Michigan Tech Research Award Winner Pursues Discovery of Galactic Mysteries
source: mfu.edu. | image: pixabay.com
An internationally recognized expert in high-energy gamma-ray astronomy and galactic cosmic rays, Petra Huentemeyer serves as a vice-spokesperson for a globally collaborative observatory and mentors her students to seek their own bright futures. The experimental astrophysicist and distinguished professor of physics is the 2023 recipient of the Michigan Technological University Research Award.
Huentemeyer views the career path she has followed as a natural if not always easy progression. Fueled by a persistent curiosity to probe the unknown origins of the universe, her work has led her to study and conduct research at the world’s leading institutions in her field.
The researcher, who enjoys watching movies in her leisure time, said summer 2023’s blockbuster biopic “Oppenheimer” sparked reflections on how she chose her discipline. “In the context of ‘Oppenheimer,’ I thought about how I actually started in the field of physics coming out of high school,” she said. “I grew up in the Cold War era. In 1991 I was watching a German miniseries, called the “End of Innocence,” about the competition with the Manhattan Project and the work of Otto Hahn.”