2016 Dunlap Institute Introduction to Astronomical Instrumentation Summer School – 14 ~ 19 August

Dunlap Institute 2016 Summer School


University of Toronto

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

14 ~ 19 August 2016

The annual Dunlap Institute Summer School includes both lecture and laboratory activities and is intended for students who have finished at least the 3rd year of an undergraduate program or are in the early years of a graduate program, and have a background in astronomy, physics, or engineering.

Students will:

• Learn basic principles of radio, infrared, optical, x-ray and gamma-ray instrumentation
• Learn how detectors and spectrographs work
• Learn in lecture and hands-on laboratory sessions
• Work with students from around the world
• Learn about a career in instrumentation
• Learn from international leaders in the field of astronomical instrumentation
• Attend a professional development/mentoring session

Instructors include leading instrumentation and observational astronomers from the Dunlap Institute, U of T’s Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics, and from Canadian, U.S. and international institutions.

Registration fee (without waiver): $500.00

Travel subsidies and registration fee waivers available.
Applications and travel subsidy deadline: 15 April 2016

For full details and to apply: dunlap.utoronto.ca/summer-school

Victoria Kaspi wins the Gerhard Herzberg Canada Gold Medal

It is with great pleasure that the Canadian Astronomical Society / Société Canadienne d’Astronomie recognizes and applauds the selection of Dr. Victoria M Kaspi of McGill University in Montreal, Canada to receive the Gerhard Herzberg Canada Gold Medal for Science and Engineering from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.

Dr. Victoria M. Kaspi is one of the world’s leading experts on neutron stars, the ancient remnants of the most massive stars in the Milky Way. The most massive stars end their lives as black holes. Less massive stars, however, leave behind celestial objects no bigger than the city of Montreal, yet so dense that just one teaspoon would weigh 100 million metric tonnes.

Dr Kaspi uses the largest and most powerful radio and X-ray telescopes in the world to study the physical behaviour of neutron stars, pulsars and magnetars (neutron stars with very strong magnetic fields). Her seminal research sheds light on how stars evolve, how they die and, ultimately, the very nature of matter under extreme conditions.
Dr Kaspi’s research group has had major impacts in the field of astrophysics, including unique tests confirming Einstein’s long-held theory of general relativity and discovering the fastest rotating star. Her team’s landmark discovery of powerful X-ray bursts from an enigmatic class of stars (a finding that essentially doubles the number of known magnetars in our galaxy) was published in Nature in 2013.

Dr Kaspi received her PhD from Princeton University in 1993. She has received numerous prizes and fellowships, including the Hubble Fellowship, the Annie Jump Cannon Prize of the American Astronomical Society, and has been elected as a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, the Royal Society of London, and the US National Academy of Sciences.

CASCA congratulates Dr. Kaspi for this well earned recognition of her outstanding contributions to cosmology and to Canadian scientific excellence.

Senior Lab instructor position in Astronomy, University of Victoria

The Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Victoria, invites applications for the position of Senior Lab instructor in Astronomy.

Job Summary
The Department of Physics and Astronomy offers multiple undergraduate and graduate degree programs, and its members conduct internationally recognized research in several fields of physics and astronomy. The Department runs a range of courses in astronomy designed for students intending to major in the field, as well as courses for students in a variety of other programs. The Department also manages an on-campus observatory, housing a new 0.8m telescope, which is utilized to provide experiential learning and research opportunities in laboratory components of astronomy courses.

This position has as its primary function, to develop, coordinate and participate in the teaching of the undergraduate lab program in astronomy. This entails management, maintenance, and development of the observatory and related equipment. The position has overall responsibility for the astronomy lab program, and coordination of the labs run by other lab instructors and Teaching Assistants, and reports to the Physics and Astronomy Laboratory Supervisor. Expertise in astronomy, and astronomical instrumentation, is required.

Job Requirements:
The minimum qualification is a Master’s degree in Astronomy or related fields. Superior oral communication skills are also required, along with the ability to work non-standard hours, as certain astronomy labs are run in the evening.

Additional Information: 992723-PHYS-2016-Senior Lab Instructor Astronomy-SG10
Apply at: https://uvic.mua.hrdepartment.com/hr/ats/Posting/view/1360

CLOSING DATE: 4pm PST on March 8, 2016.

The University of Victoria is an equity employer and encourages applications from women, persons with disabilities, members of visible minorities, Aboriginal Peoples, people of all sexual orientations and genders, and others who may contribute to the further diversification of the university. Persons with disabilities who anticipate needing accommodations for any part of the application and hiring process may contact Grace Wong Sneddon, Director, Academic Leadership Initiatives and Advisor to the Provost on Equity and Diversity at gwongsne@uvic.ca. Any personal information provided will be maintained in confidence.

Great Lakes Cosmology and Galaxies Workshop 2016, McMaster June 19-22

Name: James Wadsley
Email address: wadsley@mcmaster.ca
Affiliation: McMaster University

Dear Colleagues,

This is to announce the 2016 Great Lakes Cosmology and Galaxies workshop to be held at McMaster University, Ontario, June 19-22.   The workshop will mark the 11th Great Lakes Cosmology Meeting and the first time the meeting has been held in Canada.  Please forward this message to your group members and colleagues, particularly in the US Great Lakes region.


The meeting will begin with a half-day Python in Astro workshop Sunday, June 19th and 3 days of talks will follow.   A key goal is to provide opportunities for junior researchers (graduate students and postdocs) to give talks and network.  Sessions will also include talks by senior researchers.  We aim to keep the meeting affordable with a nominal registration fee and on campus accommodation available.  Travel support is available for graduate students coming longer distances.

Simon White (MPA, Garching) will deliver an Origins public talk on Tuesday evening, June 21st, entitled:
“All from Nothing: the structuring of our Universe”.

We strongly encourage you to register and indicate your interest in giving a talk or a poster ASAP.  The registration fee will be due after talk selection.

A broad list of topics is listed on the site.  We also welcome suggestions with respect to the program and other enquiries at:

Best Regards,

James Wadsley for the organizing committee

Real-Time Embedded Engineer (104-15-1108)


Your challenge

Help bring research to life and drive your career forward with the National Research Council of Canada (NRC), Canada’s premiere research and technology organization.

We are looking for a Real-Time Embedded Engineer to support our NRC-Herzberg Astronomy and Astrophysics portfolio (NRC-HAA). The Real-Time Embedded Engineer would be someone who shares our core values of impact, accountability, leadership, integrity and collaboration.

The Astronomy Technology Program (ATP) at the NRC Herzberg is engaged in the development of leading-edge instrumentation for some of the world’s largest observatories.  Currently, the ATP is leading and participating in several development projects in radio astronomy and requires a Real Time Embedded Engineer to lead the engineering and development of embedded software for various PowerMX (www.powermx.org) hardware developments, as well as participate in other embedded developments such as FPGA firmware etc.

A significant effort is currently underway for the next generation centimetre wave radio telescope facility, the Square Kilometer Array (SKA) project.  The SKA is an international effort comprised of more than 10 signatory countries, including Canada, to develop and build a radio telescope array with about 100 times the sensitivity of the largest existing radio telescopes operating in the centimetre wave range. Canada is participating in several key areas, including leading an international consortium to execute the pre-construction work package for the Central Signal Processor (CSP).  Pre-construction efforts will develop requirements and designs for the CSP, leading to a construction proposal to build the SKA. The work of the Real-Time Embedded Engineer will be strongly focused on the SKA CSP, and he/she is expected to become a key member of the Canadian CSP team.

The Real-Time Embedded Engineer may also be involved in other radio astronomy developments that the ATP may participate in.

Screening criteria

Applicants must demonstrate within the content of their application that they meet the following screening criteria in order to be given further consideration as candidates:


PhD or Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering and/or Computer Engineering.


Significant experience in the design and development of real-time embedded software for COTS (Commercial Off-The-Shelf) or custom-designed hardware using open, custom, or bare metal RTOS (Real-Time Operating System) platforms, including working closely with hardware developers to ensure development of a fully integrated real-time embedded system.

Experience programming in C, C++, MatLab, Python, VHDL, and Verilog.

Experience in the design and development of real-time embedded boot sequences and automatic fault recovery for robust and reliable operation.

Significant experience in the design and development of real-time embedded systems.

Experience in professional documentation of designs, including in-line documentation of code.