Semester 2, 2015
SAO has a variety of instructors from both the Centre for Astrophysics & Supercomputing and from various institutions and observatories around the world. Not all instructors teach each semester.
To read about some of our instructors and their "astronomical inspiration" click here
Note: This is a preliminary allocation and may change prior to semester start.
AST80005 Exploring the Solar System:
Dr Kurt Liffman has a B.Sc.(Hons) in Mathematics from the University of Melbourne and PhD in astrophysics from the Department of Physics and Astronomy, Rice University (Houston, TX). Kurt has worked on problems related to the formation of the Solar System at NASA's Johnson Space Center (Houston, TX) and AMES Research Center (Mountain View, CA). Kurt also worked at the CSIRO, where he was affiliated with the astrophysics group at the Australia Telescope National Facility . He currently works at Swinburne as a research scientist and sessional lecturer at SAO. Kurt is also a visiting scientist at the Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology.
Around two decades ago, Kurt and Michael J. I Brown published a theory suggesting that the some major components found in meteorites (and, possibly, the planets) were formed or reprocessed close to the early Sun and distributed through-out the early Solar System by bipolar jet flows or accretional flows that were produced close to the early Sun in the first few million years of the Solar System. This theory has obtained some preliminary observational confirmation with observations from the Spitzer Space Telescope that show exactly this process occurring in the protostellar systems Ex Lup and HOPS 68. Kurt is currently working with Prof. Sarah Maddison (Swinburne) and the Swinburne planetary science/astrophysics group on projects to better understand how Stellar Systems are formed.
AST80004 Exploring Stars and the Milky Way:
Dr Giovanna Pugliese received her Ph.D. in astrophysics from the University of Bonn, working on high energy neutrinos and theoretical modelling of GRBs at the Max Planck Institute for Radioastronomy. She received her Master in Physics from La Sapienza University in Rome, working on high energy cosmic rays and neutrinos, and her Master in Astronomy from the University of Bologna, working on astroparticle physics. Her fields of research range from the modelling and photometric study of GRBs and their link to UHE cosmic rays and neutrinos, to Adaptive Optics photometry of Galactic globular clusters, to the spectroscopic study of extragalactic GCs and stellar populations. After working as a postdoc at several universities both in California and in Europe (UCSC, ESO, and Utrecht university), she is now a researcher at the Department of Astrophysics of the Radboud University in Nijmegen (The Netherlands). During the last 10 years, she has also been involved in astronomy outreach and activities to bring her knowledge into schools.
- AST80006 Galaxies and their Place in the Universe: Glen Mackie Dr Glen Mackie received a PhD (The Stellar Content of Central Dominant Galaxies) from the Australian National University in 1990, and has worked at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Carter Observatory (Wellington, NZ) and Victoria University of Wellington. His research interests include Brightest Cluster Galaxies as tracers of large-scale structure and as probes of galaxy formation and evolution in the rich cluster environment. He has also bravely ventured into stellar research. His other research interests are multiwavelength properties of galaxies, galaxy mergers and astronomy education and astronomy history.
At Swinburne Glen is Coordinator of Swinburne Astronomy Online, editor and contributor to Cosmos, the SAO encyclopedia of astronomy and an AstroTour guide. In 2011 Glen published the textbook "Multiwavelength Atlas of Galaxies" with Cambridge University Press (CUP). Glen and fellow SAO Instructor Chris Fluke are currently writing a new interactive textbook on cosmology for CUP that will incorporate both normal hardcopy content as well as 3D visualisation of large data sets. Glen has authored general astronomy articles in Sky and Space (Aust.) and "To see the Universe in a grain of Taranaki sand" - North and South (N.Z.) which seems to pop up as a link in Astronomy Picture of the Day quite regularly! Glen has also authored articles Expand into 2013 by toasting 100 years of modern cosmology and The pale blue dot and other ‘selfies’ of Earth in The Conversation. In his spare time he practices topspin forehands, the noble game of golf, donates bait to fish and seeks the ultimate spiral torpedo. His alterego aperiodically tweets about astronomy/science and other issues on twitter @Glen_Mackie.
- AST80008 (formerly HET607) History of Astronomy: Katrina Sealey Dr Katrina Sealey studied astrophysics at UNSW receiving her PhD in 1997. Katrina's major focus was in observational cosmology and she has spent considerable time observing on optical telescopes all over the world including Australia, Chile and La Palma, undertaking her southern sky quasar survey. During these years Katrina gained specialist astronomical IT skills resulting in her recent appointment as the Australian Astronomical Observatory's IT Manager. Katrina shares her time between the AAO offices in North Ryde and the Anglo-Australian Telescope at Siding Spring Observatory near Coonabarabran.Over the last 20 years Katrina has also worked as an astronomy educator at Sydney Observatory and has taught many general and undergraduate astronomy courses, and for the past 10 years, Katrina has taught the SAO Short Course. Katrina has a keen personal interest in the History of Astronomy and is about to begin her own research into some historically significant astronomical sights in Australia and around the world. Katrina is eagerly looking forward to teaching this unit.
- AST80011 (formerly HET617) Major Project: Computational Astrophysics : Jarrod Hurley A/Prof Jarrod Hurley has a B.Sc.(Hons) in Applied Mathematics from Monash University and obtained a Ph.D. from the Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge in 2000. He has worked at the American Museum of Natural History in New York and is now a lecturer at the Centre for Astrophysics & Supercomputing, Swinburne University of Technology.
Jarrod works mostly in the area of computational astrophysics, focussing on the evolution of stars, binaries and star clusters. Specifically he is interested in the link between these areas and performs N-body simulations on special-purpose GRAPE computers, GPUs and supercomputers. These simulations show how star clusters evolve and look at the exotic stars and binaries that can be produced along the way. Jarrod has also looked at the consequences for planetary evolution in the dense environment of a star cluster. He is also involved in Hubble Space Telescope and Gemini observing programs.
- AST80013 (formerly HET615) Major Project - Observational Astronomy: Mel Hulbert Melissa Hulbert completed a BSc. (Hons) in Physics at the University of Western Sydney, during which she worked as a night guide/lecturer at Sydney Observatory (part of the Powerhouse Museum) where she now works full-time as an Astronomy Educator. In between, she contributed a column to Lab News Magazine and then later spent some time as Assistant Editor on both Lab News and Today's Life Sciences Magazines. She is a member of the Australia Science Communicators and in 2000 she was part of the 'Science in the Pub' team that won an Australian Eureka Award for Science Promotion. Melissa also teaches astronomy courses at WEA and the St George and Sutherland Community College. She has been an active member of Sutherland Astronomical Society for over 15 years with her main interest in astro-imaging. Five years ago she initiated the formation of the Astro-Imaging group which she still coordinates. Melissa's main interests have always been comets and eclipses, but if it's up there and not beyond the range of the equipment she's using then she's happy to snap its portrait. In the last few years Melissa has been learning to read and translate Egyptian hieroglyphs and has been able to combine this with her interest in archeoastronomy. When time allows, Melissa likes nothing better than spending time imaging the wonders of a clear, dark night sky with a few friends.
- AST80016 (formerly HET611) Stellar Astrophysics: Jeremy Mould Prof Jeremy Mould is a graduate of the University of Melbourne and of the Australian National University. He is a professor at Swinburne University’s Centre for Astrophysics & Supercomputing and professorial fellow at the University of Melbourne. Jeremy Mould was Director of the National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO) from 2001-2007. NOAO is the National Science Foundation’s facility for ground-based astronomical research at optical and infrared wavelengths in the USA. Preceding appointments were Professor of Astronomy at the Australian National University, Director of the ANU's Research School of Astronomy & Astrophysics, and Professor of Astronomy at the California Institute of Technology's Palomar Observatory. His career has mostly been in optical/infrared observatories. Besides Palomar, he has worked at the Royal Greenwich Observatory, Kitt Peak National Observatory, and Mount Wilson & Las Campanas Observatories. Jeremy has worked on numerous teams, advisory and planning committees for NASA. At Caltech he served three years as Executive Officer for Astronomy and then joined the Science Steering Committee for the W.M. Keck Telescope, now the world's largest optical telescope. He was chairman of the Anglo-Australian Telescope Board 1999/2000, and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science from 1998. Awarded the American Astronomical Society's Newton Lacy Pierce prize in 1982 jointly with his late colleague Marc Aaronson and the Gruber Prize in Cosmology with Wendy Freedman and Rob Kennicutt in 2009, Jeremy's research interests are in observational cosmology and observational aspects of stellar evolution.
- AST80017 (formerly HET610) Studies in Space Exploration: Andrew McGrath Dr Andrew McGrath is a senior research fellow in Airborne Research Australia, a research institute forming part of the School of the Environment at Flinders University in South Australia. He has worked in defence contracting (passive microwave sensing), the UK Met Office (remote sensing group, working with air- and spaceborne microwave sensing instruments and working in such exotic locations as Ascension Island and the North Pole), and the Anglo-Australian Observatory (developing optical/NIR instrumentation for large astronomical telescopes around the world). Andrew has Batchelors degrees in Applied Mathematics and Electrical/Electronic Engineering from the University of Adelaide, and a PhD in remote sensing instrumentation from the Flinders University of South Australia (1998).
In his current role since 2009, he works with all phases of remote sensing data collection and processing, including operating the instrumentation and piloting Flinders' research aircraft on scientific missions across Australia. He spends much of his time processing and calibrating hyperspectral and lidar data collected from these aircraft.
AST80018 (formerly HET606) Tools of Modern Astronomy :
Alister Graham and Karl Glazebrook
Prof Alister Graham is a Professor within the Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing at the Swinburne University of Technology. He obtained his Ph.D. from The Australian National University's Mount Stromlo and Siding Spring Observatories in 1998. Since then he has worked for three years at the University of Florida's Department of Astronomy in the USA, and for another three years at the Spanish Institute for Astrophysics in the Canary Islands as a telescope Support Astronomer. He has published over 50 refereed papers about the structure and dynamics of galaxies, their dark matter halos and central supermassive black holes, and is involved in a prestigious Hubble Space Telescope Treasury Program.
Prof Karl Glazebrook is a Professor and Director of the Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing, Swinburne University of Technology. He received a PhD from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland in 1992 and has worked at Durham University, Cambridge University, the Anglo-Australian Observatory and the Johns Hopkins University. He does research on observational cosmology (size, shape, history and composition of the Universe), galaxy formation, assembly and evolution over cosmic time and astronomical instrumentation concepts. He is noted for carrying out one of the world's first large area near-infrared surveys, for developing the award-winning "nod & shuffle" observing technique in multi-object spectroscopy, for some of the deepest spectroscopy of the high-redshift Universe ever attempted and for developing the 'cosmic sound' technique for understanding dark energy. He has been honoured by being listed as a Highly Cited researcher by ISI, Packard Fellowship and the naming of an Asteroid (#10099). His astronomical software has assisted NASA's Spacewatch survey in discovering 523 near-earth asteroids including 58 Potentially Hazardous Asteroids.