Orkan Umurhan

Orkan Mehmet Umurhan

Senior Research Scientist

Disciplines: Planetary Sciences, Astrophysics, Geophysics

Degree/Major: PhD, Columbia University (1999)

Curriculum vitae: umurhan_cv_research_2021_ForPublic.pdf


Orkan Umurhan is a planetary physicist who brings an applied mathematical background to confront a wide array of physical processes ranging from the turbulent origins of the solar system's first planetesimals to the nature of modern-day volatile ice glaciation on Pluto.  He moved into planetary science in 2014, where he joined the New Horizons mission as a Science Affiliate and was promoted to Co-Investigator status.  He has participated in several aspects of the mission design for New Horizons' close flyby of the Kuiper Belt Object Arrokoth. He is actively producing scientific analyses of that mission.  He currently works on understanding and characterizing the turbulence in the solar nebula when the first 100km-sized planetesimals were formed.  Orkan also works on developing a thermal mechanical understanding of Comet 67P, concerning its sublimation dominated surface physics near solar close approach, examining the nature of cryovolcanism on Triton, including understanding its mysterious plumes, studying the processes driving the formation and evolution of sublimation driven landscapes like Pluto's Bladed Terrain, Mars' Swiss Cheese terrain, and possible putative penitentes on Europa, amongst many other projects.  Orkan is married with one child and is a native of Southern California.

Google scholar page:  https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=eIEBdWEAAAAJ&hl=en&authuser=2

NASA ADS page: https://ui.adsabs.harvard.edu/search/p_=0&q=author%3A(%22umurhan%22)&sort=date%20desc%2C%20bibcode%20desc

NASA/ADS : A powerful, streamlined new Astrophysics Data System.

Technical Description of Work

Geophysical and Astrophysical Flows:  planet formation, cosmic turbulence, glacial flows, sublimation/deposition surface processes, cyrovolcanism, Kuiper Belt Objects, numerical and computational methods.