The commitment and talent of ICRAR’s astronomers, engineers and computer scientists has led to our rapid rise to a top 5 university-based radio astronomy research centres in the world. We currently host a diverse group of more than 100 staff, from leading scientists and engineers from around the world to PhD candidates and undergraduate students. The full cohort of ICRAR staff, students, and distinguished associates can be found at the links to the left.
Student - PhD
P: 08 6488 7753
I am a Ph.D. student in my final year, working with Dr. Barbara Catinella and Dr. Luca Cortese at ICRAR, and A. Prof. Virginia Kilborn at Swinburne University, where my research focuses on the links between HI, galaxy properties and environment.
I’m also an avid science communicator and outreacher!
Thesis title: The Life-Cycle of Nearby Galaxies: Secular and External processes regulating atomic gas content.
Director General of the SKA
Dr Phil Diamond holds a Bachelor of Science degree (majors in Physics and Astrophysics) from Leeds University, and a PhD in Radio Astronomy from Manchester University, both in the UK.
Since gaining his PhD he has worked at the Onsala Space Observatory in Sweden, the Max-Planck Institute for Radioastronomy in Bonn, Germany and spent 12 years in various positions within the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in the USA. Prior to becoming Director of the Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics at the University of Manchester, Dr Diamond was the Director of the MERLIN and VLBI National Facility at the Jodrell Bank Observatory.
Dr Diamond spent six months on sabbatical at ICRAR from October 2009, and this interview was conducted during that time. Dr Diamond was then appointed Chief of CSIRO’s Astronomy and Space Sciences Division, commencing June 1st 2010, and in 2012 was appointed the Director General of the SKA Organisation.
Professor Ken Freeman is Duffield Professor of Astronomy at the Australian National University (Research School of Astronomy & Astrophysics, Mount Stromlo Observatory) in Canberra. He studied mathematics at The University of Western Australia and theoretical astrophysics at the University of Cambridge, followed by a postdoctoral year at the University of Texas and a year as a fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge. He returned to Australia in 1967 as a Queen Elizabeth II Fellow at Mt Stromlo Observatory, and has been there ever since.
His research interests are in the formation and dynamics of galaxies and globular clusters, and particularly in the problem of dark matter in galaxies: he was one of the first to point out (in 1970) that spiral galaxies contain a large fraction of dark matter. For his current research, he uses optical and radio telescopes in Australia and the USA, and also observes with the Hubble Space Telescope and large optical telescopes in Spain, Chile, and Hawaii. He has written about 750 research articles, and a book on dark matter, and was named by ISI in 2001 as one of Australia’s most highly cited scientists.
Professor Freeman was the 2009-2010 UWA Institute of Advanced Studies Professor-at-large.
LOFAR, space exploration and… Captain Kirk?
Professor Michael Garrett was inspired into astronomy by his competitive nature, and his love of Star Trek’s Captain Kirk.
He brings that inspiration into his work on LOFAR and with the SKA, as well as Director of the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy, ASTRON.
For Mike, radio astronomy is on the edge of some vast unchartered territory and we’re about to leap right in and maybe discover something that will change our view of, well, everything! He says there’s never been a better time to be involved.
“Let’s amaze future generations with our ambition and vision, with our courage to build something that no man has built before!”
P: 08 9266 7951
Professor Peter Hall received his PhD from the University of Tasmania and after academic roles at the University of Sydney, was attached to CSIRO’s Australia Telescope National Facility. His last role at CSIRO was as Leader of the organisation’s (and Australia’s) inaugural SKA program; he was also the author of the initial proposal to site the SKA in Australia. Peter is a Fellow of the Institution of Engineers (Australia) and holds the IREE Norman W.V. Hayes medal for original research.
Peter was appointed Professor of Radio Astronomy Engineering at Curtin University of Technology in June 2008 and ICRAR Deputy Director in 2009. His appointment followed a four-year term as the foundation International Project Engineer for the SKA, where he played leading roles in the development of an SKA Reference Design, the initial specification of the SKA, the framing of the international SKA system design project (PrepSKA), and the development of top-level industry engagement policy. Since coming to WA Peter has expanded these interests and applied his expertise to the realization of working SKA precursors and functional verification systems.
Director, Science (Curtin)
P: 08 9266 4908
Professor Jackson is an expert in extragalactic radio astronomy and technology research management, gained from working across industry and the research sector through her twenty-five year career. She is Director (science) at ICRAR-Curtin.
Professor Jackson completed her PhD in radio astronomy at Cambridge University after a first career in finance and engineering. Prior to joining Curtin she was the SKA Dish Array Technologies Leader at CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science and has recently shared in the ASKAP team’s award of the CSIRO’s Chairman’s Medal.
Professor Jackson has a long association with the International Square Kilometre Array project (SKA), both in directing technology development and science planning. She has worked closely with WA and Commonwealth Government bodies to derive the business case for Australia’s involvement in the SKA and is currently a member of the strategic Australia-NZ SKA coordination committee and is Chair of the ANZSCC’s Science Advisory Committee.
Student - PhD
P: 08 6488 7751
Thesis Title: The Prospects and Strategies for Detecting Afterglows of Gamma-Ray Bursts from Population III Stars
Recently submitted, now waiting for the examiners’ reports. Soon I’ll try to upload the GRB afterglow simulation program I created during my thesis to this site, for anyone to use (as long as you reference my 2015 paper in MNRAS). It will be the version that has been tested on ICRAR machines, so it should work on most computers.
PhD Candidate (Graduated 2015)
PhD Candidate Giovanna Zanardo used to engineer bridges, now she studies the massive remnants of exploding stars. She applies her knowledge of Earthly structures and how they react to dynamic forces to the study of supernovae, figuring out what’s going on inside something a bit more ‘out of this world!’ Along the way she also gets to check out the inner workings of radio telescopes, and have a front row seat to the development of the SKA.
Inaugural Board Chair
Appointed February 2009
Dr Bernard Bowen has been the Chair of ICRAR’s Board since its inception in 2009 and has been instrumental in ICRAR’s establishment and continuing development. Dr Bowen was also inducted into the Western Australian Science Hall of Fame in 2011 in recognition of his service to WA science.
Appointed May 2012
Professor Graeme Wright is Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research & Development at Curtin University, responsible for all research, research training, and commercialisation and knowledge transfer activities.
Professor Wright has extensive experience on Boards and Committees of research centres and CRCs, liaison with industry and negotiation of funding agreements, and broad research knowledge in spatial information sciences. He is currently a non-executive Director of the CRC for Spatial Information.