The Arthur H. Waynick Memorial Lecture

The Arthur H. Waynick Memorial Lecture was established in 1986 by the family of Arthur Waynick to support one distinguished lecture each spring semester from a global expert in radio science, atmospheric research or a related field. Waynick served as the head of the Department of Electrical Engineering and the founder and director of the Ionosphere Research Laboratory (now the Communications and Space Sciences Laboratory) until his retirement in 1971. Information about upcoming and past Waynick Memorial Lectures can be found below.

Spring 2022 Waynick Lecture

Title: A Crash Course in Asteroid Defense
Speaker: Dr. Andy Rivkin, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory
When: Thursday, February 17, at 6:30 p.m. ET
Where: Foster Auditorium, Paterno Library

To attend the lecture virtually, please register with this link,


Asteroids have hit the Earth throughout its history, but humanity is developing the tools to help us avoid the fate of the dinosaurs. One technique that is being developed is the “kinetic impactor,” where a spacecraft is crashed into an object in order to change its course. The Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART), NASA’s first planetary defense test mission, is designed to test this technique. DART launched in November 2021 and will arrival at its target in September. The target of the DART spacecraft is the 150-meter moonlet Dimorphos orbiting the 780-meter asteroid Didymos. By changing the orbit of Dimorphos around Didymos, the results can be detected much more easily than changing the orbit of an asteroid around the Sun. Didymos and Dimorphos are not dangerous objects themselves, and DART will not bring them closer to Earth, making them excellent targets for this test. Dr. Rivkin will discuss the field of planetary defense, the plans for the DART mission and other planetary defense efforts that are underway.


Dr. Andy Rivkin is a planetary astronomer at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory and an expert in asteroid science. He received his doctoral degree in planetary sciences from the University of Arizona in 1997 and is the investigation lead for DART. Rivkin’s research centers on near-infrared spectroscopy and spectrophotometry of asteroids. In addition to observational work, he has been active in the broader Near-Earth Object community, serving as a team member on several efforts to understand and report the impact hazard we face and how to lessen it, and leading a group reporting to NASA about the most important unknown factors related to human exploration of an asteroid. Asteroid 13743 was named Rivkin in recognition of his work in the field.

Past Waynick Lectures


Chris Ruf
A New Paradigm in Earth Observations: Micro Satellite Constellations


Nicola Fox
Journey to the Sun


David Hysell
Applying Modern Methods to an Old Problem: Predicting Space Weather Near the Magnetic Equator


Thomas Zurbuchen
NASA Science: Doing the Impossible


David W. Miller
Our Next Destination in the Human Journey Beyond Earth


Thomas A. Seliga
Weather Radar Dual Polarization Technology and Penn State’s Ionosphere Research Laboratory


Bill Murtagh
Space Weather Storms: Are We Ready for a Space Katrina


Anousheh Ansari
Space Commercialization & Its Future


Neil deGrasse Tyson
Brain Droppings of an Astrophysicist


David R. Smith
Modern Day Alchemy with Metamaterials: Invisibility Cloaks and Superlenses


Timothy L. Killeen
Challenges and Opportunities in the Geosciences


Ralph Cicerone
Global Climate Change: Human Causes and Responses


Neal Lane
Science and Global Change – The Earth’s Climate and Other Issues


Edward Stone
Exploring the Final Frontier of the Solar System


Gregory Benford
Sailing to the Stars


Joseph H. Taylor
Binary Pulsars and Relativistic Gravity


Lawrence Krauss
Einstein’s Biggest Blunder: A Cosmic Mystery Story


Freeman Dyson
Eight Tales for Technophiles


Jill Tarter
SETI: Science Fact, Not Fiction


Antony Hewish
Mapping the Primordial Universe


Tor Hagfors
Ionospheric Research: Spin-offs into Other Fields


Donald T. Farley
Probing the Ionosphere with Giant Radars: The Science, the History, and a Little Politics


Charles L. Hosler
Fifty-five Years of Progress in Meteorology and a Look at the Future


Thomas M. Donahue
The Galileo Mission to Jupiter


John V. Evans
Twenty Years of Incoherent Scatter Studies of the Ionosphere


William E. Gordon
Arecibo from Start to Finish


John S. Nisbet
How Seven Common Fallacies Were Removed on the Way to Understanding the Ionospheric F Region


Peter M. Banks
Global Atmospheric Changes: Telltales and Other Interesting Phenomena


Louis J. Lanzerotti
Impacts of Solar-Terrestrial Activity on Technological Systems


Ulf Von Zahn
The Atmospheres of Earth, Venus, and Mars: More Different Than We Expected


Gerald S. Levy
From the Ionosphere to Deep Space


Colin O. Hines
Arecibo Observatory Then and Now


C. Stewart Gillmor
Issues in Space Research: How the Future Influences the Past


John C. Brandt
Halley and the Exploration of Comets

headshot of a man

Dr. Andy Rivkin, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory



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