Meet the Team: Josh Colwell

Name: Josh ColwellScreen-Shot-2013-09-20-at-3.57.00-PM-250x300
DOB: That’s between me and my credit card issuers.
Major: Astrophysical, Planetary and Atmospheric Sciences, Ph.D., University of Colorado
Position at UCF: Professor of Physics, University of Central Florida

Dr. Colwell is a scientist, through and through, with a passion for teaching and learning about the cosmos. While he comes from a family of teachers, he’s the only scientist in the family. “I enjoy movies, science fiction, and in particular the forward-looking humanist spirit of the original Star Trek,” he said.

For CATE, he is the Principal Investigator, the top dog, the money man, the big kahuna, el jefe. He is most looking forward to the team’s experience flying the experiment on parabolic airplane flights and seeing everyone get a chance to experience weightlessness. “I think it will be a unique experience for most of the team that they will remember for the rest of their lives, and I’m thrilled to share that with them,” he said.

Josh loves what he does! “I have the best job in the world: I get to teach, do scientific research, and combine the two by working with students on research projects. Research is intrinsically exciting because we explore and create new situations that have never been seen before. Teaching is intrinsically rewarding because I get to share in students’ thrill of learning and discovery,” he said.

CATE combines all the elements of his job: students, teaching, exploration, discovery, and of course weightlessness. Plus, its name is inspired by Kate Winslet (his celebrity crush)!

Something interesting about Josh is that he is a member of the Screen Actors Guild with several stage productions, a half dozen appearances as an extra, and one speaking part in a feature film to my credit.

As a kid, Josh dreamt of going to Mars. “While we have been able to explore Mars robotically, I find it a terrible waste that the manned space program has retreated from the Moon to low Earth orbit.”

If he could be one animal he would be his dog, due to his perpetual good mood. Most of the team responded with actual animated characters but when Josh was asked what animated character he would be he said, “people say to me all the time, ‘Josh, you sure are one animated character.’ So I already am one.”

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