PhysicsAllen Andersen is a fifth-year PhD candidate with the Physics Department’s Materials Physics Group. Prior to his matriculation at USU, Allen graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.S. in Physics and a minor in Spanish from BYU-Idaho. He has always been fascinated by space exploration, math, science, and science fiction. He now enjoys living in beautiful Cache Valley with his wife and two children. His graduate research focuses on how spacecraft materials accumulate electric charge and violently spark due to interactions with the space plasma environment. Modeling electron transport in highly disordered insulating materials necessitates an understanding of the distribution of atomic-scale defects and their interactions with charge carriers.
As a NASA Space Technology Research Fellow, he has participated in research at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Marshall Space Flight Center. He has given over two dozen presentations on his USU graduate research, including those at five international conferences on spacecraft charging or dielectric phenomena. He is senior author of five peer-reviewed journal articles and three conference proceedings and coauthored three additional papers.
Allen has mentored three undergraduate physics students’ senior research and URCO projects. His mentees have also participated in conference presentations, publications, and received their own research funding.