JoRis Verbiest

IPTA Project Manager


1982: born in Belgium 
2000-2003: BSc in Aerospace Engineering, Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands 
2003-2005: MSc in “Advanced Techniques in Radio Astronomy and Space Science” at Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden 
2005-2009: PhD in radio astronomy at Swinburne University of Technology (Melbourne) and ATNF/CSIRO (Sydney), Australia 
2009: Postdoctoral Researcher at WVU, USA 
2010-2012: Marie-Curie fellow at Max-Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy (MPIfR) in Bonn, Germany 
2012-2013: postdoctoral researcher at MPIfR in Bonn, Germany 
2013-2020: juniorprofessor (comparable to assistant professor) in physics at Bielefeld University, Germany 
2020-2022: professor (comparable to associate professor) in astrophysics at Bielefeld University, Germany 
2022-…: IPTA project manager at FSI

Dr. Verbiest’s educational background is largely technological, although his scientific career (from the PhD onwards) has had little to do with technology and is mostly data analysis and is getting closer to data science every year. The scientific highlights have been PTA work (i.e. Pulsar Timing Array work, which is the effort to detect gravitational waves by meticulously analysing the arrival times of pulses from pulsars). During his PhD on that topic, he was the first to demonstrate (based on real data rather than theoretical predictions) that the PTA concept was indeed viable; during his Marie-Curie stint he led the first global combination of PTA data. As a professor, he shifted his focus somewhat to low-frequency radio astronomy (think <250MHz), specifically in order to study the ionised interstellar medium. This naturally forced him into studying the heliosphere and, to some degree, the ionosphere as well. (That looks like a very different topic, but as it turns out, the heliosphere and the ionised interstellar medium are critical for the success of PTA research.) 

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