This public lecture, held in May, was Professor Bland’s first public engagement after his move from the UK to Perth to join Curtin University. In it, he discussed the mysteries of the solar system – from asteroids to space dust, and explained how expanding meteorite knowledge is helping to piece together our planet’s past.
About the speaker:
Obtaining his PhD in 1995 in the field of Planetary Science from the Open University in the United Kingdom, Professor Bland has since held an eight-year Royal Society University Research Fellowship, was awarded the 2001 US Antarctic Service Medal and contributed to the 2005 NASA Stardust mission preliminary examination team.
His passion for meteorites has led him to meteorite ‘hot spots’ across the Earth – from the extreme cold of Antarctica for collecting expeditions, to the dry desert heat of Australia’s Nullarbor Plain to set up the Desert Fireball Network, a series of cameras capturing the descent of meteorites as they enter Earth’s atmosphere and land.
He has contributed to several panels of the UK Science and Technology Facilities Council and has published his research findings in journals such as Science and Nature. He has won numerous awards and grants for his work in planetary science research.
In 2006 an asteroid was named in his honour by the International Astronomical Union.