UK Space Conference Speaker: Professor Mark McCaughrean
Day 2: Innovation - Science, Business, Technology Session
Head, Research & Scientific Support Department
European Space Agency
Prof Mark McCaughrean is Head of the Research & Scientific Support Department in the Directorate of Science and Robotic Exploration of the European Space Agency, based at ESTEC in the Netherlands.
The department is responsible for the interface between ESA and the outside scientific community involved in ESA's space science missions currently in operation and under development. These include astrophysical observatories covering the electromagnetic spectrum (Herschel, Planck, XMM-Newton, INTEGRAL, HST, Gaia, JWST), in situ missions to planets and minor bodies in the inner and outer Solar System (Mars Express, Venus Express, Rosetta, Cassini-Huygens, BepiColombo, ExoMars), spacecraft studying the Sun and the Sun-Earth connection (SoHO, Cluster, Proba-2), and fundamental physics experiments (LISA Pathfinder).
He obtained his PhD in 1988 from the University of Edinburgh, working on one of the first infrared camera systems for astronomy. He subsequently worked in the US, Germany, and UK helping develop ground- and space-based optical/IR instrumentation and telescopes, and using them to study the formation of stars and their planetary systems. He is an Interdisciplinary Scientist on the Science Working Group for the NASA/ESA/CSA JWST and a member of the ESO E-ELT Science Working Group. He is also professor of astrophysics at the University of Exeter.
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