Grawe wins OSPA award for space hazards research
Elizabeth Yoon, ECE ILLINOIS
2/5/2019 2:31:23 PM
ECE ILLINOIS graduate student and research assistant Matthew A Grawe (BS ‘15, MS '17) recently received an Outstanding Student Presentation Award from the American Geophysical Union. The award recognizes the quality research of students' in the Earth and space sciences and is only presented to the top 2-5% of participants. Grawe previously won an award at a different conference for his work in tsunami detection through the use of remote sensing. However, his research has transitioned into a new topic that focuses on space hazards affecting the power grid.
Grawe’s work is conducted as part of a National Science Foundation-funded project led at Illinois by ECE ILLINOIS Professor Jonathan J Makela and Professor Farzad Kamalabadi in collaboration with researchers at several other institutions. A particular focus of the work at Illinois is on making “L1-to-ground” predictions of the geomagnetically-induced currents (GICs) that are induced in power lines caused by space weather (e.g., a CME travelling towards Earth) before it arrives. According to Grawe, "this is a particularly difficult problem for a variety of reasons; the system separating the L1 point and the surface of the Earth is highly complex and guided by physical processes that are not fully understood. Additionally, the ground conductivity structure extending hundreds of kilometers beneath the power system impacts both the intensity and predictability of GICs."
ECE ILLINOIS Professor Jonathan Makela serves as Grawe's graduate advisor.