Any view or statement made on this page is not part of an official standpoint of ESO.
||Paul Bristow PhD,BSc
||Date of Birth:
|Place of Birth:
||Married to Christine
Office 316, ESO,
Karl-Schwarzschild Straße, 2,
Garching bei München,
Instrumentation Engineer/Physicist in the Instrument Systems
Department (INSY) within the Directorate for Engineering
at ESO. I am
involved in the development, implementation, testing and scientific
verification of advanced model based calibration techniques. In
particular I am concerned with the model algorithms, optimisation
routines, pipeline implementation (through collaboration with
the Pipeline Systems Department)
and graphical aids. Other activities include investigating upgrade
possibilites for existing instruments and systems engineering aspects
of proposed new instruments.
All of these activities lead to my involvement in a number of
instrumentation projects for ESO's Very Large
MATISSE and CUBES
Much of this work involves detailed understanding of the data
reduction pipelines and C
coding to produce functions that will interface with pipelines written
Pipeline Library. To this end I recently attended a one week C
course at Learning Tree
International, I scored 90% in the end of course
Another significant activity in recent years has been
representing the Instrumentation division at the Information
Technology User Group and maintaining instrument development related web
Hubble Space Telescope Science Archive Software Specialist at the European
Southern Observatory (ESO) in the Space
Telescope European Co-ordinating Facility (ST-ECF) Instrument Physical Modeling
group (IPMG). The IPMG is responsible for the Calibration Enhancement (CE) project, which aims to
enhance the ostensibly empirical data reduction pipelines developed at
the Space Telescope Science Institue (STScI) by the addition of physically
motivated solutions to specific calibration problems.
I worked in
particular on the flat fielding and dark current corrections for the
Faint Object Spectrograph and developed a model to remove the
effects of imperfect charge transfer efficiency in Space Telescope Imaging
Spectrograph (STIS) CCD data (in principal applicable to other space
based CCD detectors). I was also involved in the development of a
model based wavelength calibration, this is the technique
which we are now porting to ESO instruments (see Current Position).
In addition I worked
on solutions to miscellaneous coding problems arising in other aspects
of the CE project, e.g. the automatic identification and classification
of spectral lines from laboratory measurements of calibration lamps. In addition I maintained the web pages.
Our instrument modelling work for HST was recognised in 2006 by a NASA "Public Service Group Achievement Award". (details to follow)
- Scientific Assistant/Technical Writer in the
Operational Research Department at
NATO's SACLANT Undersea
Research Centre (now CMRE)
in La Spezia,
Italy. I was involved in the development of a computer
based operational decision aid. I worked on many aspects of the project
including environmental database generation, search algorithms, testing
and documentation. In April 1999 I attended a two-week intensive "Post
Experience" course in "Underwater Acoustics and Sonar Systems".
Web site developer for FINET
World Wide Web Design. Design and implementation of website packages
for clients in the entertainment industry. Consequently I gained experience
with HTML, CGI scripts and Microsoft's Frontpage97.
I spent five months in Munich working at ESO in the ST-ECF
group. I was involved in a project which refined the Wide
Field and Planetary Camera II archive data pipeline so that it incorporated
the cosmic ray removal of associated HST
exposures. The work involved manipulation of databases (SQL), automating
data reduction procedures (IRAF, Perl)
and providing a service to users via the internet. This project has been subsequently
developed as the ``WFPC2 Associations Project'', an early step in the
direction of the virtual observatory concept.
||In October '96 I had my PhD thesis in Astrophysics accepted and was
granted an unconditional pass. The first two years of research were conducted
at University of Wales, College of
Cardiff, but the work was completed at Bristol
University, I officially graduated from Cardiff. My thesis title was
``Simulating Faint Galaxy Fields.'' The research involved Monte-Carlo style
simulations of galaxy populations leading to simulated data
which can be compared to real observations. The software has been used
to constrain parameters describing the underlying large scale galaxy distribution.
||BSc (Hons) in Astrophysics (First Class), University
of Wales, College of Cardiff. Awarded Selby Scholarship for performance
in first year. Final year project involved the simulation of infra red
emission from dust in the disc of our galaxy.
||Cheney Secondary School, Headington, Oxford.
||`A' Levels: Mathematics A, Physics A, Further Mathematics B.
||`O' Levels: Mathematics A, English B, Physics A,
Geography A, Chemistry B, History, B, Art C, Technical Drawing C
||I have had a number of academic papers published
in refereed and non refereed journals. In addition I am
the author of a number of
Science Reports and have refereed papers submitted
to peer reviewed journals.
I regularly use the following languages/applications;
Plotting packages such as Xgobi and SM
Simulated Annealing Optimisation
I also have some experience (either occasional use in my
current work or regular use in the past) with;
- Zemax (Optical Modelling)
I have previously lived and worked in Italy for two years and learnt
to read, write, speak and understand Italian. I also taught English as a foreign language while I was in Italy
I have been living and working in Germany for more than
ten years. I can read, write, speak and understand German.
- At ESO I work on projects in collaboration with
teams from institutes across Europe and around the World.
- I have superved a German physics student's "Practikum" project.
- I have supervised
and marked the work from preliminary year physics lab classes and first
year Astronomy exercise classes.
- I have also
marked the work from a second year theoretical physics course.
- I have gained leadership/motivational experience in my involvement with athletics, see below
occasionally visit ESO's Paranal observatory to work on instrument
projects that I am involved with. I have spent two
fortnights at the Observatorio
del Roque de los Muchachos in La
Palma operating the HitchHiker parallel Camera on the William
||Order Administrator, Research
||Various shop sales work to finance my studies.
Full UK Drivers
License since 1988. No penalty points. Plenty of experience in left and
right hand drive vehicles both in the UK and mainland Europe. I also have
considerable experience of driving passenger minibuses in the UK and abroad.
In 1997 I scored
90% in the BIS Parity Test
I am involved in track and field athletics and cross country running
at many levels. I was an active member of Cardiff University Running
Club for 5 years (awarded colours in 91 and 95), captaining it in
As captain I organised trips to races in Paris and many destinations
in the UK along with training programmes, social events and a 24 hour,
200 mile sponsored relay run across Wales in aid of `Children
in Need'. I have since helped with the organisation of Bristol
University Track and Field Club (awarded half colours in '95). I have
competed for my home club, Oxford City AC, in all age groups, receiving
the ``Senior Men's track athlete of the year'' award in
1992. Since then I have
competed for Cardiff AAC, whom I represented in Divisions
1&2 of the British
Athletics League, Trionfo
Ligure in Italy and (currently) LG
SWM München in Germany. In 2003 I won the
Arge-Alpe Indoor meeting while representing
Bavaria in February, then in August I won a bronze medal
in the Southern German championships. At the end of the
year I received the Men's Athlete of the year award from
LG München. In 2011 I won the British Veteran's M40
800m Gold and in 2012 the World Masters Indoor M40 800m
Gold. Previously I have reached the English Schools
finals, represented Southern England and won a bronze
medal in the British Students Indoor Championships
800m. I have also tested running shoes for Adidas.
Other Sports : I take part in many other sports (football,snowboarding,
skiing, mountain-biking, orienteering, basketball, roller-blading, skateboarding etc.)
at a somewhat less competitive level.
- Travelling : I have ``backpacked'' around
mainland Europe several times, I currently enjoy
travelling for work in Europe, the US and Chile. Recently I
snowboarded in the Indian Himalayas and in the Andes and attended
conferences in Tokyo, Victoria (Canada), New Mexico, Hawaii,
California, and Cozumel (Mexico), taking the opportunity to explore the
surroundings on these occasions.
- I am the proud father of two children: Amber
(born 2007) and Luxon (born 2012)