CV: Staff astronomer



Personal information
Contact information
Candidate Profile
 Date Submitted:07-12-2012
 Last Modified:09-12-2012 (05:01)
Job information
 Current job:Staff astronomer
 Employment Term:Permanent
 Job location:Europe only
 Date available:>3months
 Industry:Satellite Operators, ,
 KeywordsTeam work and leadership User support Independent research Problem solving skills

Academic career


1981 - 1986     Liceo Classico Ist. Nazareth, Rome. 


July 1986          Licenza liceale classica, grade: 60/60 cum laude.


23 June 1994   Laurea degree in Physics at Rome University 

                         "La Sapienza" 

                         Thesis's title: Surface photometry of face-on spiral galaxies,

                         grade: 107/110 

                         Advisors: Dr. G. Natali and Prof. P. Giannone


17 May 1995    Beginning of graduate school in Physics 

                         at the University of Trieste



1997-1998      Visiting student at the Ohio-State University

                        Columbus, Ohio.


Jan.-Mar. 1998  Teaching Associate at the Ohio-State

                           University, Columbus, Ohio.


15 Jan.1999     Defense of Ph.D. thesis in Physics: 

                        Thesis's title: Spheroidal structures in spiral galaxies: a study of the relationship of bars to triaxial bulges

                        Advisors: Prof. F. Matteucci and Dr. J. Danziger.

                        Ph.D. in Physics




2 - 7 Oct. 2006  IRAM millimetric interferometry school

                          IRAM HQ, Grenoble, France


26 Aug. - 7 Sep 1999 Infrared and submillimetric astronomy from space

                                  International school of space science

                                  Coppito (AQ), Italia


29 Aug. - 12 Sep 1994 X and gamma ray astronomy from space                  

                                     International school of space science

                                     Coppito (AQ), Italia


14 - 26 Sep 1992  Ultraviolet and optical astronomy from space                  

                            International school of space science

                            Coppito (AQ), Italia  


13 - 17 Nov 1995  Computer networks I: Introductory course

                              University of Trieste, Trieste, Italy


19 Nov - 6 Dic 1995  Computer networks II: advanced course

                                   University of Trieste, Trieste, Italy


15 - 26 July 1996 Fifth E.S.O.-O.H.P. summer school          

                            Observatoire de Haute Provence   

                            St. Michel, Haute Provence, France




Working career


15 Nov. 1998 - 10 Mar 1999

Collaboration with the astrometric group of Turin Observatory (consultant contract) to realize the Second Guide Star Catalog for the Space Telescope 

(Project GSPCII)


23 Mar 1999 - 28 Feb 2001

European Southern Observatory (ESO) Post-doctoral Fellowship, duty station at La Silla Observatory (2.2 Team) and Santiago headquarters


1 Mar 2001 - 28 Feb 2002    

E.S.O. Staff astronomer, duty station at Paranal Observatory and Santiago headquarters


1 Mar. 2002 - 31 Dec. 2006   

E.S.O. Staff astronomer, duty station at La Silla Observatory and Santiago headquarters


Jan. 2007 -   current (tenure position)    

E.S.O. Staff astronomer, duty station at Paranal Observatory and Santiago headquarters.



Technical expertise 


  • Good knowledge of astronomical data processing software in the optical and in the near infrared (MIDAS, IRAF, VISTA, eclipse, IDL basics), basics of processing of interferometric radio observations (KARMA, MIRIAD)
  • Good knowledge of Fortan and HTML, wiki, basics of Tcl/Tk;
  • Good knowledge of Linux, OS X (Macintosh);
  • Good knowledge of spreadsheets (Excel, Kaleidagraph, Igor, Grace);
  • Good level of system maintenance on Mac OS X including scientific software support;
  • Experience in optical spectroscopy (long slit and echelle) and imaging; near infrared imaging; active optics with natural and laser guide star; experience in adaptive optics and basics of radio astronomy;
  • Instrument scientist of several astronomical instruments (FEROS, Boller&Chivens spectrograph, DFOSC, FORSes, EMMI, NTT, NACO) and experience in use of adaptive optics systems;
  • Good knowledge of WFI, ISAAC, SOFI, SUSI, EFOSC2, SINFONI and HAWK-I, telescopes (1.52m, 1.54m Danish, 2.2m, VLT) and Laser Guide Star assisted observations;
  • Support level knowledge of UVES, FLAMES, CRIRES, VIMOS.
  • Experience in supporting visitor and service mode runs, data quality control and user support at large.
  • Experience with pipelines for data reduction, and development/writing of quick look tools for astronomical data;
  • Good experience in handling, writing and testing observational and technical templates for ESO instruments;
  • Obsering experience at Campo Imperatore Observatory, La Silla and Paranal Observatory, ATCA, IRAM single dish (one run only);
  • Several approved observing runs as PI both in La Silla and in Paranal at EFOSC2, EMMI, IRAC2, B&C spectrograph, VIMOS and FORS. Two approved runs at Australian Telescope Compact Array and another approved run at the single dish 30m telescope at IRAM.


Expertise within the Organization (ESO)


  • P.I. of a proposal for a new spectrograph, presented to STC in 2003, following the ESO call for a next generation NTT instrument;
  • Contact person at ESO for the 3D-NTT, a wide field of view Fabry-Perot integral field spectrograph, plannned as a visiting instrument for the NTT;
  • Invited chairman of the final design review for the 3D-NTT, Meudon Observatory, Paris 2008;
  • Acting team leader of La Silla Science Operations team in 2004-2005;
  • Responsibility and coordination of the astronomy summer practice of chilean students at La Silla Observatory (2004-2006): this program, unique to La Silla site, allowed recently graduated master students or young PhD students to spend the summer months working on a dedicated project at the Observatory, under the supervision of an ESO staff astronomer.
  • Member of the commissioning team for the new FORS1 blue sensitive CCD; among other tasks, my responsibilities were the characterization of the efficiency of the spectroscopic mode, and the creation of a quick-tool to reduce and analyze FORS spectra.
  • Member of the commissioning team for the merging of the two FORSes in one instrument: my main responsibility has been to coordinate the preparatory activities of the engineering team, schedule and run SW and HW tests and to define a new procedure to measure the zero polarimetric angle of the instrument after remounting the polarization optics (ESO internal document).


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