Professor seconded to prestigious Italian Observatory
Co-Director of the Curtin Institute of Radio Astronomy (CIRA) Professor Steven Tingay has been selected as the founding director of the new Osservatorio di Radio Astronomia (Radio Astronomy Observatory) for the Italian National Institute of Astrophysics (INAF), on a three-year tenure.
Whilst maintaining his links with Curtin, Professor Tingay will lead Italy’s contribution to the landmark billion-dollar Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project, to be constructed in Western Australia and South Africa.
Curtin Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Development Professor Graeme Wright said fostering strong relationships with international institutions was crucial to the development of Curtin’s rising research profile, as evidenced by recent large improvements in Curtin’s global ranking.
“Although it will be hard not to have Steven on campus for three years, the work he will complete in Italy will be of infinite benefit to Curtin University, Western Australia and Australia, and we will welcome him back with open arms upon his return,” Professor Wright said.
President of the National Institute of Astrophysics Professor Giovanni Bignami said Professor Tingay’s appointment was a coup for Italian radio astronomy.
“It is a great success for INAF and all Italian radio astronomy to have a foreign director with such high profile that will move from Australia to head the new prestigious Radio Astronomy Observatory,” President Bignami said.
Professor Tingay was selected from an international shortlist based on his considerable knowledge and expertise, having founded CIRA in 2007 and as Director of the Curtin-led Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) project, the only operational precursor telescope for the SKA. He said his appointment was a great honour.
“Italy is a powerhouse of astronomy and industry and is a founding member of the international SKA consortium,” Professor Tingay said.
“I’ll be working on many exciting scientific and technical activities and look forward to engaging Italy deeply in the SKA, connecting to the global astronomy community.”