The University of New Mexico has named Patricia Henning as Interim Associate Vice President for Research announced Vice President for Research Gabriel López. Henning is currently a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. The appointment is effective immediately.  

“I am very pleased to have Professor Henning join the OVPR as Interim Associate Vice President for Research, she is an accomplished professional with a strong background in research and administration.  I look forward to the many insights that she will bring to the office as we begin our strategic planning process for research,” said López.

“The faculty are doing such amazing things in a wide variety of disciplines at UNM,” Henning said. “I’m looking forward to supporting them in their work in the advancement of the research mission.”

Henning is an extragalactic radio astronomer, specializing in the study of large scale structure of the Universe behind the Milky Way. Henning and her collaborators, including UNM graduate and undergraduate students, have discovered more than 1,000 galaxies using radio telescopes in Australia, Puerto Rico, and the Netherlands.  She also studies the evolution of galaxies using observations done with the National Radio Astronomy Observatory’s Very Large Array radio telescope in New Mexico.

Henning has served in a number of capacities at UNM including associate chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, the director of the Institute for Astrophysics, and the head of the users program for the Long Wavelength Array radio telescope. She has taught various courses in astronomy, as well as the Musical Acoustics physics class, winning the Excellence in Teaching award in Physics and Astronomy twice, and has given public lectures in the US, Australia and China.

She has worked as a visiting scientist at the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research, University of Western Australia, in Perth, Australia; the University of Cape Town, South Africa; Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy (ASTRON), Dwingeloo, the Netherlands; the National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center, Arecibo Observatory, Puerto Rico; and the Australia Telescope National Facility Headquarters, Epping, NSW, Australia. 

Henning has also served as vice chair, and then chair, of the US Square Kilometer Array Consortium, and has served as an organizer for professional meetings held in the US, Canada, Mexico, France, Australia, and South Africa.

Henning’s research has been reported in over 155 publications and professional presentations, and has been funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), including an NSF CAREER award, and grants from observatories, professional societies and universities.

Henning earned her bachelor’s degree in physics and astronomy from Wellesley College in 1984, and completed a Ph.D. in astronomy at the University of Maryland in 1990.  She joined the UNM faculty in 1993, after a postdoctoral appointment at ASTRON, in Dwingeloo, the Netherlands. 

Henning replaces Kevin Malloy, who retired earlier this spring. A competitive search for the permanent position will be conducted later this year.