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Prof Bruce Swinyard
  • Professor of Astrophysics
  • Dept of Physics & Astronomy
  • Faculty of Maths & Physical Sciences
I am a Professor of Astrophysics in the Physics and Astronomy Department. I joined the Astrophysics group in the summer of 2010 as a joint appointment between UCL and the Science Technology and Facilities Council’s Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL). This means I spend roughly half my time at Gower Street and half at the Space Science and Technology Depart at RAL in the Oxfordshire countryside.

I took a first degree in physics at Southampton University, an MSc in Astronomy at Sussex and returned to Southampton to take a part time Phd in Gamma Ray Astrophysics whilst working at RAL, which I joined in 1987. In 23 years at RAL I have worked on a series of space missions, notably the ESA Infrared Space Observatory (operational 1995-1998) and the ESA Herschel Space Observatory (launched 2009) which is currently sending down the most fantastic images and spectra of the cold Universe (see http://oshi.esa.int/).
Research Groups
Research Summary

I specialise in the development of astronomical instrumentation and observing techniques in the far infrared wavelength band, especially in space based systems. I also have research interests in the formation and evolution of dust, the interstellar medium and far infrared spectroscopy of the Solar system. I am now also working with colleagues in the group on observing techniques for the characterisation of exo-planets.

As well as working on the calibration and interpretation of Herschel data I am involved in the development of a number of new missions and concepts including the SPICA next generation far infrared mission led by the Japanese space agency JAXA (with significant involvement from ESA see http://sci.esa.int/science-e/www/area/index.cfm?fareaid=105), a mission for characterising exo-planet atmospheres (http://thesis.iap.fr/) and I am studying different methods of achieving high spatial resolution through the combination of the light from two or more telescopes (http://www.ucl.ac.uk/star/research/instrumentation/ucl/irsubmm/opticaldesign).

Academic Background
1993 PhD Doctor of Philosophy – Astronomy not elsewhere classified University of Southampton
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