I studied physics from 1973 to 1976 at the University of Manchester in England, and subsequently studied radio astronomy at Jodrell Bank. I received my PhD in 1980 for work on the applications of Bayesian methods to radio astronomical imaging. Immediately following my PhD, Peter Wilkinson and I developed the self-calibration algorithm widely used in radio astronomy. In 1980, I moved to Socorro, New Mexico to work on the newly completed Very Large Array telescope run by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory. Over the 25 years at the NRAO, I was fortunate to work with excellent colleagues on the best radio telescope in the world. In that stimulating environment I was able to make a number of contributions to radio astronomical techniques, including the key algorithms needed for wide fields of view. I also contributed in the areas of telescope design (for the Atacama Large Millimeter Array), telescope commissioning (the Very Long Baseline Array), observatory management, and software development.
During my time at the NRAO, I was involved in a number of particularly interesting external projects. Some examples:
- In 1990, I was a member of the Image Processing advisory panel appointed by NASA following the discovery of the focus error in the Hubble Telescope.
• Starting in the mid-nineties, I consulted for the Naval Research Laboratory on a number of projects. One outcome was a memo on interferometric imaging of extended objects in the near field.
• Between 2001 and 2004, I participated in the NSF/Intelligence Community program Approaches to Combat Terrorism, first as lead of the Image Processing panel, and subsequently as a reviewer of grant proposals.
In 2004, I joined the Square Kilometre Array International Engineering Working Group, primarily to contribute towards computing and algorithms needed for the SKA. In 2005, I moved to Australia to take the lead role in computing for the Australia SKA Pathfinder (ASKAP). Since then I have led the development of ASKAP computing, most particularly in the development of synthesis software and algorithms, and the provision of high performance computing for the telescope.
I have a wide range of interests but my main areas of competence are:
- The design, operation, and use of radio synthesis telescopes
- Image processing algorithms
- Scientific software development
- Parallel and distributed processing (still learning!)