Blog icon

Dr George Heald

Pronouns: he,him,his

ATNF Science Program Director


Please enter a valid first name

Please enter a valid last name

Please enter a valid email address

Please enter your message to send to the contact

Contact details:

PO BOX 1130


I am a radio astronomer working in Perth, Western Australia, with CSIRO Space & Astronomy. As ATNF Science Program Director, I lead the team of astrophysicists and support scientists within the Australia Telescope National Facility (ATNF) who collaborate with engineers and operations staff to deliver innovative science from new radio astronomy technology.

My research activities are focused on low-frequency (below 350 MHz) radio continuum surveys that will be pursued with the forthcoming SKA telescope, following on from currently ongoing efforts with SKA precursors and pathfinders such as the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) and the Low Frequency Array (LOFAR). I am also closely involved in survey observations with a new widefield radio interferometer, the Australian SKA Pathfinder (ASKAP). ASKAP is already producing groundbreaking widefield images and catalogs of the radio sky covering an instantaneous field of view of 30 square degrees. ASKAP is designed to be the world's most powerful radio survey machine as has already been demonstrated with first results from the Rapid ASKAP Continuum Survey (RACS).

Scientifically I am a leader in the emerging field of radio spectropolarimetry, a domain that makes use of the wideband frequency coverage provided by modern radio telescopes to probe the magnetoionic medium in extragalactic radio sources and their foreground environments. I co-lead the ASKAP POSSUM survey, and initiated and lead the complementary QUOCKA survey.

Achievements and Awards

  • 2016-2021

    Office of the Chief Executive (OCE) Science Leader

Current Roles

  • Principal Investigator

  • Committee member
    CSIRO Space & Astronomy Diversity and Inclusion committee

  • Committee member
    ASTRO3D Equity, Diversity and Inclusion committee

  • Chair
    SKA Magnetism Science Working Group

  • Principal Investigator
    QUOCKA Survey

  • Council member
    LOFAR Magnetism Key Science Project

Academic Qualifications

  • 2006

    PhD Physics
    University of New Mexico

  • 2003

    MS Physics
    University of New Mexico

  • 2000

    BA Physics
    Thiel College

Professional Experiences

  • 2016-2021

    Executive Board
    Murchison Widefield Array

  • 2018-2019

    Executive Board (Chair)
    Murchison Widefield Array

Community and Corporate Citizenship

  • 2016-current

    Fellow of the Astronomical Society of Australia (ASA)

  • 2009-current

    Member of the International Astronomical Union (IAU)

  • 2002-current

    Member of the American Astronomical Society (AAS)

We have publications by Dr George Heald