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Project Scientist Named for International Gemini Project

February 8, 1996

The Gemini 8-meter Telescopes Project is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Fred Gillett as the Gemini Project Scientist. On making the announcement, the Gemini Project Director Dr. Matt Mountain said:

"Fred Gillett is widely recognized and highly respected as a scientific and technical leader in the infrared astronomical community. He served as chairman of the infrared panel for the last decade-review of astronomy and astrophysics in the US. We are delighted to have him on board as Project Scientist."

The Gemini 8-meter Telescopes Project is an international partnership to build two 8-meter telescopes, one on Mauna Kea, Hawaii, and one on Cerro Pachon, Chile. The Gemini Project is managed by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy under cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation, for the six partner countries (the United Kingdom, Canada, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, and the United States).

Dr. Gillett has served since December 1994 as Interim Project Scientist for Gemini. Before that her was a member of the International Gemini Science Committee, and Associate US Gemini Project Scientist in the US Gemini Project Office of the National Optical Astronomy Observatory in Tucson, Arizona. He received a BSc in Physics from the University of Minnesota in 1960 and a PhD in Physics in 1966 from the same institution. Since that time he has participated in the development of the emerging field or IR astronomy in a variety of capacities, including two stints with NASA, first as a key member of the IRAS infrared sky survey project, and then as a visiting scientist in the NASA Astrophysics Division in Washington, DC. He has been a scientific staff member at NOAO in Tucson since 1973 as has been involved in Gemini project support since 1989. Fred's research in infrared astronomy has included pioneering studies of interstellar and circumstellar matter. He is intimately familiar with the instrumentation and detectors used in infrared astronomy.

The chairman of the search committee, Dr. Gordon Walker of the University of British Columbia, said of Dr. Gillett:

"Fred brings to the position of Project Scientist a total understanding of the Gemini telescopes with a strong commitment to preserving their unique scientific characteristics."

Dr. Gillett took up his appointment of Gemini Project Scientist on 1 December 1995.

AURA is a consortium of 25 US universities and 3 foreign affiliate institutions that manages the National Optical Astronomy Observatories and the Gemini Telescope Project in Tucson, Arizona, under separate cooperative agreements with the National Science Foundation; and the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Maryland under contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.