Lisa Harvey-Smith

Professional Biography

Dr. Lisa Harvey-Smith is a Research Astronomer and CSIRO's Project Scientist for the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP).

ASKAP is a next-generation radio telescope that will carry out fast, high dynamic range surveys of the sky. Designed and operated by CSIRO, ASKAP makes use of innovative technologies such as phased array receivers, digital systems, fast optical fibre links and a 3-axis dish design. ASKAP is located at the Murchison Radio-Astronomy Observatory in Western Australia and is a precursor for the Square Kilometre Array (SKA).

The SKA is a $2 billion global project involving ten countries around the world, the aim of which is to build the largest radio telescope ever conceived. Australia, New Zealand and South Africa will host this ambitious telescope, which will operate for the next 50 years and has to potential to revolutionise our understanding of the universe. In her previous role as CSIRO's SKA Project Scientist, Lisa was part of the team that prepared the SKA site bid on behalf of Australia and New Zealand. She continues to play an active role in spectrum management of the site.

Lisa studied Astrophysics at the U.K's Jodrell Bank Observatory, and undertook a short research position at the Max-Planck-Institute for Radio Astronomy in Germany. On completing her Ph.D. she worked as a Support Scientist at Joint Institute for VLBI in Europe, the centre for high-resolution radio astronomy in The Netherlands. In 2007 she took up a position the University of Sydney, diversifying her research to study the nature of elusive magnetic fields that thread our universe. In August 2009, Dr. Harvey-Smith joined CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science as a Research Astronomer.

Lisa has used some of the world's most powerful telescopes, including the Parkes Radio Telescope, star of the film "The Dish", the Very Long Baseline Array and the Arecibo Radio Telescope in Puerto Rico - the world's largest at 305 metres across. Her scientific publications span a number of fields from star formation, cosmic magnetic fields and gravitational lensing to supernova remnants.

Lisa is an Honorary Senior Lecturer in the School of Physics at the University of Sydney. She is a former Chair of the ATNF Time Assignment Committee and the current Chair of the ASA Chapter for Women in Astronomy. She is also an active member of the SKA Science Working Group, collaborating with international teams of scientists to define the SKA Systems Requirements. Lisa takes an active role in education and outreach, regularly giving talks at schools, universities, astronomical societies, science festivals and in the media.

In 2008, Dr. Harvey-Smith was shortlisted to be an Astronaut with the European Space Agency. In 2012 she was named in the(sydney)magazine's Top 100 most influential people. When not designing telescopes and studying galaxies billions of light-years away, she enjoys ultra-long-distance running, including 12- and 24-hour races.


    2009-present: Research Astronomer, CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science (Australia)

    2007-2009: Postdoctoral Research Fellow, The University of Sydney (Australia)

    2005-2007: Support Scientist, Joint Institute for VLBI in Europe, Dwingeloo (The Netherlands)

    2002-2005: Ph.D. in Radio Astronomy, Jodrell Bank Observatory, University of Manchester (U.K.).

    1998-2002: Master of Physics (Hons) University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne (United Kingdom)

    2001: Summer Studentship, Max-Planck Institut fuer Radioastronomie, Bonn (Germany)

Awards, Professional Affiliations and Positions Held

    2012-present: Member, UNSW School of Physics Advisory Committee

    2012-present: Chair, ASA Chapter for Women in Astronomy

    2009-present: Honorary Senior Lecturer, School of Physics, The University of Sydney

    2009-present: Member, International SKA Science Working Group

    2009-2011: Chair, Australia Telescope Time Assignment Committee

    2009-present: Member, International Astronomical Union

    2007-present: Referee, The Astrophysical Journal, Astronomical Journal and MNRAS

    2003-present: Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society

    2002-2005: Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council Ph.D. Studentship, The University of Manchester

    June-July 2001: Summer Studentship, Max-Plank-Institut fuer Radioastronomie, Bonn, Germany

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