After earning BS degrees in physics and astronomy from Indiana University (2005), Professor Roederer earned MA (2007) and PhD (2010) degrees in astronomy from the University of Texas at Austin (2010). He was a Carnegie Fellow at the Carnegie Observatories in Pasadena, California (2010-2013), and a research professor in the Astronomy Department at the University of Michigan (2013-2023) before joining the faculty of the Physics Department at NC State in 2023.
Area(s) of Expertise
Ian's research addresses fundamental problems in nuclear astrophysics and near-field cosmology, using stellar chemistry to understand the formation and evolution of the Milky Way and Local Group of galaxies and the origin of the heaviest elements. His work is based on the analysis and interpretation of high-resolution spectroscopy of stars. He is best known for observational studies into the nature of the astrophysical r-process, which is one of the fundamental ways that stars and stellar remnants produce the heaviest elements found in nature. This process, which is almost certainly associated with the extreme conditions present at the births and deaths of neutron stars, uses a rapid (the “r” in “r-process”) burst of neutrons to overwhelm light nuclei.