Dr. Eric Bubar comes to Marymount with extensive training in the field of astronomical stellar spectroscopy. He utilizes national and international telescope facilities to study stars like our own Sun. By breaking starlight into its respective wavelengths, Dr. Bubar can tell what a star is made of, how hot it is, how large it is, and determine its age. He is currently conducting a variety of projects, including studying what types of stars harbor exoplanets and studying small-scale galactic chemical enrichment within a single star-forming region. His work on this enrichment is the most detailed study ever attempted and the best part about this work is that students can easily make substantial contributions! In addition to astronomy, Dr Bubar also conducts research in using low-cost desktop 3D printing to create upper-limb assistive devices for individuals in need. Through collaborations with Enabling the Future, a global network of volunteers, Dr Bubar and his students have provided hands and arms to people throughout the world. Projects in this area have included testing 3D printed arms, creating low-cost myoelectric sensing for 3D printed hands and designing customized full and partial assistive devices using 3D scanning. To date, Dr Bubar and his students have provided roughly 60 devices to people in the United States, Costa Rica, Uganda and Palestine.
Teaching is another passion of Dr. Bubar’s. He developed several planetarium shows while at Clemson University, covering topics such as “Archaeoastronomy” and “Historical Astronomers.” He presents these shows (and more!) by traveling to local schools with the newly operational Myhill Portable Planetarium, a 5 meter, full-digital HD planetarium that immerses participants in the wonders of the cosmos. He also likes performing demonstrations during lectures and will often be seen carrying bicycle tires and ropes into a classroom to teach students about physics with a hands-on approach. If you see him meandering across campus with his arms full, ask what he’s carrying and perhaps you’ll get an impromptu peek into the nature of physics and astronomy!