Thursday, July 2, 2015

Benjamin Toms Receives Astronaut Scholarship Foundation Award

Benjamin Toms, a double major in civil engineering and meteorology, was awarded a prestigious Astronaut Scholarship Foundation scholarship in June.  Nominated by CEES director Randall Kolar and CEES professor Yang Hong, Toms becomes the 10th recipient from the University of Oklahoma since the program inception in 1979.

Founded by the Mercury 7 astronauts and chaired by astronauts from the Apollo and Gemini missions, the prestigious ASF scholarship is currently the largest merit based undergraduate scholarship competitive for all STEM majors in the United States.  Thirty-eight students nationwide were recognized this year for their ingenuity in research and excellence in coursework.

Toms, a senior from Aurora, CO, is spending the summer working on two projects, one with  David Turner of the National Severe Storms Laboratory Forecast Research and Development Division researching the environment of convective precipitation during the nighttime. The second project is with Pierre Kirstetter, research scientist with the National Weather Center (Advanced Radar Research Center) and adjunct faculty member in CEES,  to place a mobile X-band radar within the Rio Grande National Forest in southern Colorado. His future plans include obtaining a Ph.D. in hydrometeorology and conducting research on terrestrial hydrometeorology while teaching at the university level.