John (Juan) Fontenla - Northwest Research Associates

Juan M. Fontenla
NorthWest Research Associates (NWRA)
Boulder, CO
[email protected]
Juan M. Fontenla received his Ph. D. in Physics from the University of Buenos
Aires, Argentina, in 1986. His thesis introduced a new a numerical algorithm for
computing transport coefficients in partially ionized complex astrophysical plasmas.
During his undergraduate studies he worked at the Observatory of San Miguel,
Argentina, on solar instrumentation and observational research, developed a non-LTE
radiative transfer algorithm, and its code for modeling prominences. In 1982, he joined
the Institute for Astronomy and Space Physics (IAFE, Argentina) performing
observational work on stellar objects and theoretical research in Solar Physics and
Astrophysics. He gave courses at the Observatory of La Plata in Argentina, and codirected students at the University of Buenos Aires.
In 1986, Dr. Fontenla was awarded an NRC-Research Associateship at the
Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC, Huntsville, Alabama) for working on UVSP/Solar
Max Mission data with Dr. Tandberg-Hanssen. This research at MSFC produced a
number of papers on solar Lyα emission, microflares and flares in UV and X-rays and
prominence eruption. In 1989 he moved to the University of Alabama in Huntsville for
studying MSFC vector magnetic field observations related to flares, continuing studies on
UVSP data, and applying particle diffusion and energy balance to solar transition region
atmospheric non-LTE models in collaboration with Dr. Avrett. In 1994, Dr. Fontenla
moved to the High Altitude Observatory (Boulder, CO) for work on the solar irradiance
synthesis project lead by Dr. White.
In the period 1996-2002, Dr. Fontenla worked in private software companies,
including commercial, IT, and medical, and lead software development. During this time,
Dr. Fontenla continued his collaborations with Drs. White and Avrett, and developed a
new and extensive C++ code library, the Solar Radiation Physical Modeling (SRPM)
system, for solving the non-LTE radiative transfer and computing the solar irradiance
spectrum in all its details.
In 2002 Dr. Fontenla joined the Laboratory for Aeronomy and Space Physics
(LASP, Boulder, CO), working on algorithms for processing data from the SORCE
In 2013, Dr. Fontenla moved to NorthWest Research Associates (in Boulder, CO)
where he currently works on applications of SRPM computations of the variations in
solar spectral irradiance, driven by observations of the Sun, to middle and upper Earth
atmosphere modeling. He also studies other topics relevant to weakly-and fully-ionized
plasma behavior and energy balance in solar, stellar, and planetary atmospheres.
Dr. Fontenla is a member of the American Geophysical Union, the American
Astronomical Society, and the International Astronomical Union.