Director's Colloquium

Exploring the universe with the square kilometre array

Dr Lisa Harvey-Smith
Astronomy and Space Science

What is Dark Matter? How did the solar system form? Was Einstein right about the nature of gravity? Are we alone in the universe?

To tackle these fundamental questions, an international consortium of ten nations is currently designing the 'Square Kilometre Array’ (SKA). Comprising thousands of radio receivers located in Africa and Australia, the SKA will be the world’s most powerful radio telescope. It will revolutionise our understanding of the universe, from the first stars and galaxies formed after the Big Bang to the formation of planet Earth. In preparation for this mega-science project, the CSIRO has built the Australian SKA Pathfinder (ASKAP) telescope which is due to start early science operations next year. 

In this talk, Dr. Lisa Harvey-Smith will reveal early scientific results, explain the technology behind the telescope and describe many mysteries it will tackle.

Dr. Lisa Harvey-Smith is an astronomer at the CSIRO and the Project Scientist for the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) telescope. She uses radio telescopes to study the birth and death of stars in the Milky Way and to measure interactions between colliding galaxies. Lisa leads the Science Operations Support team at the Australia Telescope National Facility and is a member of national and international science advisory committees. In 2015 Lisa was a co-recipient of the CSIRO Chairmans Medal and a finalist in the Eureka Prize for Public Understanding of Australian Science Research. She recently introduced science superstars Buzz Aldrin and Neil DeGrasse Tyson at sold-out shows across Australia.

Date & time

Tue 5 Apr 2016, 12–1pm



Leonard Huxley Lecture Theatre


Staff, students and public welcome