New Director of the Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics
Professor Michael Garrett is the new Director of the Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics and the first holder of the Sir Bernard Lovell Chair in Astrophysics at The University of Manchester.
Professor Garrett obtained his first degree at the University of Glasgow (1986) and went on to do a PhD at Jodrell Bank. In 1996, he moved to the Netherlands, taking up a senior position at the Joint Institute for VLBI in Europe (JIVE) in Dwingeloo, later becoming JIVE Director in 2003. During this period he spearheaded many technical developments in the field, including the introduction of the e-VLBI technique, connecting radio telescopes in Europe and beyond at Gbps data rates in real-time via national and trans-national research networks.
In 2007, he was appointed General & Scientific Director of ASTRON – the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy. He led ASTRON during a period of significant change – in particular, he oversaw the construction, commissioning and operational phase of the LOFAR telescope. During his tenure at ASTRON, he also made a major contribution to the International SKA (Square Kilometre Array) Project.
In 2016, he was appointed Director of Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics in the School of Physics & Astronomy at The University of Manchester, including overall responsibility for work at both Jodrell Bank Observatory and in the Alan Turing Building on the Manchester campus. He is the first holder of the new Sir Bernard Lovell Chair in Astrophysics, named in honour of the founder and first Director of Jodrell Bank Observatory, and also holds an adjunct professorship at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands.
Mike has published over 130 refereed scientific papers ranging from studies of compact objects in our own galaxy, to investigations of high-redshift systems in the early Universe. He also has a significant interest in SETI (Search for Extra-terrestrial Intelligence) research – he is vice-chair of the SETI Permanent Committee and an advisor to the Breakthrough Listen Foundation.
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