Michael Wise new Director General at SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research

20 November 2018

The NWO board has appointed Dr. Michael Wise as General and Scientific director of SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research. Wise is currently Head of Astronomy at the NWO institute ASTRON, the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy. He also holds an adjunct faculty appointment in the Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astronomy at the University of Amsterdam. Wise will take up his new position effective 1 January 2019 and lead SRON through an important phase in the coming years including overseeing the relocation of the Utrecht headquarters to the Bio Science Campus at Leiden University.

Michael Wise, together with Institute Manager Annemieke Beers, will form the Directorate of SRON. "We are very pleased with the appointment of Michael Wise," says Annemieke Beers. There is a lot to be done in the coming years. The headquarters of the institute will move to the Bio Science Campus of Leiden University in 2021, where the collaboration with Leiden University and Delft University will be intensively designed. In addition, we will enter a crucial phase in the development of our contributions to the ESA X-ray Observatory Athena, among other missions, in the coming years.”

“SRON plays a crucial role in the Dutch and international scientific landscape," Michael Wise adds. "The breadth of world-leading and socially relevant research it conducts is truly impressive. I am very excited to be joining SRON, and look forward to leading the Institute in the coming years to deliver the next wave of scientific breakthroughs that new missions such as Athena will enable.”

Wise obtained his PhD in astrophysics from the University of Virginia in 1992. After serving as a postdoctoral fellow at Kitt Peak National Observatory working on optical and X-ray studies of clusters of galaxies, Wise joined the staff of the Chandra X-ray Science Center at MIT where he was part of the team that built, launched, and operates NASA’s flagship Chandra X-ray observatory. In 2006 he joined the staff at ASTRON to work on the design and construction of the LOFAR telescope. At ASTRON, he served as LOFAR project manager and later project scientist, before joining the Astronomy Group in 2010 as a staff astronomer. Since 2014, Wise has served as Head of the Astronomy Group as well as contributing to the design of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA).

Wise’s scientific research aligns closely with the astrophysics research program at SRON. He has primarily focused on clusters of galaxies, the largest gravitationally bound structures in the Universe, and the active cores of galaxies (AGN). In particular, Wise is interested in studying how energy released by material falling into the supermassive black holes driving AGN activity effects their environments. He has worked extensively across the broadband electromagnetic spectrum, from radio, optical, infra-red and X-ray. In addition to his astronomical research, he has over 25 years of experience with the construction and operation of large-scale astronomical facilities and has also contributed to the development of techniques and tools for the analysis of astronomical data used by the community today.

About SRON
SRON combines fundamental scientific research, technology innovation, and instrumentation development to enable breakthroughs in astrophysics, exoplanet research, and earth atmosphere research from space. In partnership with leading international partners and space agencies such as ESA, NASA and JAXA, SRON provides scientific and technological contributions to international space missions as well as expertise and support to the Dutch and international scientific communities. On the national level, it works in close collaboration with the Dutch universities, other NWO institutes, and governmental agencies to pursue a cohesive agenda for space-based research. SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research is a part of NWO-I, the Institutes Organisation of The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research.

Source: NWO


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