Brian A. Hicks, PhD
EMPLOYMENT
Visiting Assitant Research Scientist, University of Maryland College Park, 2016-2016
NASA Postdoctoral Program Fellow, Goddard Space Flight Center, 2014-2015
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, UMass Lowell Center for Atmospheric Research, 2012-2013
Graduate Research Assistant, Boston University Center for Space Physics, 2004-2011

EDUCATION
Ph.D. Electrical Engineering, Boston University, 2012
M.A. Astronomy, Boston University, 2006
B.A. Physics, Macalester College, 2002

HONORS, FELLOWSHIPS, AND AWARDS
2014-2015 NASA Postdoctoral Program Fellowship
2009 NASA International Year of Astronomy Student Ambassador
2009, 2011 Massachusetts Space Grant Consortium Summer Fellowship
2008-2009 Boston University Photonics Center Senior Photonics Fellowship
2008 Boston University H. J Berman Future of Light Prize in Photonics

REFEREED PUBLICATIONS
  1. B. Hicks, “Exoplanet detection and characterization via parallel broadband nulling coronagraphy,” J. Astron. Tel. Inst. & Sys. 2, 011015 (2016)
  2. B. Hicks, S. Chakrabarti, T. Cook, “Interferometric nulling limits with tip-tilt-piston deformable mirrors and a pinhole spatial filter array,” J. Astron. Tel. Inst. & Sys. 1, 019001 (2015)
  3. B. Hicks, M. Danowski, J. Martel, T. Cook, “High-etendue UV camera for simultaneous four color imaging on a single detector,” Appl. Opt. 52, 5194-5200 (2013)
  4. C. Mendillo, S. Chakrabarti, T. Cook, B. Hicks, B. Lane, “Flight demonstration of a milliarc- second pointing system for direct exoplanet imaging,” Appl. Opt. 51, 7069-7079 (2012)
  5. B. Hicks, T. Cook, B. Lane, and S. Chakrabarti, “OPD measurement and dispersion reduction in a monolithic interferometer,” Opt. Ex. 18, 17542-17547 (2010)
  6. B. Hicks, T. Cook, B. Lane, and S. Chakrabarti, “Monolithic achromatic nulling interference coronagraph: design and performance,” Appl. Opt. 48, 4963-4977 (2009)
  7. T. Cook, B. Hicks, P. Jung, C. Chakrabarti, “Far-ultraviolet astronomical narrowband imag- ing,” Appl. Opt. 48, 1936-1942 (2009)

PROCEEDINGS PAPERS
  1. B. Hicks, R. Lyon, P. Petrone III, I. Miller, M. Bolcar, M. Clampin, M. Helmbrecht, U. Mallik, “Broadband results with the visible nulling coronagraph,” Proc. SPIE 9605, (2015)
  2. U. Mallik, R. Lyon, P. Petrone, M. McElwain, D. Bendord, M. Clampin, B. Hicks, “Maturing CCD photon0counting technology for space flight,” Proc. SPIE 9605, (2015)
  3. B. Hicks, R. Lyon, M. Bolcar, M. Clampin, P. Petrone III, “High-contrast visible nulling coronagraph for segmented and arbitrary aperture telescopes,” Proc. SPIE 9143, (2014)
  4. B. Hicks, K. Oram, N. Lewis, C. Mendillo, P. Bierden, T. Cook, S. Chakrabarti, “Direct imaging of exoplanetary systems with a monolithic multispectral camera,” Proc. SPIE 8864, (2013)
  5. C. Mendillo, B. Hicks, T. Cook, T. Bifano, D. Content, B. Lane, B. M. Levine, D. Rabin, S. Rao, R. Samuele, E. Schmidtlin, M. Shao, J. K. Wallace, S. Chakrabarti, “PICTURE: a sounding rocket experiment for direct imaging of an extrasolar planetary environment,” Proc. SPIE 8442, (2012)
  6. B. Hicks, T. Cook, B. Lane, S. Chakrabarti, “Progress in the development of MANIC: a monolithic nulling interferometer for characterizing extrasolar environments,” Proc. SPIE 7734, (2010)
  7. B. Hicks, T. Cook, B. Lane, C. Mendillo, P. Jung, C. Chakrabarti, “The Monolithic Achromatic Nulling Interference Coronagraph (MANIC) testbed,” Proc. SPIE 7440, (2009)
  8. S. Rao, J. K. Wallace, R. Samuele, S. Chakrabarti, T. Cook, B. Hicks, P. Jung, B. Lane, B. M. Levine, C. Mendillo, E. Schmidtlin, M. Shao, J. Stewart, "Path length control in a nulling coronagraph with a MEMS deformable mirror and a calibration interferometer," Proc. SPIE 6888, (2008)

MEETING ABSTRACTS
  1. B. Hicks, R. Lyon, M. Clampin, M. Bolcar, U. Mallik, E. Mentzell, P. Petrone III, “Next Generation Visible Nulling Coronagraph,” 225th AAS, # 438.06, (2015)
  2. C. Mendillo, E. Douglas, S. Finn, B. Hicks, J. Martel, T. Cook, S. Chakrabarti, “Recent contrast measurements made using the PICTURE Visible Nulling Coronagraph,” 224th AAS, #113.09 (2014)
  3. E. Douglas, C. Mendillo, B. Hicks, T. Cook, J. Martel, S. Finn, R. Polidan, S. Chakrabarti, “Status of the PICTURE sounding rocket to image the Epsilon Eridani circumstellar environment, 224th AAS, #122.10 (2014)
  4. E. Douglas, C. Mendillo, B. Hicks, T. Cook, R. Polidan, S. Chakrabarti, “Modeling of expected PICTURE observations of exozodiacal dust around  Epsilon Eridani,” 223rd AAS, #122.10 (2014)
  5. T. Cook, B. Hicks, S. Chakrabarti, “A narrow band imaging system for far ultraviolet astronomy,” 221st AAS, #350.13 (2013)
  6. C. Mendillo, S. Chakrabarti, T. Cook, B. Hicks, P. Jung, M. Levine, M. Shao, “Expected results from PICTURE observations of exozodiacal dust around Epsilon Eridani,” 215th AAS, #421.03 (2012)

arXiv
  1. R. Lyon, B. Hicks, M. Clampin, P. Petrone III, “Phase-occultation nulling coronagraphy,” http://arxiv.org/abs/1504.05747, (2015)

JOURNAL REVIEWERSHIP
SPIE Journal of Astronomical Telescopes, Instruments, and Systems (SPIE)
Optics Express (OSA)
Biomedical Optics Express (OSA)

MEMBERSHIPS
American Astronomical Society (AAS) since 2011
International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE) since 2007

Optical Society America (OSA) since 2007

CONFERENCES
2016 SPIE Astronomical Telescopes and Instrumentation (Edinburgh, Scotland)
2015 SPIE Mirror Technology Days (Annapolis, MD)
2015 SPIE Techniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplanets VII (San Diego, CA)
2015 Spirit of Lyot (Montreal, QC)
2015 Emerging Researchers in Exoplanet Science Symposium (State College, PA)
2015 225th American Astronomical Society (Seattle, WA)
2014 SPIE Mirror Tech Days (Albuquerque, NM)
2014 National Capital Area Disk Meeting (Washington, DC)
2014 DC, Maryland, Virginia Summer Astrophysics (Washington, DC)
2014 SPIE Astronomical Telescopes and Instrumentation (Montreal, QC)
2013 SPIE Techniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplanets VI (San Diego, CA)
2012 219th American Astronomical Society (Austin, TX)
2010 SPIE Astronomical Telescopes and Instrumentation (San Diego, CA)
2009 KISS Innovative Approaches to Exoplanet Spectra (Pasadena, CA)
2009 SPIE Techniques and Instrumentation for the Detection of Exoplanets IV (San Diego, CA)

COLLOQUIA/SEMINARS
12/2014 NASA GSFC Broadband visible nulling coronagraphy
01/2014 NASA GSFC Nulling interferometers for broadband direct imaging and spectroscopic characterization of exoplanetary systems
09/2013 University of Arizona Direct imaging of exoplanetary systems with a monolithic multispectral camera
04/2013 MIT Direct multiband visible imaging of exoplanetary systems using sounding rockets
02/2013 UMass Lowell A system for multiband imaging of exoplanets
01/2013 MIT Lincoln Laboratory Approaches to space-based high-contrast multiband imaging
09/2011 Draper Laboratory High-contrast imaging with nulling interferometers
09/2008 Boston University Achieving tolerable wavefront error for space-based interferometry

STUDENT MENTEES
  • M. Ballard (U Maryland, College Park) - Spring, Summer 2016
  • A. Eberhardt (U Washington, Seattle) - Summer 2016
  • K. Oram (UMass, Lowell) - Spring, Summer 2013
  • J. Ulseth (U Florida, Gainesville) - Spring 2016

OUTREACH
  • University of Maryland College Park Observatory Public Night Presenter
  • Boston Museum of Science Space Day Presenter
  • Tobin Community Center Kids Capture Their Universe Astronomy Volunteer
  • Yawkey Boys and Girls Club Kids Capture Their Universe Astronomy Volunteer
  • Boston University Upward Bound Astronomy Instructor
  • Macalester College Observatory Open Night Coordinator and Telescope Operator

SELECTED GENERAL SKILLS
  • Software: Proficiency with IDL, Zemax, Pro-Engineer, Mathematica, Durango, LATEX composition, Microsoft and Open Office suites; working experience with LabView, MATLAB, and LightTools, C/C++, Solidworks, and webpage design using HTML; basic experience with graphical design using GIMP; user experience with Windows, MacOS, and Linux
  • Optical: Solidexperienceinlaboratoryopticalsystemdesignandmeasurement,particularlyinterferometry and high-contrast imaging; sound understanding of environmental noise sources and analysis; familiar- ity with various standalone and DAQ-based electrical control and detector systems; some experience with Fourier transform spectroscopy and ellipsometry
  • Mechanical: Experience designing, fabricating, and flight-readying optical mounts, vacuum and cryogenic plumbing and interfaces, electronics enclosures, metering and support structures capable of surviving a sounding rocket launch environment; proficiency in milling; experience with a lathe
  • Language: Proficient in German; basic knowledge of Spanish