Sciences and Exploration Directorate

Weijia Kuang

(RSCH AST, SOLID EARTH GEOPHYSICAL STD)

 weijia.kuang-1@nasa.gov

 301.614.6108

Org Code: 61A

NASA/GSFC
Mail Code: 61A
Greenbelt, MD 20771

Employer: NASA

Brief Bio


Weijia Kuang earned his B.Sc in space engineering from Changsha Institute of Technology in China in 1982. He then obtained his M.Sc in theoretical physics at Wuhan University in China in 1985.  He continued his graduate study at University of California, Los Angeles, and earned his Ph.D in applied mathematics in 1992.

After graduation, Dr. Kuang went to the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Harvard University as a postdoctoral fellow and then a research associate.  In 1998, Dr. Kuang joined the Joint Center of Earth systems Technology (JCET) at University of Maryland, Baltimore County, as a research associate professor.

In 2002, Dr. Kuang joined the Space Geodesy Branch in NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) as a geophycist/appled mathematician.  He is currently in the Geodesy and Geophysics Laboratory (61A) in NASA GSFC, working on several research projects which include geodynamo simulation, geomagnetic secular variation prediction on sub-decadal times scales, core-mantle interactions and implications to Earth's rotation variation, and magnetic terrestrial exoplanets and habitable worlds.
 

Research Interests


Geodynamo and planetary dynamos

Solar System: Geophysics

Geodynamo and planetary dynamos are the fundamental theories of the origins of the magnetic fields of the Earth, of other planets and moons in the solar system.  They are also the keys to understand the spatial and temporal variations of planetary magnetic fields, their implications to the structures, the
dynamical processes from the deep interior to the surface, and to the planetary evolutions over geological time scales.
 


Geomagnetic data assimilation

Earth Science: Analysis

Geomagnetic data assimilation is a new development in geomagnetism.  In this research discipline, surface geomagnetic observations are assimilated into numerical geodynamo models so that numerical models can be improved and better constrained with the observations, and that future
geomagnetic variability can be accurately predicted.


Geomagnetic field modeling

Solar System: Earth

My interests in this discipline are on ground and satellite geomagnetic observations,  global geomagnetic field modeling, and on geomagnetic variability due to oceaninc and lithospheric
processes.
 


Magnetic exo-planets and habitable worlds

Earth Science: Theory & Modeling

Understanding internal magnetic field generation of exo-planetary systems, implications to the interactions with stellar winds and to the habitability of the planets.   


Computational Fluid Dynamics

Earth Science: Theory & Modeling

Development and application of numerical algorithms and models in computational fluid dynamics, including parallel computation optimization on various platforms.

Current Projects


Geomagnetic data assimilation

Earth

This is a NASA ESI supported project on assimilation of geomagnetic measurments with MoSST core dynamics model (a geodynamo and planetary dynamo developed at Harvard and in GSFC over the past two decades) using an ensemble Kalman Filtering algorithm.


Core-mantle interactions and Earth's orientation parameters

Earth

This is a NASA ESI supported projects on investigating core-mantle interactions and their implications to length-of-day (LOD) variation and polar motion on decadal time scales, via geodynamo (MoSST) and geomagnetic data assimilation (MoSST_DAS) modeling efforts.


Swarm participating scientist

Earth

This project is on utilzation of Swarm magnetic data product for studying core dynamics and for geomagnetic data assimilation.


Development of dynamic field modeling

Earth

This project aims at develop a prototype next-generation field model based on geomagnetic measurements and geomagnetic data assimilation results, and applications to magnetospheric circulation modeling.


Habitability of magnetic terrestrial exo-planets

Extrasolar planets

This project focuses on generattion of internal magnetic fields of terrestrial exo-planets with various interior structures, and the consequences on interactions with stellar winds, and magnetic protection of habitable envrionments.

Positions/Employment


Geophysicist/Applied Mathematician

NASA GSFC - Planetary Geodynamics Laboratory

December 2002 - Present

Carrying out fundamental research on geodynamo and planetary dynamos, and geomagnetic data assimilation; managing core and crustal magnetics group.


Research Associate Professor

University of Maryland, Baltimore County - Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology (JCET)

June 1998 - November 2002

Carrying out NSF and NASA supported research on geodynamo modeling, core-mantle interactions, and the Earth's angular momentum variations.


Postdoctoral fellow/Research associate

Harvard University - Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences

April 1992 - June 1997

Working primairly on numerical geodynamo modeling, core mantle coupling and length of day variation of the Earth


Research Assistant

University of California, Los Angeles - Department of Mathematics

September 1987 - April 2002

Carring out graduate research on various magnetic instabilities due to field morphology changes.

Teaching Experience


Have supervised many graduate students and post doctoral fellows over the past 17 years in NASA GSFC and at various domestic and international universities.

Education


Ph.D., Applied Mathematics, University of California, Los Angeles, 1992
M.Sc., Physics, Wuhan University, China, 1985 (Honor)
B.Sc., Space Engineering Science, Changsha Institute of Technology, China,1982

Professional Societies


American Geophysical Union

1992 - Present

Professional Service


Lead, Core and Crustal Magnetics Group, NASA GSFC, 2005-Present

Associate Chief, Planetary Geodynamics Lab, NASA GSFC, 2015-2016

Member of Solid Earth Sub-group of NASA ESTO Computational Technology Committee, 2002, 2008.

Member of GSFC Science Director's Council and Deputy Director's Council, 2007-2009

Member of GSFC IT Pathfinder working group, 2003-2005

Member of NSF Geoinformatics, 2004

Group Leader, Interdisciplinary Focus Group, JCET, UMBC, 2000- 2002