Signing Ceremony of the MoU between UWA and NAOC

On Oct. 23, The University of Western Australia (UWA) and the National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences (NAOC), signed an agreement that will see up to 50 Chinese PhD students visit UWA over the next five years.

The students will work alongside top astrophysicists at the UWA node of the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research, honing their skills to help make the world's biggest radio telescope, the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), a reality.

The SKA will be built from 2018 with different parts of the telescope located in Australia and South Africa. Australia will host a low frequency array as well as a fast survey 'dish' array at its core site in Western Australia, and South Africa will host an array of high frequency 'dish' antennas in the Karoo region.

The unprecedented sensitivity of the thousands of individual radio receivers will combine to create the world's largest radio telescope. This will give astronomers insight into the formation and evolution of the first stars and galaxies after the Big Bang, the role of cosmic magnetism, the nature of gravity and possibly even life beyond Earth.

The Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Mr Iain Watt, Pro Vice-Chancellor (International) of UWA and Prof. Jun Yan, Director of the NAOC, during a ceremony held at NAOC Headquarters in Beijing. Prof. Tony O’Donnell, the dean of Science Department of UWA, Prof. John Dell, the dean of Department of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics of UWA, and Mr. Guifei Jing, Deputy Director-General of China SKA Office of MOST, Dr. Hui Sun and Bolun Ning from the Bureau of International Cooperation of CAS, Prof. Bo Peng, Prof. Bo Qin and Ms. Yanchun Liang from the NAOC, attended the ceremony.

Background Information

UWA is the administrative centre for the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR), which engages in leading research in astronomy and astrophysics and plays a leading role in the planning and design of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA).

UWA is a member of the "Group of Eight" Australian research universities and is ranked in the top 1% of the world's universities with an international reputation for excellence and enterprise.


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