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12th of December 2019
CSIRO Distinguished Visitor
Leonid Gurvits recently commenced a six-month visit to CASS under the CSIRO Distinguished Visitor program. Leonid completed MSc degrees at the Moscow State University, Dept of Astronomy, and Moscow Aviation Institute, Faculty of Aerospace Engineering, both in 1979. A few years later, his PhD degree in astrophysics was awarded by the Lebedev Physical Institute. From 1979 he worked at the Space Research Institute of the (then) USSR Academy of Sciences, with the main assignment to the project that would later become the Space VLBI project RadioAstron. From 1988 through 2003 he served as the RadioAstron Project Scientist. In 1992--1994 Leonid was a research fellow of the National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center – Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico. Since 1994 he has been based at the Joint Institute for VLBI ERIC in Dwingeloo, the Netherlands, where he leads the Space Science and Innovation Application Group. Leonid was involved in the Japanese-led VSOP/HALCA Space VLBI project, and has been working on the Space VLBI project RadioAstron in various capacities for its entire 40 year history. Leonid's main science interests lie in extragalactic radio astrophysics and cosmology, as well as applications of VLBI technique in planetary and space science. Leonid is Professor at the Department of Astrodynamics and Space Missions of the Delft University of Technology. Since 2017, Leonid is a Vice-Chair of the Joint Working Group on History of Radio Astronomy of the International Astronomical Union and International Radio Science Union. He is also a Member of the International Academy of Astronautics. The image above shows Leonid with a model of the astrophysical probe "Vertikal" -- a subject of his MSc studies.

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