Dr. Matteo Luisi will begin the new academic year with a position as Assistant Professor in the Physics Department at Westminster College in New Wilmington, PA. In his inaugural year, he will be teaching Foundations Physics (an algebra-based introductory physics course designed for incoming freshmen), and Computational Physics. He will also be working on revitalizing and managing the onsite Planetarium in which he hopes to have public shows featured in the fall. His long term goals are to use the Planetarium for community outreach projects and to assist in teaching.Matteo is looking forward to teaching and mentoring students in a small, liberal arts setting, specifically focusing on the individual needs and talents of each student. Westminster also has a 14-inch telescope that he will put back into operation and incorporate observations with the telescope into research projects for students.
While at WVU, Matteo’s research focused on how massive stars in our Galaxy interact with their environment. These stars inject large amounts of energy into their surroundings, which heats and ionizes the surrounding medium known as the “diffuse ionized gas”. The existence and distribution of this gas phase has a large impact on the energetics and evolution of our Galaxy. As part of this research, his team created the most sensitive extinction-free large scale map of the Galactic diffuse ionized gas. Additionally, he investigated the effects of stellar feedback, a process in which high-mass stars influence the subsequent formation of stars around them through their ionizing radiation and stellar winds.
Matteo, originally from Graz, Austria, attended West Virginia University for graduate school and continued his research as a postdoctoral fellow in the WVU Department of Physics and Astronomy.