, Associate Professor
After working as an aerospace engineer designing rockets, I went back for my PhD
in geophysics at the U. of Arizona. Following a few postdoc positions (Carnegie
Institution of Washington and Berkeley), I joined the faculty at Purdue in 2003.
I enjoy building finite element models to solve interesting problems in earth and
planetary science, conducting GPS campaigns, mentoring graduate students, and
giving science talks to the community. Away from work I like hiking with my family,
surfcasting, and dogs. The photo shows Menemsha and Taylor.
Current Graduate Students
, PhD Student
My name is Dave Blair, and I'm a Ph.D. student in planetary geophysics here at Purdue.
I started in 2009 after having spent a few years working and realizing that I need
to use my brain to be happy.
I grew up in northwestern Philadelphia, and by the time I graduated from high school
I had decided to make it my mission to help humanity colonize Mars. I began a degree
in aerospace engineering at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. After
about a year, I realized that Mars was a lot more interesting as a place than as
a destination. I'd taken a geology class on a whim and loved it, so I changed my
major and, in 2007 (technically 2008 thanks to administrative foibles), I received
a B.S. in Geological Sciences.
My current research involves finite element modeling of the Raditladi impact basin
on Mercury; I'm trying to determine the origin of strange faulting features in the
basin. Other research interests include cratering as a process, comparative planetary
science, human space exploration, and astrobiology.
I have more hobbies than you can shake a stick at: biking, baking, reading, and
music (I play and teach piano, sang for a number of years in college, and play mediocre
guitar and bass), to name a few. I also do some web design and programming for fun
(like my Purdue website
and I'm a big nerd in lots of other ways, too - D&D, sci-fi, video games, you name it.
, PhD Student
My name is Haylee Dickinson and I am from Mobile, Alabama. I studied geology and
marine science at The University of Alabama obtaining my B.S. in 2003. I continued
my studies at UA and found my interest in studying volcanic deformation systems
using Finite Element Models (FEMs). After my M.S., I wanted to continue applying
numerical models to rift zones and also learn about GPS geodesy. I am currently
in the 2nd year of my Ph.D., and the goal of my research is to develop a better
understanding of continental rifting by using inter-rifting GPS observations in
the Main Ethiopian Rift. This data provides constraints on FEMs of rifting cycles
to determine the role of magmatic versus tectonic processes and constrain parameters
associated with rifting architecture in the Main Ethiopian Rift. Outside of research,
I enjoy reading, traveling, and being outdoors, especially on the water.
, MS Student
My name is Steeve Julien Symithe; I am Haitian. I was born in Petion-ville, a little
city in the South of Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti. I studied in the Faculty
of Sciences of the University of State of Haiti since 2004 to 2009, where I obtained
a diploma in civil engineering. After the earthquake that struck Port-au-Prince in January 12 2010, I was selected
between two students to pursue a master in geophysics co-financed by Purdue University
and the Voila foundation (a foundation of a telecommunication company in Haiti).
Now, I am in my 2nd semester at Purdue University, where I am working with professors
Eric Calais and Andy Freed on using GPS observations and other surface deformation
to model crustal rheology and also to understand the different period of the earthquake cycle.
I use to work in the Faculty of Sciences (Haiti) as a TA of Conceptual Physic and Algebra for students in the first year.
My hobbies include listening music, watching movies, playing video games and basketball.
Former Graduate Students
PhD, Fall 2006
MS, Spring 2007
Syed Tabrez Ali
PhD, Spring 2009
MS, Fall 2010