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This month, ICRAR has played host to important international guests, including dignitaries and world leaders in astronomy.

In the lead up to the incredible week that marked the start of the SKA’s construction, we welcomed leaders from the European Southern Observatory (ESO) and the Square Kilometre Array Organisation (SKAO), along with the Swiss ambassador.

On November 28th, we were honoured with a special visit from ESO to present several talks before touring the ICRAR UWA node and the Pawsey Centre.

ICRAR staff and guests welcomed the delegation from ESO as the SKA’s construction approached.

Present were ESO Director-General Professor Xavier Barcons, Council President Professor Linda Tacconi, Head of the Office of the Director General Ms Laura Comendador Frutos, and the Director of Science Professor Rob Ivison, who enjoyed the opportunity to meet with ICRAR staff alongside colleagues from the Department of Industry, Science and Resources, Astronomy Australia Limited and the SKAO.

During their tour and morning tea, Professor Barcons praised the critical role ICRAR plays in both the SKA and astronomy globally, believing it to be an important part of the community which ESO exists to serve.

The Swiss ambassador, Her Excellency Mrs Caroline Bichet-Anthamatten, visited the ICRAR/Curtin node and received presentations about ICRAR, SKA, ASKAP, Pawsey and MWA.

A few days later, on November 30th, it was our privilege to welcome the Swiss ambassador, Her Excellency Mrs Caroline Bichet-Anthamatten, to the ICRAR-Curtin node where she received presentations about ICRAR, the SKA, the ASKAP Radio Telescope, the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre and the Murchison Widefield Array.

The Ambassador was on her way to the SKA celebration events and was keen to learn more about the project and explore possible collaborations with ICRAR now that Switzerland is a full SKA member.

ICRAR are looking forward to the opportunities working with members of the SKA will bring in the future as the project becomes a truly global partnership.

SKAO’s visit to ICRAR was made during the preparations for the SKA C3 event.
(L-R) Dr Jimi Green, Professor Phil Diamond, Lister Staveley-Smith and Dr Sarah Pearce.

Another two days later, on the Friday before the SKA C3 ceremony, we welcomed the Square Kilometre Array Organisation’s Professor Phil Diamond to ICRAR-UWA to provide an update on the SKA project and its next phase.

Phil delivered a presentation to staff and students sharing his insights about the contribution the SKA project is expected to deliver to the global science community in the years to come.

Joining him was Dr Sarah Pearce, SKA-Low Telescope Director and Dr Jimi Green, SKA-Low Telescope Head of Science Operations who also provided some great perspective on the SKA-Low’s progress as part of a short talk during our morning tea.

ICRAR would like to thank Professor Diamond, Dr Pearce, and Dr Green for joining us during what was likely a very busy week, along with the ESO delegation and the Swiss Ambassador who made time in their schedule to meet with us.

Our staff greatly appreciated their time and the opportunity to further strengthen the relationship between our organisations.