Flaten promoted to Professor

We are pleased to report the promotion of Associate Professor James Flaten to the rank of Professor without tenure beginning summer 2023. The Department celebrated his promotion earlier this year with a reception in the Balas Atrium where colleagues, friends, students and staff gathered to congratulate Professor Flaten.

Dr. Flaten earned his Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities in 1997. Shortly thereafter, he accepted a position as an Assistant Professor in the Physics Department at the University of Minnesota in Morris. He then traveled to Luther College in Decorah, Iowa where he taught as an Assistant Professor in the Physics Department from 2001-2005. In 2005 he returned to the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities to serve as Assistant Contract Professor in AEM where he has remained ever since. 

Today, Dr. 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, as well as 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.

Later this fall, Dr. Flaten will lead the Minnesota Space Grant Stratospheric Weather Ballooning Team as they head to Albuquerque, New Mexico to fly balloons during the upcoming annular solar eclipse on October 14, 2023. In April of 2024, he will repeat the process from Indiana as the teams fly their balloons during the April 8 total eclipse. 

Flaten reception sign