Assistant Professor, Navajo Technical University
Dr. Abraham Meles is an Associate Professor of Physics at Navajo Technical University. He received his Ph.D. from New Mexico State University in 2015 after completing his graduate research project at the Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) in Experimental Nuclear Particle Physics.
Meles has been in a group of researchers and hardware experts in modifying particle detectors at BNL, capable of recreating and detecting nuclear sub-particles that existed in the first few millionths of a second after the Big Bang. Meles has published more than forty articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals in the past ten years, including in Physical Review C and Physics Letters.
For the past three Summers, Meles has also been a Fellow Researcher at the US Army Research Lab focusing on Using Radioisotopes for Power Storage Mechanisms. These ultra-energy materials have the potential to provide revolutionary advances in energy and power for equipment that must operate unattended for a longer period of time, such as space shuttles, satellites, pacemakers, underwater systems, and automated scientific stations in remote parts of the world.
In addition to the above uses of radiations as an energy source for spacecraft and satellites, Meles is also interested in studying the naturally occurring radiation from the Sun, radioactive elements in the Earth’s crust, radiation trapped in the Earth’s magnetic field, stars, and other astrophysical objects like quasars or galactic centers. Meles has been planning to introduce a Space Science and Technology Education at the Navajo Technical University. He has recently established a team at NTU intending to broaden the participation of the Navajo community in engineering fields by infusing the Space Science curriculum and collaborating with local industries and institutions. The team led by Meles strongly believes introducing any new STEM program at NTU requires a deep understanding of Navajo culture and should involve local community participation. In 2020/21, this team led by NTU initiated organizing local institutions and received a planning grant from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). As the planning project’s result, NTU has successfully established an NTU-led collaboration with the Navajo Medicinemen community association (The Diné Hataałii Association Inc), the MILO Space Science Institute, and the Arizona State University School of Earth and Space Exploration (ASU SESE). NTU has also benefited from the grant fund and acquired Space Science and STEM hands-on activities equipment at the Physics Lab. Last summer, the collaboration developed a concept paper and a detailed action plan to achieve its objectives. Currently, the partnership is looking for further support to implement its action plans fully.
Meles is also currently involved in various STEM education and research projects that include joint projects with the Harvard University, National Science Foundation (NSF), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).