SURF Keynote: Hilton Lewis
Hilton Lewis from Keck Observatory in Hawaii presented the keynote address of the Student Undergraduate Research Festival entitled, "W. M. Keck Observatory: Portal to the Universe."
Reception to follow in the Scola from 8:00 - 9:00 p.m. This event is free and open to the public.
Since first light in 1993, the W. M. Keck Observatory has been the largest, most versatile, and most productive astronomical observatory among the world's optical and infrared telescopes. Hilton Lewis, appointed as Keck Observatory Director in 2014, was one of the original designers of the observatory. He participated in the introduction of some of its most advanced technologies, including segmented primary mirrors, adaptive optics, and laser guide stars. Using these technologies and their giant light grasp, the Keck telescopes have been central to some of the most seminal discoveries of the past quarter century, including the discovery of dark energy, providing the definitive evidence of a super-massive black hole at the center of the Milky Way Galaxy, and the discovery and categorization of the first exoplanets. Hilton will share the complex engineering behind the Keck telescopes and their resulting scientific discoveries. In addition, he will tell his personal story and what he believes is critical for Keck Observatory's continued success today, tomorrow, and well into the future.
About Hilton Lewis, Director of the W. M. Keck Observatory
Hilton Lewis is the Director of the W. M. Keck Observatory. He has held many leadership roles throughout the history of the Observatory, ranging from software development to managing the engineering division to overseeing the full range of technical activities required to develop and operate this world-leading research facility. Lewis holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Cape Town and earned his MBA from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. Lewis was recruited in 1986 to lead the design and development of the software that controls the Keck Observatory’s twin, 10-meter telescopes. He then took over management of all software, mechanical and electronic engineering at the Observatory before being promoted to Deputy Director in 2002 with overall responsibility for all technical activities. Lewis was selected by the California Association for Astronomy Board to lead the Observatory as its Director in 2014. Lewis has dedicated his career to building, operating and updating the most sophisticated ground- based optical/infrared telescopes in the world, a commitment that has contributed to the unprecedented astronomical innovation and forefront science of the W. M. Keck Observatory.
Above: Hilton Lewis, Director of the W. M. Keck Observatory