Innovative engineering: From the Antikythera Mechanism to the Square Kilometer Array

The innovative engineering of the world's greatest telescope - the Square Kilometer Array

  • Mon 24th Jun 2019
  • 19:30-21:00
  • Institute of Astronomy, Madingley Road, Cambridge, CB3 0HA
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As modern humans we tend to think we are clever and each generation typically thinks it’s more intelligent than those before it. So it can be a shock to discover civilizations existing thousands of years ago possessed highly advanced knowledge and technologies capable of measuring the physical world.

The Antikythera mechanism is an astonishing Greek device that was lost for more than 2,000 years and shows we’ve have been measuring the physical world for a long time, so what’s changed? What is all the hype about? In a word, it’s connectivity. We can now connect all of these disparate systems and literally instrument the entire world.

Danielle will discuss her work on solving one of the 14 World Engineering Grand Challenges and how she makes it part of her mission to show how creative engineering is. She will discuss her projects in radio astronomy, in particular the Square Kilometer Array, and tell us about the smartest machine she knows.

Prof. Danielle George, University of Manchester

Professor Danielle George MBE, FIET

Danielle completed her BSc in Astrophysics, MSc in Radio Astronomy at The Victoria University of Manchester, and her PhD in Electrical and Electronic Engineering with UMIST. She worked at Jodrell Bank Observatory as a Senior Radio Frequency Engineer until 2006 when she took up a lectureship in the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering. She was awarded a Professorship at the age of 38 and appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire in the 2016 Queen’s honours list for services to engineering through public engagement. In 2016 she received the Royal Academy of Engineering Rooke Medal for services to engineering and in 2017 received the Harold Hartley Medal for outstanding contribution to the field of Measurement and Control. In 2018 she was awarded the Royal Society Michael Faraday Medal for excellence in communicating science to the public.

Danielle’s research is dedicated to solving one the 14 world engineering grand challenges of the 21st century; engineering the tools for scientific discovery. Her expertise in radio frequency engineering and microwave communications is applicable to a broad range of scientific and industrial sectors. To date her research has focused on delivering class-leading ultra-low noise receivers for Space and Aerospace applications. She is involved in the $1B astronomical instrument, the Square Kilometer Array (SKA), is the UK lead for amplifiers for the $1B Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) telescope and has worked with NASA and ESA on the development of instrumentation for researchers exploring the Big Bang. Her most recent work on broadband amplifier design at 116GHz is current state-of-the-art and pushing the very limits of semiconductor technology.

Attending lectures