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MEET: ALISTAIR GLASSE, JAMES WEBB SPACE TELESCOPE MID-INFRARED INSTRUMENT (MIRI) INSTRUMENT SCIENTIST

Alistair Glasse

Alistair Glasse is the Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI) instrument scientist. He loves working on a great team of people from across Europe and the U.S. in order to build something that can truly expand human knowledge. He has been building infrared instrumentation for astronomy for the past 30 years.

He has worked as a project scientist for the Michelle Instrument at United Kingdom Infrared Telescope on Mauna Kea, Hawaii, and as a research assistant in the Infrared Space Observatory team at European Space Agency (ESA)/ European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) in Noordwijk, the Netherlands.

He went to school in central London and has a bachelor of science in Physics from the University of Manchester, and a Ph.D. in astronomy instrumentation at University College London. He spent some time flying instruments on helium balloons in Texas and New Mexico in the 1980's. He spent two years at ESA/ESTEC in the Netherlands from 1987 to 1989. He moved to the Royal Observatory Edinburgh in 1989 to work for the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope. He was appointed project scientist for the Michelle mid-infrared instrument (a ground-based precursor of Webb telescope's MIRI) in 1992.  

He spent two years working with the Michelle Instrument in Hawaii from 2001 to 2003. Today, he lives in a small Scottish village about 20 miles south of Edinburgh with his wife Allison and two sons, Oliver and Henry.

He enjoys being with his family, playing soccer and going to Newcastle United games with his son. He frequently gives talks about astronomy to schools, youth groups and astronomy clubs.