Handsworth students, graduates and teachers are taking pride in the accomplishment of one of their own.
Michael Zemcov, a Handsworth graduate and now an assistant professor in the US, is part of a small team of scientists contributing to NASA’s new research mission that will explore the origins of the universe, galaxies, and water in the planetary systems.
Zemcov graduated from Handsworth Secondary School in 1998, and studied at UBC before doing a Phd in Physics from Cardiff University.
He is now an assistant professor at the Astrophysical Sciences and Technology Program at the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, US.
Zemcov is one of 19 co-investigators of the Spectro-Photometer for the History of the Universe, Epoch of Reionization, and Ices Explorer (SPHEREx) mission, which received $242 million in funding from NASA this February.
Zemcov will work in the new mission to explore the origins of the universe by performing the first near-infrared all-sky spectral survey.
SPHEREx, a future near-infrared space observatory, will produce a flood of data and Zemcov will help make sure the data can be processed in a coherent and effective way.
The mission’s goal is to study inflation, the rapid expansion thought to have played part in the universe’s creation. The research will gain new insights into the expansion of the universe as well as the origin and history of the galaxy formation.
“I’m very excited by the opportunity to help explain if and how inflation happened, and to understand more about it,” Zemcov said.
Zemcov said he visits North Vancouver every year to spend time with his parents and sister. He credited his interest in science to a Handsworth teacher, Mr. Salhaus.
“He inspired me for a career in science and in fact inspired several other students as well.”