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Robbie J. Halonen Ph.D.

Robbie J. Halonen
Science & Engineering
Physics & Astronomy

Dr. Robbie J. Halonen is a theoretical astrophysicist who specializes in the study of peculiar stars that are hotter and more massive than our Sun. Primarily, Robbie’s research focuses on the development of computational simulations that model gaseous disks that are sometimes found orbiting massive stars. His investigations aim to address persistent questions regarding the dynamics of astrophysical disks. The findings from this research can provide insight into massive star evolution and can help explain other important astronomical phenomena such as how planetary systems form around stars.

Outside of his research, Robbie passionately promotes public literacy in science. He enjoys engaging audiences of all ages in interactive demonstrations of physics and astronomy. Every spring, he tours Central Alberta with a mobile planetarium to highlight the wonders in the night sky to hundreds of middle school students. In addition, Robbie helps organize the Central Alberta Regional Science Fair, a platform for bright young scientists and engineers to showcase their ingenious experiments and their incredible inventions.


Ph.D. Astronomy, Western University
M.Sc. Astronomy, Western University
Honors B.Sc. Astrophysics, Western University

Main Areas of Teaching

Physics and Astronomy

Scholarly Activity

Selected Publications:

  • Halonen, R. J. & Jones, C. E. On the Intrinsic Continuum Linear Polarization of Classical Be Stars: The Effects of Metallicity and One-Armed Density Perturbations, 2013, ApJS, 208, 1
  • Halonen, R. J. & Jones, C. E. On the Intrinsic Continuum Linear Polarization of Classical Be Stars during Disk Growth and Dissipation, 2013, ApJ, 765, 17
  • Halonen, R. J., Mackay, F. E., & Jones, C. E. Computing the Continuum Polarization from Thomson Scattering in Gaseous Circumstellar Disks, 2013, ApJS, 204, 1

Research Interests:

  • STEM education and outreach
  • Indigenous astronomy in Canada
  • Computational radiative transfer techniques
  • Massive stars and peculiar circumstellar environments

Community Involvement:

  • Alberta Science Network – Scientist-in-the-Classroom
  • Central Alberta Regional Science Fair – Executive Committee

RDC Involvement:

  • Red Deer College Department Chair: Department of Science and Engineering, 2017 – present
  • Science Student Conference Organizing Committee
  • Student Science and Engineering Society
  • Science Program Development Committee

Awards and Honours:

  • William H. Wehlau Award for Excellence in Graduate Astronomy (2010)            
  • NSERC Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarship – Doctorate (2009)    
  • NSERC Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarship – Master’s (2007)