Tad Komacek Receives 2017 Kuiper Award

Thaddeus (Tad) Komacek is the 2017 recipient of the Gerard P. Kuiper Memorial Award, the department's highest award for graduate student scholarship. Tad is in his fourth year as a PTYS graduate student; Professor Adam Showman is his research advisor. Tad's research interests include magnetohydrodynamics (MHD), the atmospheric dynamics of hot Jupiters, the interior evolution of giant planets, and long-term surface-atmosphere climate feedbacks that control the climate and oceans of terrestrial planets. He has published work in each of these research areas. In addition, Tad makes time for science outreach to high school students and has presented conference posters on these outreach activities. He was awarded the LPL Carson Fellowship in his first year as a graduate student, and is a two-time recipient of the College of Science Galileo Circle Scholarship. In 2014, Tad won a NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship (Magnetism in hot Jupiter atmospheres). Tad expects to graduate in 2018; his dissertation project involves investigating the dynamical mechanisms controlling the atmospheric circulation of hot Jupiters.

The citation for the Kuiper Award reads: "This award is presented to students of the planetary sciences who best exemplify, through the high quality of their researches and the excellence of their scholastic achievements, the goals and standards established and maintained by Gerard P. Kuiper, founder of the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory and the Department of Planetary Sciences at the University of Arizona."