Department of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering in the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan


Abigail Azari

Abigail Azari

Ph.D. Candidate



B.A., Physics, Smith College

M.S., Space Sciences and Engineering, University of Michigan


My research focuses on answering fundamental questions behind the physical processes of observed energetic charged particle motions within Saturn's magnetic environment, or magnetosphere.

One such process is called interchange injection which transports mass in the magnetospheres of giant planets. I utilize in-situ and remote sensing data from the Cassini mission to analyze these events and their role as a primary process in plasma and magnetic flux transport at Saturn. 

Researching these processes will greatly improve knowledge of planetary magnetospheres and contributes to comparative studies of potentially habitable planets and space weather risks at Earth.

Personal Introduction

I am a third year PhD candidate working with Dr. Michael Liemohn and Dr. Xianzhe Jia and current co-Director of the University of Michigan's Graduate Society of Women Engineers. After graduating from Smith College in 2013 with a B.A. in physics and a minor in astronomy, I worked for IDA’s Science and Technology Policy Institute (STPI) as a Science Policy Fellow. During my time at STPI I provided policy analysis and technical support to federal agencies on a variety of topics including climate data, STEM education, and space policy.

I am interested in communicating science effectively and increasing opportunities to pursue scientific careers for students.

I am currently team teaching a course with Dr. Michael Liemohn in data visualization and statistics for geoscientists. You can follow the laboratory sessions of this class at the link:

Specializations and Research Interests

  • Space plasmas and plasma physics
  • Planetary sciences
  • Science and technology policy

Honors, Awards and Accomplishments

University of Michigan

  • Michigan Space Grant Consortium Fellow
  • Michigan Institute for Plasma Sciences and Engineering Fellow
  • National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow
  • NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship Research Grant Awardee

Smith College

  • National Undergraduate Fellow in Plasma Physics and Fusion Energy Sciences
  • Liberal Arts Commendation
  • Student Athlete Scholar

Professional Service

Updated: 2018-01-18