News & Events

Jodrell Bank's Professor Richard Davis awarded OBE

13 June 2011

Rochard Davis

Professor Richard Davis of the University of Manchester's Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics has been awarded the OBE for services to science in the Queen's Birthday Honours List.

Prof. Davis has worked at Jodrell Bank since he arrived in 1971 as a postgraduate research student and has been a member of academic staff since 1978. He is now project scientist for the iconic Lovell Telescope at Jodrell Bank, taking responsibility for advising on upgrades which keep it at the cutting edge of research.

Most recently his work has focused on the Planck spacecraft - a space mission to study the Cosmic Microwave Background, the remnant radiation from the Big Bang. He is the United Kingdom's Principal Investigator for the Low Frequency Instrument (LFI) on board Planck. He led the team which designed and built the 30 and 44 GHz space-qualified cryogenic radio receivers, the most sensitive radio astronomy receivers to date in these bands. The spacecraft was launched in May 2009 and all receivers are working successfully.

Prof. Davis is now leading the UK's LFI Post-Launch Support phase of the mission. This involves monitoring and analysis of the spacecraft instruments and remote in-flight tuning to optimise their performance.

Prof. Davis said:

'I was absolutely delighted when I received the letter from the Cabinet Office saying the Prime Minister wished to forward my name to the Queen! In fact I had to ask my son to check it for me because I was somewhat beside myself.'

'Of course this is a great honour for me personally but I must say that this work has only been made possible through the efforts of a first-rate group of colleagues and friends here at Jodrell Bank. It is a pleasure to work with them. I would also like to thank the University and the Science and Technology Facilities Council for their continued funding of this research.'

Over the course of his career, Prof. Davis has published more than 150 papers in scientific journals, a number which is set to increase rapidly as the results from Planck begin to appear.

In addition to his research, Prof. Davis has been for many years an enthusiastic teacher of physics in the University's School of Physics and Astronomy. He has taught courses across a wide range of physics and astrophysics and has supervised many undergraduate and postgraduate students.

Read more about the Jodrell Bank group's work on the cosmic microwave background on the JBCA website. The Planck LFI group who worked closely with Professor Davis includes the Project Manager Dr Althea Wilkinson, and Engineers Dr Frank Winder, Eddie Blackhurst, Neil Roddis, Colin Baines, Darren Shepherd, Jason Marshall and John Edgley.

For Jodrell Bank media enquiries contact:

Daniel Cochlin
Media Relations
The University of Manchester
0161 275 8387