Dr Lee Spitler - Winner of the 2015 Early Career Researcher of the Year Award - Engineering, Medicine and Science
Dr Lee Spitler - Winner of the 2015 Early Career Researcher of the Year Award - Engineering, Medicine and Science

A gateway to distant galaxies

Dr Lee Spitler’s research develops methods to maximise the information extracted from telescope observations. This allows the charting of previously unknown aspects of the universe and provides a gateway to new and original research investigations.

Dr Spitler focuses his research on galactic structures. Not only do they – in Dr Spilter’s opinion – constitute the more interesting components of the universe, but they also serve as bright beacons that can be observed nearly to the edge of the universe. Models of galaxy formation and evolution underpin much of the observations interpretation and theoretical modelling in the entire field of astrophysics. Dr Spitler aims to develop a timeline of galactic evolution over the last 13.7 billion years.

Dr Spitler has extensive experience in establishing observational strategies for effective telescope use. He knows how important it is to provide real time data quality control at the telescope and how time consuming it is to prepare image datasets for scientific use – typically months of work. 1.3 million individual images (10 Terabytes worth) from 45 nights of observing over a 2-year period will convert into 18 science-ready images taking up only 1.5 Gigabytes.