Professor Tom Ray
Name: Tom Ray
Title: Senior Professor
Address: Astronomy & Astrophysics Section, 31 Fitzwilliam Pl., Dublin, D02 XF86
Research Interests: Prof. Tom Ray’s main research interests are in star and planet formation and, in particular, the supersonic jets that stars like our sun produce when less than a million years old as well as the disks that surround such stars. Tom is Co-Principal Investigator of the Mid-Infrared Instrument on the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). JWST, which is due for launch in 2021, will be the largest telescope ever placed in space. He is Co-Principal Investigator on ARIEL, a mission selected by ESA, to explore exoplanet atmospheres and also leads a group in DIAS developing optical/near-infrared Microwave Kinetic Inductance Detectors (MKIDs) for use in Astronomy. He is an ERC Advanced Grant Laureate and his other interests include ancient astronomical sites, like Newgrange, and Historical Astronomy.
Biographical Sketch: Tom Ray received his primary degree in Theoretical Physics from Trinity College Dublin in 1978, followed by an MSc and PhD from the University of Manchester while carrying out research in Radio Astronomy at Jodrell Bank. He subsequently became a research fellow at the University of Sussex, an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg and then returned to Ireland as a Lecturer in University College Dublin. He became one of the youngest professors in the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies in 1986.
Prof. Ray is the Robert Ball Professor in Trinity College Dublin, a member of the Royal Irish Academy (MRIA), a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society (FRAS), and a Member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Prof. Ray is (* denotes current membership) or has been, a member of many national and international committees including the Irish National Committee for Astronomy and Space Research, the National Physical, Chemical and Mathematical Science Committee (Chairman), the Hubble Space Telescope Time Allocation Committee, the British Panel for Allocation of Telescope Time, the Infrared Space Observatory (ISO) Time Allocation Committee, the Space Telescope European Coordinating Facility Committee (as Chair), ESA’s Mid-Infrared Instrument Steering Committee (Vice-Chair)*, NASA’s MIRI Science Committee, and the Herschel Time Allocation Committee (as Chair of the Solar System/ISM/Star Formation Panel). He was also a member, and a past Chair, of the Multi-Element Radio Linked Interferometer Network (MERLIN) Board* in the UK and a member of the Management Committee* of Armagh Observatory and Planetarium as well as a Vice-Chair of the H2020 Marie Sklodowska Curie Fellowship Physics Panel. Finally he was Chair of the Interstellar Medium and Solar System European Southern Observatory (ESO) Observing Programme Panel (OPC), and Chair of the OPC Large Programme ISM & SS Panel and a former member of Council of the Royal Irish Academy. He represents the Government of Ireland on the ESO Council.