James A. Flaten

James A. Flaten

James A. Flaten

Associate Director of the MN Space Grant Consortium and Contract Associate Professor,
Department of Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics

Contact

Akerman Hall
Rm 205C
110 Union Street SE

Minneapolis,

MN

55455

Education

Ph.D., Physics, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, 1997

B.A., Physics and Mathematics (with Computer Science emphasis), Carleton College, 1987

Professional Background

Associate Contract Professor, Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics Department, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, Minneapolis, MN, 2015-Present

Assistant Contract Professor, Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics Department, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, Minneapolis, MN, 2005-2015

Associate Director of the MN Space Grant, Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics Department, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, Minneapolis, MN, 2005-Present

Assistant Professor, Physics Department, Luther College, Decorah, IA, 2001-2015

Assistant Professor, Physics Department, University of Minnesota - Morris, Morris, MN, 1997-2001

Graduate Student Teaching and Research Assistant, Physics Department, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, Minneapolis, MN, 1991-1997

Physics Instructor, The Hill School (a private high school), Pottstown, PA, 1998-1991

Research Interests

Professor Flaten serves as the Associate Director of the Minnesota Space Grant Consortium (MnSGC), a NASA higher education program, which involves state-wide promotion of all-things-NASA-related. He teaches NASA-related classes, including freshman seminars on high-altitude ballooning and high-power rocketry, and also works with college students and faculty (and others) on out-of-class NASA-related projects including building and flying miniature spacecraft into the stratosphere using weather balloons, developing science payloads for NASA suborbital rocket flights, and mentoring student teams participating in high-power rocketry competitions. Professor Flaten also conducts teacher workshops and outreach activities at local schools and for the general public on aerospace, astronomy, physics, and engineering. His formal academic background is in low-temperature experimental physics and he particularly enjoys the connections between physics and sound (especially musical instruments), physics and art (especially art using unusual optics), and physics and Halloween (including an annual display of "spooky" physics demonstrations at the Mystery Science Lab in the CSE Math & Science Fun Fair ).

Currently Teaching Courses
AEM 1301 -- Ballooning: Design, Build, and Fly