Student Paper Takes First Prize at Florida Academy of Sciences Meeting

MELBOURNE, FLA.—A paper presentation by Florida Institute of Technology student Jennifer Helsby earned first place at the Florida Academy of Sciences 72nd Annual Meeting in Jacksonville. The senior won the academy’s “Outstanding Undergraduate Student Paper Award” in physics and space science.

Recently, Helsby also received the Distinguished Student Scholar Award at the university’s Honors Convocation. Her faculty adviser was Marcus Hohlmann, associate professor of the Department of Physics and Space Science.

The research on which Helsby’s paper was based was funded by the Department of Homeland Security under a grant obtained by Hohlmann. The ongoing project is a study of the feasibility of using high energy particles from space to detect nuclear materials in shipping containers. This works by observing how the paths of the particles are deflected as they move through the container.

At Florida Tech, undergraduates and graduate students take part in research activities that support local, state and national agencies. The university is listed among America’s best colleges in U.S. News & World Report, is among the top Southeastern colleges according to Princeton Review Rating and was rated a top private university in Florida by the Washington Monthly College Ranking. More information is available at

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