Benjamin Cotts
Benjamin R.T. Cotts, Ph.D., P.E.
Managing Engineer
Electrical Engineering & Computer Science
  • Bowie, MD

Dr. Cotts is experienced in both applied and theoretical electromagnetics and plasma physics including modeling and measurement analyses of natural and anthropogenic electromagnetic fields such as space weather, and geomagnetic storms as well as in the initiation, field effects, and characteristics of lightning discharges.  Dr. Cotts performs modeling and measurement studies of power system (AC and DC), field effects including EMF, audible noise, and radio noise as well as radiofrequency EMI and EMC assessments for clients such as federal agencies, utilities, construction developers and the U.S. military.

Dr. Cotts also performs various types of electromagnetic field evaluations for devices and systems including portable diesel generators, smart meter mesh networks, government/military communications facilities, and transmission and distribution lines (including corona and field effects). In addition, Dr. Cotts regularly receives requests to perform exposure assessments for patients with pacemakers, ICDs, and other implantable medical devices and is an officer in the IEEE working group for Corona and Field Effects overseeing IEEE standards 644, 430, 656, 1542, 1227 and 1308.

Dr. Cotts has been a leading figure in coordinating scientific outreach to developing countries through the United Nations International Heliophysical Year (IHY) and International Space Weather Initiative (ISWI) programs and was a founding member of a NASA/UN-sponsored conference series organized and led multiple conferences on atmospheric and space science.

Dr. Cotts’s has a decade of experience with the initiation, field effects, and propagation of lightning discharges; combining remote sensing measurements of ionospheric disturbances with numerical modeling of atmospheric, ionospheric, and magnetospheric interactions to determine the role of global lightning on the removal of radiation belt electrons. These radiation belt electrons are a critical factor in space weather for determining the effective lifetime of spacecraft with electronics that can be irreversibly damaged by radiation belt electrons.

Additionally, Dr. Cotts software engineering experience includes the use of Matlab, C, C++, and a variety of other scientific packages including Mathematica and COMSOL. He has experience with auditing software processes and algorithms used during his investigations related to control systems involved in failure events.

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • Ph.D., Electrical Engineering, Stanford University, 2011
  • M.S., Electrical Engineering, Stanford University, 2004
  • B.S., Electrical Engineering, University of Portland, 2002, summa cum laude
  • Outstanding Student Paper Award, AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco, California, 2004

    Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society

    Delta Epsilon Sigma, National Scholastic Honor Society

    Awarded the “2014 Fire Protection Research Foundation Medal” by the NFPA’s Fire Protection Research Foundation for the 2013 research project (“Best Practices for Emergency Response to Incidents Involving Electric Vehicles Battery Hazards: A Report on Full-Scale Testing Results”) that best exemplified the Foundation’s fire safety mission at the National Fire Protection Association’s Conference & Exposition, June 2014

LICENSES & CERTIFICATIONS

Licensed Professional Electrical Engineer, California, #21277

Publications

Gołkowski M, Gross NC, Moore RC, Cotts BRT, Mitchell M. Observation of local and conjugate ionospheric perturbations from individual oceanic lightning flashes. Geophysical Research Letters 2014; 41:273–279. doi:10.1002/2013GL058861.

NaitAmor, S, Cohen MB, T. Cotts BR, Ghalila H, AlAbdoadaim MA, Graf K. Characteristics of long recovery early VLF events observed by the North African AWESOME Network. Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics 2013; 10.1002/jgra.50448

Haldoupis, C, Cohen M, Arnone E, Cotts B, Dietrich S. The VLF fingerprint of elves: Step-like and long-recovery early VLF perturbations caused by powerful ±CG lightning EM pulses. Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, 2013. doi: 10.1002/jgra.50489.

Haldoupis C, Cohen M, Cotts B, Arnone E, Inan U. Long-lasting D-region ionospheric modifications, caused by intense lightning in association with elve and sprite pairs. Geophysical Research Letters 2012; 39:L16801. doi:10.1029/2012GL052765.

Salut MM, Abdullah M, Graf KL, Cohen MB, Cotts BRT, Kumar S. Long recovery VLF perturbations associated with lightning discharges. Journal of Geophysical Research 2012; 117:A08311. doi:10.1029/2012JA017567.

Cotts BRT, Gołkowski M, Moore RC. Ionospheric effects of whistler waves from rocket-triggered lightning. Geophysical Research Letters 2011; 38:L24805. doi:10.1029/2011GL049869.

Cotts BRT, Inan US, Lehtinen NG. Longitudinal dependence of lightning-induced electron precipitation. Journal of Geophysical Research 2011; 116:A10206. doi:10.1029/2011JA016581.

Cotts BRT. Global quantification of lightning-induced electron precipitation using very low frequency remote sensing. Doctoral Dissertation, Stanford University, 2011.

Haldoupis C, Amvrosiadi N, Cotts BRT, Van der Velde O, Chanrion O, Neubert T. More evidence for a one-to-one correlation between Sprites and Early VLF perturbations. Journal of Geophysical Research 2010, 115:A07304. doi:10.1029/2009JA015165.

NaitAmor S, Al Abdoadaim MA, Cohen MB, Cotts BRT, Neubeurt T, Soula S, Chanrion O, Abdelatif T. VLF observations of ionospheric disturbances in association with TLEs from the Eurosprite-2007 Campaign, Journal of Geophysical Research 2010; 115:A00E47. doi:10.1029/2009JA015026.

Cotts BRT, Inan US. VLF observation of long ionospheric recovery events. Geophysical Research Letters 2007; 34:L14809. doi:10.1029/2007GL030094.

Reports


Long RT, Blum AF, Bress TJ, Cotts, BRT. Best practices for emergency response to incidents involving electric vehicle battery hazards. Fire Protection Research Foundation Report, 2013.

Other Publications

Phan SK, Stepan J, Cotts BRT. Electrical Conductor Spacing Standards for Printed Circuit Boards. Exponent Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Newsletter. Vol. 4, 2016.

Cotts BRT, Inan US, Lehtinen NG. Theoretical prediction of longitudinal dependence of electron precipitation due to lightning. AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA, December 14–18, 2009.

Inan US, Cotts BRT, Lehtinen NG. Long recovery early/fast events as possible evidence of persistent ionization by Giant Blue Jets. IUGG, Perugia, Italy, July 2–13, 2007.

Cotts BRT, Inan US, Lehtinen NG. Long recovery early/fast events as possible evidence of persistent ionization by Giant Blue Jets. URSI, Ottawa, Canada, July 22–26, 2007.

Cotts BRT, Inan US. Observation of daytime perturbations of VLF transmitter signals. ICAE, Beijing, China, August 13–17, 2007.

Cotts BRT, Inan US. Daytime early VLF perturbations exhibiting long recoveries and wide-angle scattering. AGU, San Francisco, CA, December 10–14, 2007.

Cotts BRT, Inan US. VLF observation of long ionospheric recovery events. AGU, San Francisco, CA, December 11–15, 2006.

Cotts BRT, Inan US, Pasko VP. Ray tracing techniques applied to sky wave observations of lightning-induced ionospheric effects on short range VLF paths. URSI, Boulder, CO, January 5–8, 2005.

Cotts BRT, Inan US. Ray-based modeling of lightning-induced ionospheric effects on short range VLF skywave signals. AGU, San Francisco, CA, December 5–9, 2005.

Cotts BRT, Inan US. Short range VLF sky wave observations of lightning-induced ionospheric effects. AGU, San Francisco, CA, December 13–17, 2004.

Cotts BRT, Inan US, Golkowski M. Lightning-induced electron precipitation measurements with VLF and the Arecibo Radar. PARS Summer School, Arecibo, PR, August 10–21, 2004.

Cotts BRT, Inan US, Selser E. ELF/VLF near-field imaging of modulated auroral-electrojet currents using a VLF interferometer. PARS Summer School, University of Fairbanks Alaska, August 11–21, 2003.

Cotts BRT, Inan US. Precipitation of energetic electrons by Magnetospherically Reecting (MR) Whistlers. AGU, San Francisco, CA, December 8–12, 2003.

Prior Experience

Post Doctoral Scholar, University of Colorado, Denver, 2011

International Science Outreach Manager, Stanford University, 2007–2011

Research Assistant, Stanford University, 2002–2011

Energy Research Fellow, Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, 2001

Professional Affiliations

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers—IEEE

International Committee on Electromagnetic Safety—ICES

International Council on Large Electric Systems—CIGRÉ

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • Ph.D., Electrical Engineering, Stanford University, 2011
  • M.S., Electrical Engineering, Stanford University, 2004
  • B.S., Electrical Engineering, University of Portland, 2002, summa cum laude
  • Outstanding Student Paper Award, AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco, California, 2004

    Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society

    Delta Epsilon Sigma, National Scholastic Honor Society

    Awarded the “2014 Fire Protection Research Foundation Medal” by the NFPA’s Fire Protection Research Foundation for the 2013 research project (“Best Practices for Emergency Response to Incidents Involving Electric Vehicles Battery Hazards: A Report on Full-Scale Testing Results”) that best exemplified the Foundation’s fire safety mission at the National Fire Protection Association’s Conference & Exposition, June 2014

LICENSES & CERTIFICATIONS

Licensed Professional Electrical Engineer, California, #21277