From the President
Dr. Ethan J. Schreier, President
As advanced research requires ever more complex and large-scale facilities, the task of designing, developing, maintaining, and operating such facilities requires technical, scientific and management capabilities often beyond the scope of individual research groups. AUI provides the breadth of oversight and depth of management skills necessary to ensure the success of these challenging enterprises while maintaining the scientific focus desired by the community. Our facilities recruit and maintain a professional staff of the highest caliber and we strive to create a work environment that is conducive to personal and professional growth. Over its 60+ year history of providing the community with tools at the forefront of research, several of which have resulted in Nobel Prizes, AUI has performed with great success. In all its endeavors, AUI has always stressed excellence, from its style of governance, to the execution of its projects, to its cooperative interactions with US government agencies and international partners.
Our Board of Trustees, drawn from universities, research institutions and industry, provides a close link with the research community to ensure its involvement and to provide oversight as we pursue programs of the highest scientific caliber. We recognize that in addition to the pursuit of pure knowledge, we have a responsibility to provide returns to the nation in the form of innovation, improved technical expertise and processes, and importantly, in the education of students and of the general public. A vigorous program of education and outreach has always been and remains a high priority for all AUI activities.
The new insights into the natural world we live in will not have a significant social impact if confined to a small number of professionals.
At the current time, AUI’s National Radio Astronomy Observatory continues to operate three forefront radio telescopes for the benefit of the international astronomy community, having just finished transforming the venerable Very Large Array into a new advanced observatory. We are also very proud of ALMA, the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array, nearing completion in Chile, which AUI built together with our partners in Europe and East Asia. ALMA is already carrying out early science observations as the world’s state-of-the-art millimeter/submillimeter observatory, providing a new window on the origins of galaxies and of planetary systems.
As we move toward the future, AUI is actively involved in efforts to improve STEM education; jointly leads the cross-disciplinary Virtual Astronomy Observatory for the benefit of the entire astronomy community; is an active partner in the CCAT Observatory planned for the north of Chile; and is helping build a connection for the United States astronomy community with the international Square Kilometre Array, the world-wide initiative to design the next generation radio astronomy facility.
We believe that AUI’s record of accomplishment, our institutions, our academic connections, and the competence of our staff gives us a strong base to move into the future. We look with confidence to the challenges to come.
Dr. Ethan J. Schreier
President Associated Universities, Inc.