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Professor Carole Jackson new Director of ASTRON

Published: Mon, 20/02/2017
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The Board of NWO has appointed Professor Carole Jackson as General and Scientific Director of ASTRON, the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy. Prof. Jackson is currently the Western Australian Premier’s Fellow at Curtin University, Director of the Curtin Institute of Radio Astronomy and a Science Director of the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) in Perth, Australia. Prof. Jackson will assume her new position in the Netherlands in April 2017, to lead ASTRON through an exciting phase involving high-profile technical and scientific projects with partners in Europe and worldwide.

Prof. Jackson built her career in industry before moving into astronomy. She completed her PhD at Cambridge University in 1997, then relocated to Australia where she held key roles in Australia’s endeavours towards the international Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project. Prof. Jackson research interests are in extragalactic radio astronomy and technology leadership through innovative instrumentation and industry partnerships.

The right mix
“We’re excited to have Carole as our new General and Scientific Director”, according to Marco de Vos, Managing Director of ASTRON. “She brings exactly the right mix of expertise for an institute like ASTRON where the combination of astronomical research and technology development are key to success.”

Decisive role
ASTRON is a long-time leading partner in the SKA, an international project to develop powerful radio arrays to be sited in South Africa and Western Australia. Within this global and very ambitious project prof. Jackson plays a decisive role, with her extensive knowledge and experience and her substantial involvement in both the political, administrative and scientific aspects. Therefore, she is also of great value to the Dutch astronomical community.

Key time
“I am excited to take up the leadership of ASTRON at this key time”, Carole Jackson responds on her new appointment. “I look forward to guiding this team of highly skilled personnel to make significant contribution to the next phase of the LOFAR telescope and the building of SKA. My aims are to ensure ASTRON offers the Dutch radio astronomy community leading-edge facilities, invests in innovative technology developments and engages industry in meaningful alliances.”

Influential papers
Professor Jackson’s research explores the concepts of unified models for radio-loud active galactic nuclei (AGN) and their evolution over cosmic time, and also techniques to probe beyond the confusion limit to understand subtle data effects. She is the author of influential papers informing the design and planning of next-generation telescopes including the SKA.