Tim Willey is a recent graduate of the International Field Geosciences program. As part of his studies he worked with researchers at the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ) in Potsdam. His work as an intern has been credited in a Geology article published late last year.
Tell us about yourself: My name is Timothy Willey and I was born in Missoula, MT. My dad got his PhD from UM, but couldn't find a job in his chosen field, so we moved to the Los Angeles, CA area. I grew up in the San Fernando Valley. Once I graduated from high school I went to ITT Tech for drafting. Once I graduated from ITT Tech I started working in the drafting field until I went back to school in 2011. I moved to Montana in 2011 to the Flathead Valley and went to Flathead Valley Community College where I got my AA degree. I transferred to UM in 2014 specifically for the International Field Geoscience degree program. I chose to go to Germany for the year abroad requirement because I have never been there before. I went to Germany in 2016 for a full year, which I think turned out to be a great decision. Because of the degree program I needed to do an internship, and that requirement lead to the opportunity to work with the group at the GFZ (GeoForschungZentrum) and Dr. Atusuko Namiki from the University of Hiroshima, Japan.
Tell us about your research project: While working with Dr. Namiki on her experiment, testing the effects of resonance from earthquakes on volcanic edifices, where polarized light was used to visualize the stress field within the volcanic edifice, I got the idea to try and calculate the stress field based on the changing colors. The changing colors is achieved by the light refracting within the structure of the analog; birefringence. The technique used to measure/calculate the stress field is photoelasticity. Since the stress field is constantly changing, the principles of dynamic photoelasticity were used in the calculations. This led to my bachelor's thesis, Stress Calculations and Dynamic Photoelasticity.
What are you up to now? I was not able to find a job with just a bachelor's degree in a location where I wanted to live, so I went back to drafting in Colorado. I will be moving soon, so I will look for a job in the geosciences field.