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Engineers in the field of Astronomy and Astrophysics

  1. Feb 9, 2008 #1
    I have had a love for astronomy when I was a child. Today, I am well on my way toward becoming an engineer (Mech). I would like to find out how much of a common thing is it for engineers to go work for astronomical societies/research institutes/ observatories doing any kind of engineering work..maybe designing new instruments, optics, designing new observatories or anything else related. And i'm talking about working directly for them rather than working for an engineering company whose contracted to do design work.

    I've also thought about the possiblity of doing PhD studies in astrophysics with my developing CFD background. Any thoughts on that? Would there be an easy transition? Many opportunities?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 9, 2008 #2


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    A lot of the engineering of instruments and to a lesser extent the telescopes is done in house. Carnegie Institute (OCIW) UC-Santa Cruz (lick) + Caltech and U Arizona are building large telescope projects. There are also national observatories and international projects such as ESO.
    Many more depts develop instruments.

    Have a look in your library for SPIE (Society Photonic Instrumentation engineers) there is a bi-annual conference on large telescopes which will give you pointers on who is building what - there is a whole generation of Very-very large > 25m telescope projects starting.
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2008
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