I am a graduate student in physics at the University of Rochester, currently working at the Laboratory for Laser Energetics on nuclear scattering cross sections.

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Profile

– Experienced in C++, Python, MatLab, Java, Scala, SQL, HTML
– Worked extensively with big data at the Laboratory for Laser Energetics using C++, Python, and SQL to analyze and communicate research to colleagues.
– Four years of research experience working with nuclear detectors and GEANT simulations.
– Employed strong communication skills for Houghton College’s Science Department’s Capital Campaign, addressing the Board of Trustees on the merits of investment to expand the program.

Education

M.A. in Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy
University of Rochester, December 2017

B.S. in Physics with a minor in Mathematics, Department of Physics
Houghton College, May 2016
Thesis: Efficiency Calibration for Measuring the 12C(n,2n)11C Cross Section

Software Projects

Simulation of Deuteron Breakup in GEANT4, Laboratory for Laser Energetics
June 2016 – Present
The GEANT4 library was developed by CERN for particle interaction simulations. I wrote a Monte Carlo simulation for 1012 neutrons in C++ using the library and post-processed the data in Python. I modified the stack of particle interactions in GEANT to use new experimental data.
github.com/t-eckert/d_breakup

Measuring Cryogenic Target Offsets and Effects, Laboratory for Laser Energetics
June 2016
Developed an application integrating Python and SQL to collect data across 150 experiments from several departments at the lab to report on the effects of support stalks shifting cryogenic fuel out of laser focus.

12C(n,2n)11C Cross Section Simulation in GEANT4, Houghton College
June 2013 – July 2016
Used GEANT to simulate a detailed 3D experiment while teaching myself C++. The code was used to publish a new experimental cross section important to nuclear fusion.
github.com/t-eckert/geant4_carbon_12_cross_section

Research Experience

Efficiency Calibration for Measuring the 12C(n,2n)11C Cross Section
January 2013 – July 2016
Presented at
– American Physical Society Division of Plasma Physics meetings in Savannah and New Orleans
– Regional Symposium for Physics Students
– Omega Laser User’s Group
– Penn-York Research Conference.
Received the Exceptional Undergraduate Poster Award at APS DPP Savannah.
Measurement of the cross section to within 5% by exposing carbon and plastic disks to monoenergetic neutrons between 20 and 27 MeV, then counting positron annihilation gamma rays from the beta decay of 11C. The number of 12C that underwent the n,2n reaction was calculated using a GEANT code.

Publications

Mark Yuly, Thomas Eckert, et. al. (arXiv:1707.09375 [nucl-ex]) “The 12C(n,2n)11C Cross Section from Threshold to 26.5 MeV.” (2017)

Awards

Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award
American Association of Physics Teachers
2017

Exceptional Undergraduate Poster Award for "Efficiency Calibration for Measuring the 12C(n,2n)11C Cross Section"
APS Division of Plasma Physics
November 2015

Employment Experience 

Teaching Assistant, University of Rochester Physics and Astronomy Department
Classes: Electromagnetism and Modern Physics
Taught three workshops per week for 60 total students and two lectures for 250 students. Graded 60 homework assignments weekly. Organized and managed 10 TAs for workshops and grading. Received Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award.
September 2016 – May 2017

Teaching Assistant, Houghton College Physics Department
Class: Intro to Physics
Prepared materials for labs, twice weekly. Helped 40 general physics students solve problems and perform experiments by explaining concepts in a comprehendible manner.
January 2015 – December 2015

Library Circulation Attendant, Houghton College Library
Managed media for a research library with 500,000 books. Used detail-oriented organizational skills to maintain ordered collections of books, films, and newspapers.
May 2013 – May 2016

Human Resources and Accounting Assistant, ECS Corporate Services, LLC
Managed HR files for more than 1500 employees with regard to data input, termination of old files, and the digitization of HR materials. Accounts receivables and payables support for a company with $120 million in annual sales.
Summers 2010 – 2013

Information Technologies Intern, ECS Corporate Services, LLC
Repaired 100’s of PDA devices for field technicians on construction sites. Cut cost of technological overhead by stripping broken devices for parts to build new PDAs.
Summers 2008 – 2010

Volunteer Activities

Treasurer, Physics and Astronomy Student Association for Graduate Engagement (PASSAGE)
April 2017 – Present

Student Representative, Houghton Title IX Committee on Harassment Policy and Prevention
September 2015 – May 2016

News and Features Writer, (32 Articles), Houghton Star
January 2013 – May 2016

Class President, Houghton College Student Government
September 2012 – May 2013

Other Work I'm Proud Of

Featured in a video for Houghton College's Impact Campaign