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About Us

The Solar and Heliospheric Research Group strives to be on the leading edge of science and engineering. Our efforts span the full cycle of research. From developing and testing new instruments and measurement technologies to analyzing spacecraft data and developing new physical theories, we take a holistic approach. We strive to maintain high standards in each of these areas, producing highly reliable instruments and data sets, as well as pushing the cutting edge with new theories for describing the evolution of the Sun and its influence within the heliosphere.

Team Members

Current Team


Dr. Enrico Landi, Professor

Dr. Justin Kasper, Professor

Dr. Len Fisk, Professor

Dr. Susan Lepri, Professor

Dr. Stefano Livi, Research Professor

Dr. Liang Zhao, Research Scientist

Dr. Jim Raines, Research Scientist

Dr. Ryan Dewey, Post Doctoral Researcher

Dr. Erik Fischer, Research Scientist

Dr. Alex Hegedus, Research Scientist

Graduate Students

Sarah Spitzer

Tyler Eddy

Christopher Bert

Irena Gershkovich

Austin Glass

Daniel Carpenter

Janelle Holmes


Sarena Nutell, Research Adminsitration

Cole Heckathorn, Project Management

Sam Vaughn, Lab Manager, Electrical Engineer

Keeling Ploof, Software Engineer

Fernando Saca, Systems Engineer


James Allen, Student Employee, Web Maintenance

Kate Baldwin, BS 2007, Charge State Modeling

Pei Chungfeng, Master’s Degree

Dustin Doud, Master of Engineering in Space Systems, Ground Systems Software

Laura Emig, Student Employee, SWIMS Data Analysis

Jessica Feeman, Student Employee, Ground Systems Software

Simon Hefti, Research Faculty, Data Analysis Software, and Solar Wind Composition

Matt Holmes, Student Employee, Instrument Hardware Design

Hillary Jennings, Student Employee, Web Design and Administration

Viatcheslav Klenov, Master’s Degree

Patrick Koehn, PhD 2002, Research Faculty, Instrumentation, and Planetary Science

Kelly Korreck, PhD 2005, Collisionless Shock Physics

Abigail Lirtzman, Student Employee, Administration

Ben Lynch, PhD 2006, Solar Theory and Magnetic Clouds

Tomoe Matsuoka, MEng

Elena Moise, PhD, Helium Abundances

Nick Montgomery, Student Employee, Ground System Software

Bogdan Oaida, Student Employee, Instrument Hardware Design

Jeff Orr, Graduate Student, Instrument Technology Development

Prashant Patel, PhD, Mission Orbit Analysis

Arik Posner, Post-Doctoral Student, Suprathermal Ions

Matthew Pugsley, Student Employee, Web Maintenance

Alysha Reinard, PhD 2002, CME Initiation and Propagation

Angie Richard, Graduate Student, Magnesium Isotope Abundance

Nathan Schwadron, Faculty, Pick-Up Ions and Theory

Micheal Tan, Student Employee, Instrument Operations and Design Support

Lana Tyrrell, Administrative Staff, Finances

Kara Vargo, Student Employee, Instrument Hardware Design

Pran Mukherjee, PhD 2008, Instrument Technology Development

Li-Huan Peng, Student Employee, ACE/SWICS Production Data

Eli Busen, Student Employee, FIPS Instrument Model

Jacob Beningo, Student Employee, FIPS Instrument Model

Matt Panning, Graduate Student, Instrument Hardware Design

Graham Simmington, Student Employee, Ground Systems Software

Aron Dodger, Student Employee, FIPS Instrument Model

Gerald Kummer, Student Employee, ACE/SWICS Production Data

Justin Edmondson, PhD 2010, Solar Wind Theory and Mission Analysis

Patrick Tracy, Student Employee, MFIPS Data Analysis

Vincent Russo, Student Employee, MFIPS Data Analysis

Dave Drake, Student Employee, MFIPS Data Analysis and Lab

Dave Mueller, SO-HIS system engineering

Harvey Elliot, SO-HIS system engineering

Paul Shearer

Debbie Eddy, Administrative Assistant

Tawny Dekar, Research Administration


The Solar-Heliospheric-Research-Group (SHRG) began in 1993, with the arrival at Michigan of Len Fisk, who joined the CLaSP faculty after leaving his position as NASA Associate Administrator for Space Sciences and Applications. Shortly after Len’s arrival his long-time colleague, George Gloeckler, began to wind down his research efforts at the University of Maryland and transferred key activities to Michigan: the analysis of data from George’s instruments on the ESA/NASA Ulysses and the NASA ACE and WIND missions, as well as key engineering personnel, Peter Bedini and Bob Lundgren, who would continue George’s pioneering time-of-flight compositional instruments. This infusion of funding at Michigan permitted the rapid growth of SHRG. Thomas Zurbuchen and Nathan Schwadron were hired as post-doctoral fellows and then moved rapidly onto the research faculty. Nathan subsequently left Michigan for the Southwest Research Institute, but Thomas remained and moved rapidly through the academic ranks, rising to full Professor and now Associate Dean for Entrepreneurship, while along the way establishing an outstanding scientific reputation and developing the FIPS instrument now in orbit about Mercury. Throughout the years, numerous students received their Ph.D. degrees while working in SHRG, and some remained with the group.


Prospective students: Contact Sue Lepri
Data inquiries: Contact Jim Raines
General info: Contact Jon Thomas