Director, Astronomy and Space Science, CSIRO

Lewis is Director of CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science, which delivers world leading telescopes for use by radio astronomers from around the world and operates the Tidbinbilla space tracking facility outside Canberra as part of NASA's global Deep Space Network.

Lewis is an astrophysicist who is inspired by the impact delivered through the use of some of the most complex and sensitive facilities in the world to study the Universe around us. After 13 years as a full time researcher working in Australia, Sweden and Germany he joined CSIRO's Australia Telescope National Facility and worked at the Parkes radio telescope and later at the Radiophysics Laboratory in Marsfield Sydney. He then spent nearly three years in Chile as Deputy Director of the world's largest astronomy observatory, the Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array (or ALMA) where he was responsible for the start of scientific operations in 2011.

In 2013 he moved back to Australia where he leads CSIRO's 250 or so staff who deliver some of the world's most advanced instrumentation for spacecraft control and communication and for radio astronomy, including playing a leading role in the Square Kilometre Array, a project aiming to build a huge radio telescope in Australia and Southern Africa.

Lewis's research has focussed on theoretical astrophysics and the modelling of the underlying processes responsible for the observed features of a range of astrophysical phenomena including particle acceleration in the Earth's magnetosphere, the collar corona, and in supernovae. He pioneered the theory of gamma-ray emission from the winds of binary radio pulsars, leading to the confirmation that they can be detected at the highest energies accessible through atmospheric Cherenkov telescopes.

Experience

  • –present
    Director, Astronomy and Space Science, CSIRO
  • 2010–2013
    Deputy Director, ALMA, NRAO

Education

  • 1988 
    University of Sydney, PhD
  • 1984 
    University of Sydney, BSc (Hons)

Research Areas

  • Astronomical And Space Sciences (0201)