Hangzhou.  The event was best seen in the East.  He spoke of solar eruptions and their effects on Earth.        

Wang received his PhD in astronomy from the California Institute of Technology and his BS in astronomy from Nanjing University.

Convocation at NJIT traditionally honors select faculty and staff members who have demonstrated the highest level of excellence over a sustained period.  “We reward them not only for their achievement, but because their leadership serves as a testament to NJIT’s commitment to excellence,” said Donald H. Sebastian, PhD, Acting Provost and vice president of research and development. 

A. Zachary Yamba, EdD was the keynote speaker.  Yamba is the longest-serving college president in New Jersey, who is widely credited with transforming Essex County College into the vibrant and progressive institution that today enrolls more than 20,000 students.  Yamba was one of the early founders of a partnership that has enabled ECC and neighboring NJIT, Rutgers-Newark and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey to collaborate on numerous collegiate and community initiatives in the city’s University Heights district.

NJIT, New Jersey's science and technology university, enrolls approximately 10,000 students pursuing bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in 120 programs. The university consists of six colleges: Newark College of Engineering, College of Architecture and Design, College of Science and Liberal Arts, School of Management, College of Computing Sciences and Albert Dorman Honors College. U.S. News & World Report's 2012 Annual Guide to America's Best Colleges ranked NJIT in the top tier of national research universities. NJIT is internationally recognized for being at the edge in knowledge in architecture, applied mathematics, wireless communications and networking, solar physics, advanced engineered particulate materials, nanotechnology, neural engineering and e-learning. Many courses and certificate programs, as well as graduate degrees, are available online through the Division of Continuing Professional Education.