Successful Ph.D. Dissertation Defense: Kevin Stevenson

Congratulations to Kevin Stevenson on the successful defense of his Ph.D. Dissertation.  His dissertation on “DETECTING AND CHARACTERIZING EXOPLANETS: THE GJ 436 AND HD 149026 SYSTEMS” included analyses of over two dozen eclipses and transits of exoplanets in two separate planetary systems, all measured by the Spitzer Space Telescope.  Kevin discovered two planet candidates as well as characterizing the atmospheres of two known planets.  Chapter 1 of the dissertation was published in Nature, while two other papers have been accepted and are under revision, respectively, at The Astrophysical Journal.  Kevin is the second recipient of a Ph.D. in the Physics Department’s Planetary Sciences Track.  He was also named to the Order of Pegasus, UCF’s highest student honor.  His next mission: exoplanet spectroscopy with Prof. Jacob Bean in a postdoc at the University of Chicago.