Dr. Wik's research includes investigations of inverse Compton scattering in galaxy clusters and starburst galaxies, the effects of cluster mergers on intracluster gas and their cosmological implications, the X-ray binary populations of galaxies, and the X-ray background. He is an observational X-ray astronomer with extensive experience carrying out observatory data calibration and analysis tool development, who also has some background in computer simulations and instrumentation.
- PhD, Astronomy, University of Virginia. Project: Inverse Compton Scattering in Galaxy Clusters
- BS, Astrophysics, Ohio University
Dr. Wik was born and raised in southwestern Ohio and graduated from the Honors Tutorial College at Ohio University with a major in Astrophysics. Before pursuing graduate studies, he spent a year in China teaching English and traveling, first in Suzhou outside of Shanghai and then in Mianyang in Sichuan province. He completed his PhD in Astronomy at the University of Virginia and accepted a NASA Postdoctoral Position fellowship at Goddard Space Flight Center immediately after, where he worked until joining the faculty at the University of Utah. At Goddard, he got involved with the NuSTAR mission---the first telescope to focus high energy X-rays---where he helped with the ground calibration of the optics, developed the background model for the observatory, and analyzed science data as part of the science team during the primary phase of the mission. At Utah, he continues to work on data from NuSTAR and other X-ray telescopes primarily led by undergraduate and graduate students and postdocs in his research group.