Alberto J. Castro-Tirado
Alberto J. Castro-Tirado was born in the Andalucian town of Málaga, southern Spain, in 1966. He got his M.S. degree at the University of Granada in 1989, being awarded in 1987 in the European Philips Contest for Young Scientists and Inventors, with a work in clusters and superclusters of galaxies. In 1990, he moved to the Danish Space Research Institute in Lyngby in order to work with the WATCH X-ray instrument aboard the Russian Granat satellite. He discovered GRS 1915+105, which later became the most massive stellar black hole known in our Galaxy. He earned his Ph.D. degree in Copenhagen University in 1994, just before moving to LAEFF-INTA in Madrid, Spain. In 2000 he became “Cientifo Titular” (staff member) at Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (IAA-CSIC) in Granada. Currently, he is working in the field of high-energy astrophysics and multiwavelength astronomy, especially in relation to compact objects (neutron stars, black holes) and the enigmatic gamma-ray bursts (the most energetic phenomena in the Universe after the Big Bang). In the latter field, he is coordinating observations with a large number of facilities worldwide. He is also involved in the technological development of instruments for space missions (Co-I for the JEM-X telescope on ESA's satelite Integral) and has led the pioneering work in Spain regarding the design and robotization of rapid-slewing optical/near-infrared telescopes (BOOTES project) of which he is PI. In 2004 he obtained (together with another 17 scientists) the European Union Descartes Award for research in the gamma-ray burst field. In 2006 he was awarded with an international patent regarding a sensitive, high format, all-sky camera (which is being used in the BOOTES stations) and in 2007 was promoted to “Investigador Científico” at CSIC. He has written more then 150 papers for specialized scientific journals (including Science and Nature), besides his book X-ray Astronomy (1999) in spanish (prologued by R. Giacconi).
Biography Updated on 23 January 2008