The Catholic University of America


Vadim Uritsky

Associate Professor &  IACS Director


Brief Bio

Dr. Vadim M. Uritsky received his Ph.D. in Space Physics and Geophysics from St. Petersburg State University, Russia in 1998. In 1999-2001, he held a postdoctoral research position at NASA / Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD. In 2005, Dr. Uritsky defended his post-doctorate habilitation thesis and was granted the title of Doktor Nauk (Grand Ph.D.), the highest academic qualification in Russian Federation. In 2006 - 2011, Dr. Uritsky was a Senior Research Scientist and an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy of the University of Calgary, Canada. In fall 2011, he became a Research Associate at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (Greenbelt, MD), affiliated by the Institute for Astrophysics & Computational Sciences in the Dept. of Physics of the Catholic University of America. Beginning September 01, 2011, Dr. Uritsky is an Associate Professor in the CUA's Physics Department.

Research Interests

Dr. Vadim Uritsky studies the impact of mutiscale  turbulence and complexity on key mechanisms  of plasma transport, acceleration and heating in heliophysical systems. He conducts an innovative cross-disciplinary research program integrated into several ongoing and planned NASA missions, including THEMIS, MESSENGER, SOHO, STEREO, and MMS. One of the major goals of this program is to measure and understand transient multiscale signatures of magnetic reconnection. The conceptual novelty of  this research is in its focus on rapidly evolving cross-scale interactions comprising both deterministic and stochastic modes of plasma behavior. Dr. Uritsky creates a comprehensive methodology for the detection, quantification and theoretical interpretation of the intermittent multiscale transients associated with magnetic reconnection as manifested in magnetospheric and solar observations, as well as in numerical simulations. These methods and tools are used for: (a) exploring physical mechanisms of plasma turbulence; (b) verifying its role in the initiation and further development of collisionless magnetic reconnection; (c) determining multiscale magnetic topologies supporting steady and explosive growth of the initial instability; (d) identifying transient multiscale properties of the reconnection dynamics associated with secondary fluid dynamics driven by the reconnection outflows; (e) understanding the role of the multiscale solar photospheric network in coronal heating and flaring activity.


Telephone numbers:

(301) 286-0546  (NASA)
(202) 319-5538   (CUA)

Office Addresses:

Catholic University of America
Physics Department
Rm 214, Hannon Hall
620 Michigan Ave NE
Washington, DC 20064
CUA page

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Heliophysics Science Division
Solar Physics Laboratory
Rm 245, Code 671, B21
Greenbelt, MD 20771
NASA page