ASTRON was founded in 1950 as the “Stichting Radiostraling van Zon en Melkweg” (Foundation for Radio radiation from the Sun and Milky Way), SRZM, exploring the new window to the universe that opened with the development of radio frequency technology.
Since its earliest days the institute has sustained a world-leading reputation through innovative technological developments and high impact astronomical discoveries. In its recent 2017 Standard Evaluation Protocol (SEP) review, conducted by an international panel of experts, ASTRON received rankings of “1 = world leading” across the board.
ASTRON has its headquarters based in Dwingeloo with telescope facilities at Westerbork, the Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope (WSRT) and the LOw Frequency ARray (LOFAR) telescope. LOFAR consists of a core area near Exloo with a large, expanding network of antenna stations through the Netherlands and European partner countries. Today ASTRON employs about 180 personnel, including scientists, engineers and operations and support staff.
Whilst ASTRON has a centred presence in the northern NL, it operates within a highly international discipline with strong brand identity. ASTRON has provided inspirational leadership through the period to define and design the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) Telescope (1996 – 2018).
ASTRON also does business with many commercial partners. We continuously seek to maximise the use of our technologies for society and share our excitement in our discoveries with the public.
ASTRON is part of NWO-I, the Institutes Organisation of NWO, Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research. NWO-I is positioned under the Executive Board of NWO.
- Prof. Carole Jackson (General and Scientific Director)
- Dr Marco de Vos (Deputy Director General)
- Dr Gert Kruithof (Institute Manager)
Institute Advisory Board
Jozias van Aartsen
Prof. Johan Bleeker
(GM IBM Benelux)
Prof. Iris Vis
(Dean of Industry relations, Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Groningen)
Prof. Bart Smolders
(Dean of Electrical Engineering Eindhoven University of Technology)
Prof. Koen Kuijken
(Leiden University, Chair Astronomy Committee NWO-ENW domain)
Prof. Thijs van der Hulst
(University of Groningen)
Science Advisory Committe (SAC)
The Science Advisory Committee (SAC) advises the directorate on the long-term strategy and the research programme of ASTRON. The members of the SAC are leading persons from national and international organisations and institutes in the field of radio astronomy and are experts in the research areas in which ASTRON is actively involved.
SAC as of June 2020
- Prof. Leon Koopmans (chair) (Kapteyn, University of Groningen, Netherlands)
- Dr. Tiziana Venturi (INAF, Bologna, Italy)
- Dr. Robert Laing (SKA Organisation, Jodrell Bank, United Kingdom)
- Prof. Tom Heskes (Radboud University, Nijmegen, Netherlands)
- Dr. Daniela Huppenkothen (Univ. of Washington, Seattle, United States)
- Prof. dr. Dominik Schwarz (Bielefeld Universität, Germany )
- Dr. Samaya Nissanke (University of Amsterdam, Netherlands)
- Dr. Marijke Haverkorn (Radboud University, Nijmegen, Netherlands)
ASTRON has four departments:
- Astronomy & Operations
- Strategic Staff
- Innovation & Systems
- Business Support & Services