CV: Senior Research Tech

 


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Candidate Profile
 Date Submitted:20-07-2021
 Last Modified:20-07-2021 (08:59)
Job information
 Current job:Senior Research Tech
 Employment Term:Permanent
 Job location:Europe only
 Date available:within 3months
 Industry:Civil Agencies/International Organizations
 Keywordsflight mass spectrometers quadrupole ion trap
CV

1.) Personal Profile

I am a research technologist and a member of the Planetary Surface Instruments Group at Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Pasadena, California, responsible for development of miniature flight instruments. For the past 7 years my primary focus has been the design of quadrupole ion trap (QIT) based miniature mass spectrometers (MS) for space explorations. The result of these efforts is a Spacecraft Atmosphere Monitor (S.A.M.) [1] , presently operating onboard International Space Station (ISS). Modified versions of S.A.M. are scheduled for future space flights to the Moon (NASA DALI call), Venus flyby (Cupid’s Arrow), for the comet flyby missions, and for the Orion spacecraft cabin air monitoring. Same technology is recently being adopted for Organic
Water Monitor (OWM)[2] instrument, for detecting the presence of organic content in reclaimed water aboard ISS. I am also leading the efforts to develop a suitable MS for Ocean Worlds Life Surveyor (OWLS)[3] suite, which is JPL’s strategic effort to prepare for NASA’s future missions to Europe and Enceladus.
In addition to MS work, I served as a JPL lead on NASA’s development of Miniature Variable Pressure Scanning Electron Microscope (MVP-SEM), in collaboration with Marshall Space Flight Center, developing a sample chamber, gaseous discharge detector system and performing final environmental testing of the assembled instrument.
In 2017 I was awarded a 3 year NASA PICASSO program grant for development of a miniature piezoelectric valve for atmospheric descent sampling, which allows for a constant gass flow in a wide pressure range of 0-100bar, suitable for MS operation.
Prior to current position, I spent 7 years (including 2 as a post doctoral student) in the Atomic and Molecular Physics Group at JPL, doing fundamental scientific research by measuring absolute electron excitation and charge exchange cross sections of highly charged ions (HCI), and serving as a head of the HCI facility.
My initial training though was in particle beam physics and ion beam analytical methods. I received my B.S. (1997) in physics, M.S. (2003) in particle beam physics and Ph.D.(2005) in particle beam physics and ion beam analytical methods from the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. During my graduate studies I held a research assistant position at J. Stefan Institute, and worked on design and construction of the nuclear microprobe, and implementation of the ion beam analytical methods (PIXE, RBS, ERDA) on the microbeam station.

[1] https://www.nasa.gov/feature/nasas-spacecraft-atmosphere-monitor-goes-to-work-aboard-the-international-space-station
[2] https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=1847
[3] https://microdevices.jpl.nasa.gov/capabilities/in-situ-instruments-chemical-analysis/owls-project/

2.) Education

2005, Ph. D., University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Mathematics and Physics
Thesis title: “Fabrication of 3D microstructures with proton microbeam”.
2003, M. Sc., University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Mathematics and Physics
Thesis title: “The construction of microprobe beam line and experimental chamber”.
1997, B. Sc., University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Mathematics and Physics
Thesis title: “The calculation of characteristics of magnetic quadrupole triplet lens for
microprobe beam line at tandetron accelerator”.

3.) Employment History

2013 - Present
 JPL, Planetary Surface Instruments Group, Senior Research Technologist
Roles and responsibilities:
• Development of miniature quadrupole mass spectrometers for space flight instruments.
• Cognizant Engineer (Cog-E) for mass spectrometer portion of Spacecraft Atmosphere Monitor.
• Cog-E for mass spectrometer portion of Organic Water Monitor.
• Lead for mass spectrometer portion of Ocean World Life Surveyor suite.
• Institutional Principal Investigator (PI) for Miniature Variable Pressure Scanning Electron Microscope (MVP-SEM).
• PI for developing a miniature gas sampling system for mass spectrometers, based on piezo-electric actuator
• Electrostatic dipole radiation shield project member (experimental design, data acquisition and simulations).

2008 - 2013
JPL, Atomic and Molecular Physics Group, Research Scientist
Roles and responsibilities:
• Head of the HCI experimental facility.
• Maintenance and development of experimental setup.
• Measurement of absolute electron excitation and charge exchange cross sections, measurement of metastable ion-level lifetimes and X-ray emission spectra in HCI-neutral and HCI-surface collisions.
• Numerical evaluation of experimental results and publishing of scientific papers.
• Participated in construction of an electrostatic storage ring for laboratory astrophysics.
• Co-Investigator on the following projects:
– Electron collisions with highly-charged ions: basic astrophysical phenomena and measurement of absolute collision strengths, 2009
– Measurement and calculation of absolute charge-exchange cross sections with X-ray spectra for highly-charged ion-neutral collisions in solar-system objects, 2011
– Measurement of absolute electron excitation cross sections in highly-charged ions for solar plasma diagnostics, 2012

2006 - 2008
JPL, Atomic and Molecular Physics Group, NASA Postdoctoral Fellow
Roles and responsibilities:
• Measurement of absolute electron excitation and charge exchange cross sections, measurement of metastable ion-level lifetimes and X-ray emission spectra in HCI-neutral and HCI-surface collisions.
• Numerical evaluation of experimental results and publishing of scientific papers.
• Maintenance and development of experimental setup.

1998 - 2006
J. Stefan Inst., Department of Low and Medium Energy Physics, Graduate Student/Research Assistant
Roles and responsibilities:
• Development of a beam optics transport code (later purchased by International Atomic Energy Agency for the needs of Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Nucleares (ININ) in Mexico).
• Construction of beam lines and detailed calculations of magnetic quadrupole triplet lens system for the 2 MeV Tandetron accelerator.
• Construction and assembly of the proton microprobe beam line and experimental station (completed in 2000 by reaching sub-micron beam size, results published in NIMB).
• Upgrade of microbeam line for proton beam micromachining (a series of 3D microstructures produced in 2005).
• Microprobe ion beam analyses (PIXE, PIGE, RBS, STIM and NRA) of biological, geological and industrial samples (see publications).
• Design and construction of a compact dose normalization chopper for proton beam lithography and mapping of the trace elements in cell tissues.
• PIXE analyses of medieval manuscripts within the framework of INKCOR project. on external beam experimental station.
• Collaboration with several other accelerator facilities, including: 5 MeV Van-de-Graaf at ATOMKI, Debrecen, Hungary, 3 MeV pelletron and 2.5 MeV VDG accelerator of IBMAL, University of North Texas, USA , 3 MeV pelletron at Centro nacional de aceleradores (CNA), Seville, Spain.

4.) Memberships
• American Physical Society
• European Geosciences Union


5.) Awards
• Certificate of Appreciation S.A.M. JPL Team Bonus Awards: 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2021
• Voyager Award: 2017

6.) Invited Talks
• Piezo-Electric Inlet System for Atmospheric Descent Probe, J.Simcic, C. Lee, A. Belousov & D. Nikolic, International Planetary Probe Workshop 2019, Oxford, UK, July 8–12, 2019
• Piezoelectric valve for atmospheric descent sampling, J.Simcic, C. Lee and D. Nikolic, 4th International Workshop on Instrumentation for Planetary Missions, Berlin, Germany, September 12–14, 2018
• Atmospheric Constituent Explorer System (ACES), Simcic J., Darrach M. R., Madzunkov S., Neidholdt E., 3rd International Workshop on Instrumentation for Planetary Missions, Pasadena, CA, 2016
• Charge-Exchange Experiments with Highly Charged Ions and Their Relevance to Astrophysics, J. Simcic, S. M. Madzunkov, J. A. MacAskill, A. Chutjian, Division of Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics (DAMOP), Atlanta, GA, June 13-17, 2011
• The Atomic and Molecular Universe: Collisions in Hot Plasma to the Building Blocks of Life. A. Chutjian, J. A. MacAskill, S. M. Madzunkov, and J. Simcic, 41st DAMOP, Houston, TX (5/10), 2010
• Stabilization of iron gall ink corrosion, J. Kolar, M. Budnar,M. Strlic, J. Simcic, J. Malesic, V.S. Selih, 4th International Conference on Cultural Monuments Conservation in its Unity and Diversity, 21 - 24 October, 2003, Saint-Petersburg.
• Ion beam analysis (IBA) at J. Stefan Institute, M. Budnar et al., International Conference Nuclear Energy in Central Europe, 6. - 9. September, 1999, Portorož, Slovenia.

7.) Select Bibliography

[1] Simcic, J., Nikolić, D., Belousov, A. et al. Quadrupole Ion Trap Mass Spectrometer for Ice Giant Atmospheres Exploration. Space Sci Rev 217, 13 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007

[2] J. Simcic, S. M. Madzunkov, R. D. Kidd and M. Darrach, ”Implementation and Test Results on a Mass Spectrometer and Micromachined Preconcentrator and Gas Chromatograph for Crewed and Robotic Space Missions”, 44th Int. Conf. on Environmental Systems, July 13-17, 2014, Tucson, AZ

[3] J. Simcic, D. R. Schultz, R. J. Mawhorter, J. B. Greenwood, C. Winstead, B. V. McKoy, S. J. Smith and A. Chutjian: ”Measurement and Calculation of Absolute Single and Multiple Charge Exchange Cross Sections for Feq+ Ions Impacting H2O”, Astrophysical Journal, 722, 435 (2010).

[4] J. Simcic, D. R. Schultz, R. J. Mawhorter, I. Čadež, J. B. Greenwood, A. Chutjian, C. M. Lisse, and S. J. Smith: ”Measurement and calculation of absolute single- and multiple-charge-exchange cross sections for Feq+ ions impacting CO and CO2”, Phys. Rev. A 81, 062715 (2010).

[5] SIMCIC Jurij, PELICON Primoz, RUPNIK Zdravko, MIHELIC Matjaz, RAZPET Alenka, JENKO Darja,
MACEK Marijan, 2005, ”3D micromachining of SU-8 polymer with proton microbeam”, Nuclear Instruments and Methods in physics research, Section B: Beam interaction with materials and atoms, vol. 241, p. 479-485.

[6] Peter Willis, M. Fernanda Mora, Aaron Noell, Jessica Creamer, Florian Kehl, Konstantin Zamuruyev, Elizabeth Jaramillo, Miranda Kok, Zuzana Cieslarova, Mauro Sergio Ferreira Santos, Nathan Oborny, Tomas Drevinskas, Mircea Badescu, Jurij Simcic, Sarah Waller, Stojan Madzunkov, Christian Lindensmith, Will Brinckerhoff, Tori Hoehler, Richard Quinn, Antonio Ricco, Sue Lunte, and Alexis Templeton: ”How to search for chemical biosignatures on ocean worlds”, A White Paper for the 2020 Decadal Survey on Planetary Science and Astrobiology (2020)

[7] Guillaume Avice, Anton Belousov, Kenneth A Farley, Stojan Madzunkov, Jurij Simcic, Dragan Nikolic, Murray R Darrach, Christophe Sotin, ”High-precision measurements of krypton and xenon isotopes with a new static-mode Quadrupole Ion Trap Mass Spectrometer”, Journal of Analytical Atomic Spectrometry 34(1) (2018, DOI: 10.1039/C8JA00218E

[8] S. M. Madzunkov, B. Bae, J. Simcic, W. Rellergert, J. Gill, R. Schaefer, E. Neidholdt, M. L. Homer, D. Nikolić, R.D. Kidd, and M. Darrach,”Progress Report on the Spacecraft Atmosphere Monitor”, 46th International Conference on Environmental Systems, July 10-14, 2016, Wienna, Austriasubmitted

[9] Byunghoon Bae, Wade. G. Rellergert, Jurij Simcic, John. J. Gill, Margie L. Homer, Evan L. Neidholdt, Dragan Nikolic, Richard D. Kidd, Stojan M. Madzunkov, and Murray R. Darrach, ”Development Of A Mems Preconcentrator (PC) - Gas Chromatograph (GC) For The Spacecraft Atmosphere Monitor For ISS And Orion”, Solid State Sensors, Actuators, and Microsystems Workshop, At Sonesta Resort, Hilton Head, S. Carolina, Volume: P65, June 2016

[10] Murray Darrach, Stojan Madzunkov, Rembrandt Schaefer, Ken Farley, Dragan Nikolic, Jurij Simcic, Richard Kidd, Evan L. Neidholdt, Marcin Pilinski, Andres Jaramillo-Botero, ”The Mass Analyzer for Real-time Investigation of Neutrals at Europa (MARINE)”,2015 IEEE Aerospace Conference Proceedings (2015), DOI: 10.1109/AERO.2015.7119017

[11] S. M. Madzunkov, J. Simcic, B. Bae, R. Schaefer, D. Nikolić, J. Gill, W. Rellergert, R.D. Kidd, M. Darrach, E. Neidholdt, ”Report on Development Status of the Micro Total Atmosphere Monitor for ISS and Orion”, 45th International Conference on Environmental Systems, ICES, 12-16 July 2015, Bellevue, Washington

[12] A. Chutjian, J. A. MacAskill, S. M. Madzunkov, J. Simcic, and D. R. Schultz, ”Charge Exchange And Atom-Surface Collisions In Astrophysics”, AIP Conf. Proc. 1525, 43 (2013)

 


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