George Bendo's Webpages


I was born in 1974 in the state of New York in the United States. My father, a urologist, seemed to feel the need to move frequently, so I ended up growing up in multiple small towns across the United States, including Biddeford, Maine, Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, and Havre, Montana. I had a broad range of interests growing up, but I was particularly interested in reading (including Marvel comic books), computers, and biking. I spent a lot of time teaching myself how to program in BASIC.

As I was interested in science, I decided to go into astronomy research as a career. I received my undergraduate degree from New Mexico Tech and my graduate degrees from the University of Hawaii, finishing my Ph.D. work in 2002. I was largely interested in extragalactic astronomy at this time and specialized in working with infrared and submillimeter observations of interstellar dust and star formation in nearby galaxies. I became very interested in photography, particualrly while travelling, and travel photography continues to be a hobby of mine. I also spent a lot of time doing martial arts training, and while in Hawaii, snorkeling.

My first postdoctoral position, which ran from 2002 to 2005, was working with the Spitzer Infrared Nearby Galaxies Survey at Stweard Observatory, which is part of the University of Arizona. My primary work there was to process the mid- and far-infrared images for the project. I also published several papers focused on understanding the dust and star formation within the galaxies in the sample. Outside of work, I continued to train in martial arts, I spent a lot of time travelling around the southwestern United States, and I also volunteered at Saugaro National Park.

My second research position was at Imperial College London working as an instrument support scientist for the SPIRE instrument on the Herschel Space Observatory. This position ran from 2005 to 2010. Among other things, I was responsible for the flux calibration of the imaging arrays on the instrument, and I became one of the experts in using the telescope to study dust emission in nearby galaxies. Unfortunately, living in London was expensive, but I found ways to enjoy myself while travelling around the city, and I also took advantage of opportunities for international travel related to my research work.

My current position is working as an ALMA Contact Scientist at the University of Manchester. My primary work duties are to support other UK-based astronomers working with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA). I have become one of the more experienced astronomers working for ALMA, and I routinely organize or participate at various training workshops. I have also published some research based on ALMA. My earlier ALMA papers were based on studying star formation in the centers of nearby starburst galaxies, but my current research has focused more on understanding dust in more distant gravitationally-lensed galaxies.

While working in Manchester, I became involved with podcasting. I first started working on the Jodcast (named after Jodrell Bank Observatory). Then, in 2019, I started my own podcast named George's Random Astronomical Object. My podcast reached 100 episodes in 2023 and is still ongoing.

I also received a diagnosis for autism spectral disorder in 2012, which largely changed my perspective on life. Very gradually, I have also been getting involved with autism-related research at the University of Manchester as well as involved in other autism-related activities. Through these activities, my diagnosis has more-or-less become public knowledge, and I frequently talk about my diagnosis with other people.

In my spare spare time, aside from the podcasting, I still do a lot of travel and a lot of photography, and I also avidly play games on my computer.