Dr Douglas Bock

Director

Contact details:

Biography

Current Activities
Dr Douglas Bock has been Director of CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science, and Director of the Australia Telescope National Facility (ATNF), since 2016.

CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science draws together NASA’s Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex (operated by CSIRO) and CSIRO’s radio astronomy activities which cover instrumentation, astrophysics research, SKA planning and pre-construction work, and the Australia Telescope National Facility.

From 2010 to 2016 Douglas was Theme Leader and then Program Director for ATNF Operations, leading the operation of the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP), Parkes Telescope, Australia Telescope Compact Array (ATCA), and Mopra Telescope - which are used by more than 400 Australian and overseas scientists each year.

He oversaw the transition of ASKAP and the Murchison Radio-Astronomy Observatory from construction to ASKAP early science. Douglas has also been active in Operations planning for the international Square Kilometre Array project and looks forward to the opportunities ahead for Australia in radio astronomy, and working collaboratively with Australian Universities in evolving the role of the ATNF for the SKA era.

Background

Douglas enjoys working at the interface of astronomy and technology, and this has led to a career focussed on the design, construction, and operation of radio telescopes.

From 2004 to 2009, before coming to CSIRO, Dr Bock was at the University of California, Berkeley, first as the construction Project Manager and then as Assistant Director – Operations for the Combined Array for Research in Millimeter-wave Astronomy (CARMA). CARMA is an array of 23 radio dishes operating at millimetre wavelengths, jointly operated by five US universities.

During this period, Dr Bock was also a Visiting Associate at the California Institute of Technology. Prior to that, he held overlapping roles as the Assistant Director for the Radio Astronomy Laboratory at UC Berkeley and the System Scientist for the Allen Telescope Array (a set of 42 small radio dishes that is a joint project of the SETI Institute and UC Berkeley). His current scientific interests include transient and variable phenomena at radio and millimetre wavelengths.

As System Scientist for the Allen Telescope Array, he was responsible for constructing a prototype array, contributing to the science requirements, designing the spatial distribution of the antennas, and leading the process of obtaining environmental planning permission. Although only 42 over the planned 350 antennas were constructed, the ATA formed a key precursor to the international Square Kilometre Array telescope, an A$2.5 billion project. As Project Manager and Assistant Director - Operations for CARMA, Dr Bock led construction and operations from three months after groundbreaking through the early years of routine astronomical observations.

Achievements

Dr Bock has published over 50 articles in refereed journals, books and conference proceedings.

He has held the following roles in professional societies and committees:
- Member, National Committee for Astronomy (2015-present)
- Member, Editorial Board for Decadal Plan for Australian Astronomy 2016-2025
- Chair, SKA Operations Working Group (2012-2015)
- Vice-Chair, US National Academy of Science Standing Committee on Radio Frequencies (CORF (2008–2009; member since 2007)
- Member, Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) Management Advisory Committee/Annual External Review (2007-2009)
- Member, International Astronomical Union (2003–present)
- Member, International Union of Radio Science, US National Committee (2001–present)
- Member, American Astronomical Society (1999–present)
- Member, Astronomical Society of Australia (1998–present; student member since 1994)
- Member, US Square Kilometer Array Consortium Executive Committee (2003–2007)
- Member, MWA External Review Panel (2009)
- Member, Expanded VLA Advisory Committee (2007–2009)
- Member, SETI Science and Technology Working Group (1997–1999)
- Referee/panellist for Astrophysical Journal, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia, National Science Foundation, Berkeley-Illinois-Maryland Association Array proposals, CalSpace mini-grant proposals
- Chair, CARMA Time Allocation Committee (2006–2009; ex officio).

Current Roles

  • Director
    CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science

  • Director
    Australia Telescope National Facility

Academic Qualifications

  • 1998

    PhD
    University of Sydney

  • 1994

    BE (Elec, Hons)
    University of Sydney

  • 1992

    BSc
    University of Sydney