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


Xianzhe Jia

Xianzhe Jia

Associate Professor

Office: 1411B SRB
Phone: 734-764-7220
Fax: 734-647-3083


  • Ph.D., M.S.,   University of California, Los Angeles
  • M.S., B.S.,   Univerisity of Science and Technology of China


Space and Planetary Science

Specializations and Research Interests

  • Global MHD modeling of planetary magnetospheres and magnetosphere-moon interactions
  • Large-scale plasma transport and dynamics in planetary magnetospheres
  • Magnetic properties of the satellites of Jupiter and Saturn

Honors, Awards and Accomplishments

  • NASA Early Career Fellow, 2015
  • Co-Investigator on the PIMS and ICEMAG instrument teams of the NASA Europa Multiple Flyby Mission, since 2015
  • University of Michigan Research Faculty Recognition Award, 2014
  • Co-Investigator on the PEP, J-MAG, and RPWI instrument teams of the ESA/NASA Jupiter Icy Moon Explorer (JUICE) mission to the Jupiter system, since 2013
  • Invited participant of the International Space Science Institute (ISSI) workshop on “Plasma sources in solar system magnetospheres”, 2013
  • Invited participant of the ISSI workshop on "Giant Planet Magnetodiscs and Auroae", 2012
  • Invited participant of the ISSI workshop on "Planetary Magnetism", 2008
  • Eugene B. Waggoner Scholarship, UCLA, 2007

Professional Service

  • Member of the ESA/NASA Europa-Jupiter-System-Mission/Jupiter-Ganymede-Orbitor Magnetosphere Working Group
  • Member of the International Space Science Institute (ISSI) international teams on "Rotational phenomena in the Saturnian magnetosphere" [2015-2016], "Towards a global unified model of Europa's exosphere in view of the JUICE mission" [2014-2015], "Numerical Modeling of the Global Jovian and Saturnian Systems" [2014-2015], "Modes of Radial Plasma Motion in Planetary Systems" [2013-2014], "Investigating the Dynamics of Planetary Magnetotails" [2010-2011]
  • Review Panelist: NASA OPR, PMDAP, and NESSF Programs
  • Mail-in Reviewer: NASA OPR, LASER, CDAP, PDART, NPP, and NESSF Programs; NSF ATM/GEO Program
  • Manuscript Reviewer: Nature Geoscience; Reviews of Geophysics; Journal of Geophysical Research (-Space Physics; -Planets); Geophysical Research Letters; Icarus; Planetary and Space Science; Annales Geophysicae
  • Convener, “Magnetospheres in the solar system” session at the 2014, 2015 AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA, USA
  • Member, Scientific Organizing Committee of the 2015 “Magnetospheres of the Outer Planets” conference, Atlanta, GA, USA
  • Member, Science Program Committee of the 2013 AGU Chapman conference on “Fundamental properties and processes of magnetotails”, Reykjavik, Iceland
  • Member, Scientific Organization Committee of the 2011 Solar/Space MHD International Summer School, Hefei, China



  1. Jia, X. and M. G. Kivelson, Dawn-dusk asymmetries in rotating magnetospheres: Lessons from modeling Saturn, J. Geophys. Res., doi: 10.1002/2015JA021950, 2016.
  2. Jia, X., M. G. Kivelson, and T. I. Gombosi, Global MHD modeling of the coupled magnetosphere-ionosphere system at Saturn, AGU Geophysical Monograph Series: Magnetosphere-Ionosphere Coupling in the Solar System (eds. R. Chappell, B. Schunk, R. Thorne, P. Banks and J. Burch), John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2016.
  3. Walker, R. J., and X. Jia, Simulation studies of plasma transport at Earth, Jupiter and Saturn, Magnetic Reconnection (eds, W. Gonzalez & E. Parker), Springer, doi:10.1007/978-3-319-26432-5_9, 2016.
  4. Jia, X., J. A. Slavin, T. I. Gombosi, L. Daldorff, G. Toth, and B. van de Holst, Global MHD simulations of Mercury’s magnetosphere with coupled planetary interior: Induction effect of the planetary conducting core on the global interaction, Journal of Geophysical Research – Space Physics, 120, doi: 10.1002/2015JA021143, 2015.
  5. Jia, X., Satellite magnetotails, AGU Geophysical Monograph Series: Magnetotails in the Solar System, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ., doi:10.1002/9781118842324.ch8, 2015.
  6. Arridge, C. S., J. P. Eastwood, C. M. Jackman, G.-K. Poh, J. A. Slavin, M. F. Thomsen, N. André, X. Jia, A. Kidder, L. Lamy, A. Radioti, N. Sergis, M. Volwerk, A. P. Walsh, P. Zarka, A. J. Coates, and M. K. Dougherty, Cassini in situ observations of long duration magnetic reconnection in Saturn’s magnetotail, Nature Physics, doi:10.1038/nphys3565, 2015.
  7. Rubin, M., X. Jia, K. Altwegg, M. Combi, L. K. S. Daldorff, T. Gombosi, K. K. Khurana, M. Kivelson, V. Tenishev, G. Toth, B. van der Holst, and P. Wurz, Self-consistent multi-fluid MHD simulations of Europa's exospheric interaction with Jupiter's magnetosphere, Journal of Geophysical Research – Space Physics, doi: 10.1002/2015JA021149, 2015.
  8. Thomsen, M. F., D. Mitchell, X. Jia, C. M. Jackman, G. Hospodarsky, and A. Coates, Plasmapause formation at Saturn, Journal of Geophysical Research – Space Physics, doi: 10.1002/2015JA021008, 2015.
  9. Saur, J., S. Duling, L. Roth, X. Jia, D. F. Strobel, P. D. Feldman, U. R. Christensen, K. D. Retherford, M. A. McGrath, F. Musacchio, A. Wennmacher, F. M. Neubauer, and S. Simon, The search for a subsurface ocean in Ganymede with Hubble Space Telescope observations of its auroral ovals, Journal of Geophysical Research – Space Physics, doi: 10.1002/2014JA020778, 2015. (Reported in NASA press release)
  10. Radioti, A., D. Grodent, X. Jia, J.-C. Gérard, B. Bonfond, J. Gustin, W. Pryor, D. Mitchell, and C. M. Jackman, A multi-scale magnetotail reconnection event at Saturn and associated flows: Cassini/UVIS observations, Icarus, doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2014.12.016, 2015.
  11. Thomsen, M. F., D. B. Reisenfeld, R. J. Wilson, M. Andriopoulou, F. J. Crary, C. M. Jackman, X. Jia, K. K. Khurana, C. Paranicas, E. Roussos, N. Sergis, and R. L. Tokar, Ion composition in interchange injection events in Saturn’s magnetosphere, Journal of Geophysical Research – Space Physics, doi:10.1002/2014JA020489, 2014.
  12. Plainaki, C., A. Milillo, S. Massetti, A. Mura, X. Jia, S. Orsini, V. Mangano, E. De Angelis, and R. Rispoli, The H2O and O­2 exospheres of Ganymede: The result of a complex interaction between the Jovian magnetospheric ions and the icy moon, Icarus, 245, 306-319, doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2014.09.018, 2014.
  13. Kivelson, M. and X. Jia, Control of periodic variations in Saturn’s magnetosphere by compressional waves, Journal of Geophysical Research – Space Physics, 119, doi: 10.1002/2014JA020258, 2014.
  14. Delamere, P., F. Bagenal, C. Paranicas, A. Masters, K. Radioti, B. Bonfond, L. Ray, X. Jia, J. Nichols, and C. Arridge, Solar wind and internally driven dynamics: Influences on magnetodiscs and auroral responses, Space Science Reviews, doi:10.1007/s11214-014-0075-1, 2014.
  15. Sulaiman, A. H., A. Masters, M. K. Dougherty, and X. Jia, The magnetic structure of Saturn’s magnetosheath, Journal of Geophysical Research – Space Physics, Vol. 119, 5651-5661, doi:10.1002/2014JA020019, 2014.
  16. Jackman, C., C. Arridge, N. André, F. Bagenal, J. Birn, M. Freeman, X. Jia, A. Kidder, S. Milan, A. Radioti, J. Slavin, M. Vogt, M. Volwerk, and A. Walsh, Large-scale structure and dynamics of the magnetotails of Mercury, Earth, Jupiter and Saturn, Space Science Reviews, Vol.182, 85–154, doi: 10.1007/s11214-014-0060-8, 2014.
  17. Kivelson, M. G. and X. Jia, An MHD model of Ganymede’s mini-magnetosphere suggests that the heliosphere forms in a sub-Alfvénic flow, Journal of Geophysical Research – Space Physics, Vol. 118, 1-8, doi: 10.1002/2013JA019130, 2013.
  18. McGrath, M. A., X. Jia, K. Retherford, P. D. Feldman, D. F. Strobel, and J. Saur, Aurora on Ganymede, Journal of Geophysical Research, doi:10.1002/jgra.50122, in press, 2013.
  19. Volwerk, M., X. Jia, C. Paranicas, W. S. Kurth, M. G. Kivelson, and K. K. Khurana, ULF waves in Ganymede’s upstream magnetosphere, Ann. Geophys., 31, 45 – 59, doi:10.5194/angeo-31-45-2013, 2013.
  20. Jia, X. and M. G. Kivelson, Driving Saturn’s magnetospheric periodicities from the atmosphere/ionosphere: Magnetotail response to dual sources, Journal of Geophysical Research, doi:10.1029/2012JA018183,2012. (Selected as AGU Research Spotlight)
  21. Jia, X., M. G. Kivelson and T. I. Gombosi, Driving Saturn’s magnetospheric periodicities from the atmosphere/ionosphere, Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol. 117, A04215, doi:10.1029/2011JA017367, 2012. (Highlighted in theCassini Science League” by NASA/JPL and the 2012 June issue of the journal Nature Physics)
  22. Jia, X., K. C. Hansen, T. I. Gombosi, M. G. Kivelson, G. Tóth, D. L. DeZeeuw, and A. J. Ridley, Magnetospheric configuration and dynamics of Saturn’s magnetosphere: A global MHD simulation, Journal of Geophysical Research, doi: 10.1029/2012JA017575,2012.
  23. Khurana, K. K., X. Jia, M. G. Kivelson, F. Nimmo, G. Schubert, and, C. T. Russell, Evidence of a global magma ocean in Io’s interior, Science, doi:10.1126/science.1201425, 2011. (Reported in NASA press release)
  24. Jia, X., R. J. Walker, M. G. Kivelson, K. K. Khurana and J. A. Linker, Dynamics of Ganymede's magnetopause: Intermittent reconnection under steady external conditions, Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol. 115, A12202, doi:10.1029/2010JA015771, 2010. 
  25. Kivelson, M. G., X. Jia and K. K. Khurana, Medicean moons sailing through plasma seas: Challenges in establishing magnetic properties, Galileo's Medicean Moons: Their Impact on 400 Years of Discovery, Proceedings of the International Astronomical Union Symposia and Colloquia, Vol. 269, 58 -70, doi: 10.1017/S1743921310007271, 2010.
  26. Jia, X., R. J. Walker, M. G. Kivelson, K. K. Khurana and J. A. Linker, Properties of Ganymede's magnetosphere inferred from improved three-dimensional MHD simulations, Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol. 114, A09209, doi: 10.1029/2009JA014375, 2009. 
  27. Grodent, D., B. Bonfond, A. Radioti, J.-C. Gérard, X. Jia, J. D. Nichols and J. T. Clarke, The auroral footprint of  Ganymede, Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol. 114, A7, doi:10.1029/2009JA014289, 2009.
  28. Olsen, N., K.-H. Glassmeier and X. Jia, Separation of the magnetic field into external and internal parts, Space Science Reviews, doi:10.1007/s11214-009-9563-0, 2009.
  29. Jia, X., M. G. Kivelson, K. K. Khurana and R. J. Walker, Magnetic fields of the satellites of Jupiter and Saturn, Space Science Reviews, doi:10.1007/s11214-009-9507-8, 2009.
  30. Jia, X., R. J. Walker, M. G. Kivelson, K. K. Khurana and J. A. Linker, Three dimensional MHD simulations of Ganymede's magnetosphere, Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol. 113, A06212, doi:10.1029/2007JA012748, 2008.
Updated: 2016-02-12