Dr. Miguel Roth y Dr. Wolfgang Gieren

 

Dr. Miguel Roth has been an important and distinguished member of the Chilean astronomical community. He was born in Argentina and came to Chile to perform his graduate university studies. He earned a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Chile. His interest was in instrumentation, which led him to astronomy, specifically observational astronomy. During his career, he has published more than 120 articles. Miguel was named director of Carnegie’s Las Campanas Observatory in Chile in 1990. He served in this position until 2020. Since the beginning at Las Campanas, Miguel contributed enthusiastically to the development of the astronomical community in Chile, collaborating with colleagues in Chilean universities, participating in many committees, and being an evaluator of many research projects. During the time as director at Las Campanas, the 6.5-meter twin Magellan Telescopes were planned, constructed, and began operations in 2001 and 2002. He had to oversee the construction and operations of these twin telescopes which have been extremely important to advancing astronomy. Since 2014 Miguel led a new and challenging project the Giant Magellan Telescope until 2022 when he retired. (by Dr. Mónica Rubio)

 

Dr. Wolfgang Gieren arrived as a Full Professor at the Universidad de Concepcion in 1996. He is a world expert on the distance scale using stellar candles, especially Cepheids, and has led the extremely successful Araucaria project since 2003, which boasts, among many other landmark achievements, measuring the distance to the Magellanic Clouds with 1\% accuracy. He has been involved in several leading scientific grants, including the Chilean FONDAP and CATA projects from 2002-2022, in which he was the PI of the Distance Scale Science Area, as well as two European Research Council grants (from 2016-2027). This latter includes funds to construct a 2.5m telescope on Cerro Armazones which will be named in his honor. He was the scientific and political leader of the UdeC astronomy group since its inception. He was largely responsible for its successful development into a leading national astronomy center. His contagious enthusiasm and optimism were instrumental in this process. He was the UdeC Astronomy Department’s first Director, serving two terms (2008-2012). He is a founding member of SOCHIAS and was its Vice President from 2009-2011. He has also served on many other important committees such as the ESO OPC (2000-2003) and User’s Committee (2005-2008 and 2013-2015). (by Dr. Doug Geisler)