About | Meet the Team

As the biggest optical telescope of the next generation, ESO’s Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) will push the boundaries of our knowledge and capabilities. Making this wonder of modern science and engineering a reality has only been made possible thanks to collaboration between different people in an enormous variety of roles.

Team at ESO

From scientists and engineers to project managers and technicians, a number of people at ESO work on the ELT. Indeed, the success of the ELT relies on the collective effort of all ESO staff, both in Germany and in Chile.

Among all the ESO staff members involved in the ELT Programme, this organogram shows the key responsibilities of some of the team members.

In addition to staff at ESO, countless contractors work for the ELT in companies across ESO member and host states. Also crucial is the huge contribution from many research institutes and universities working in consortia to build the instruments for the ELT. Without their efforts, the project would not be possible.

ELT Project Science Team

The ELT Project Science Team (PST) is an advisory working group that supports the ELT programme during the construction phase. It was established in May 2012 to provide input and advice to ESO and the ELT Programme Scientist. Specifically, the PST helps to: 

PST members 

In January 2012 ESO invited the astronomical community to nominate candidates for the ELT Project Science Team by the end of March 2012, receive more than 80 strong nominations. The project was very grateful for the overwhelming response and the great interest of the community in helping to steer the project. 

PST members are appointed for a renewable term of 3 years. The current team composition is: 

Giuseppe Bono (Chair)  Rome 
Yann Alibert  Bern 
Gael Chauvin  Grenoble 
Natascha Forster-Schreiber  MPE Garching 
Tom Herbst  MPIA Heidelberg 
Isobel Hook  Lancaster
Christoph Keller  Leiden 
Oleg Kochukhov  Uppsala 
Carlos Martins CAUP, Porto 
Norbert Przybilla  Innsbruck 
Roberto Ragazzoni  Padova Observatory 
Agustin Sanchez Lavega  Bilbao 

Subsequently, the PST was joined by the following Principal Investigators of approved ELT instrument projects: 

Ric Davies  (MICADO PI) MPE Garching 
Niranjan Thatte (HARMONI PI)  Oxford 
Bernhard Brandl (METIS PI)  Leiden/Delft
Paolo Ciliegi (MAORY PI)  INAF Bologna 

In the future the PST will be joined by the Principal Investigators of further approved ELT instrument projects. 

Former PST members include: Jordi Cepa (La Laguna and IAC, Tenerife), Thérèse Encrenaz (Paris Observatory), Roland Gredel (MPIA Heidelberg), Rubina Kotak (Belfast), Ewa Lokas (Warsaw), and Didier Queloz (Cambridge). 

Former Science Working Group

The predecessor of the PST was the Science Working Group (SWG), originally formed by ESO in December 2005 as one of five mixed community-ESO working groups (the other four being concerned with Instrumentation Design, Telescope Design, Adaptive Optics Systems and Site Evaluation). The work of these groups was required as crucial input to the Baseline Reference Design. Specifically, they were charged 

As a result of this work in April 2006 the SWG produced its first report

Later, in May 2006, the SWG merged with the OPTICON networking activity to further develop the science case for, and to provide scientific input to, the project. The group remained in place as a sub-committee of the ESO ELT Science and Engineering Working Group, which was itself a sub-committee of the ESO Scientific Technical Committee (STC). The new charge to the SWG was 

The list below shows the composition of the SWG at the time it was disbanded in February 2012. 

Jacqueline Bergeron  IAP, Paris 
Andrea Cimatti  Bologna 
Fernando Comeron  ESO 
Jose Miguel Rodriguez Espinosa       IAC, Tenerife 
Sofia Feltzing  Lund Observatory 
Wolfram Freudling ESO 
Raffaele Gratton  Padua Observatory 
Martin Haehnelt  IoA, Cambridge 
Isobel Hook (Chair)  Oxford 
Hans-Ulli Kaeufl  ESO 
Matt Lehnert Paris Observatory 
Christophe Lovis  Geneva Observatory 
Piero Madau Santa Cruz 
Mark McCaughrean Exeter 
Michael Merrifield  Nottingham
Rafael Rebolo  IAC, Tenerife 
Piero Rosati  ESO
Eline Tolstoy Groningen 
Hans Zinnecker AIP, Potsdam 


Previous members: Arne Ardeberg, Willy Benz, Robert Fosbury, Marijn Franx, Vanessa Hill, Bruno Leibundgut, Markus Kissler-Patig, Didier Queloz, Peter Shaver, Stephane Udry.