Friends of the RAS (only) Lecture: The James Webb Space Telescope

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The James Webb Space TelescopeProf. Gillian Wright, MBE, FRSE, Director of STFC's UK Astronomy Technology Centre and a visiting professor of the Institute for Astronomy, University of Edinburgh Prof. Gillian Wright will give a broad and general introduction to the JWST mission and their UK role. She will give an overview of the science that JWST is designed to address, the engineering on large scales to put a really big observatory into space and on small scales for the instrumentation, the current status of the mission development and what happens between now and launch. Prof. Wright is a graduate of the University of Glasgow and obtained her PhD in physics from Imperial College. She was a staff scientist at the United Kingdom InfraRed Telescope in Hawaii and then Head of Instrumentation from 1995 until 1997, when she returned to the UK to join the newly formed UK-Astronomy Technology Centre. Current work at the UK Astronomy Technology Centre includes instrumentation and technology development for the European Extremely large Telescope, the European Southern Observatory, Atacama Large Millimeter Array, the NASA James Webb Space Telescope, the ESA mission programme and the Square Kilometer Array as well as projects that apply techniques developed for astronomy to other areas such as environmental monitoring and health. As the European PI for the James Webb Space Telescope Mid-IR Instrument (MIRI), Gillian brings UK leadership of a key scientific capability for this NASA flagship Mission that will replace the Hubble Space Telescope. Gillian is the project director for the Higgs Centre for Innovation that is under construction at the UKATC.