On September 20 and 21, Norway immersed itself into the Forskningstorget, their nation wide science fair. One of the main streets in Oslo, Karl Johan, hosted a myriad of different activities and booths, including one for the Rosseland Center for Solar Physics (RoCS), our EST partner in Norway.

Scientists had a wonderful time answering the many questions about the Sun... in six languages (the team in Oslo is truly international: they speak Hindi, Marathi, Spanish, Italian, English and - of course- Norwegian). There was also a motor model of the Solar System and video projections of solar images.

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She holds an Industrial Electrical Engineer degree from University of Zaragoza and started working at the Observatorio Roque de los Muchachos (ORM, La Palma) as site testing engineer for the Large Earth Solar Based Telescope. She has also worked for the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias as ORM Site Manager, and as Project Manager at IAC Technology Division. Thirty three years’ experience in different fields related to the design, construction, operation and maintenance of instrumentation and telescopes will be her contribution to the EST project. 


Miguel is an engineer with 16 years experience. He was software
developer and AIV tester for the GTC active optics and EELT M1
actuators prototypes. He was also responsible for the electronics
of the GTC infrared instrument EMIR, including contributions to
the detector controller and characterization. He also organized
the integration of the electronics subsystems of EMIR at the GTC
telescope. Right before joining EST he was in charge of the
servo control and reconstruction strategy for the GTC Adaptive
Optics project. He joined EST in April 2019 as EST system engineer.


Jorge has a M.Sc. degree in Applied Physics and a Ph.D. in Optical
Engineering as well as 20 years of experience as optical engineer
in the design, specification and testing of imaging, non-imaging,
spectroscopy and optical calibration systems. The last 15 years
he has developed optical engineering tasks focused on large
astronomical telescopes and their instrumentation. Besides, since
2018 he is in charge of the EST optical design.

  Luzma holds a PhD degree in Physics and more than 15 years of
experience in Astronomical Instrumentation. She works
at Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias as Adaptive Optics Scientist.
She is responsible for the development of Adaptive Optics for the
EST. She is skilled in the design, specifications and numerical
simulation of the Multi Conjugated Adaptive Optics system of the
future EST. She is currently working in the construction of a solar
MCAO demonstrator which will be installed in the IAC headquarters.
  Alberto is a physicist (Kharkov State University, Ukraine, 1985), and
Ph.D. (University of the Basque Country, Spain, 2007). He has wide
experience managing European projects as well as national and
regional ones. He joined IAC in 2013 and has managed SOLARNETFP7
and GREST-H2020 European projects. In October 2018 Alberto
joined the EST Project Office, where he is in charge of managing
the direct grant awarded to EST by the Canary Government, and

  Computer engineer from the University of La Laguna, Jorge has
worked in multiple private companies as a software engineer
(mainly in JAVA). He has also developed applications for the
Canarian regional government. Before joining EST, he worked for
IACTEC, developing medical applications based on knowledge
obtained from astrophysical instrumentation. He now works in
MICAL, developing software for the GRIS spectrograph (GREGOR
telescope) to allow simultaneous observations at several
wavelengths. He is also part of the EST Adaptive Optics team.
  Juan holds a MSc degree in Mechanical Engineering since 2014.
His professional career is devoted to the design, manufacturing and
testing of cryogenic prototypes, such as the mechanism of EMIR's
configurable slit unit. He also worked in the QUIJOTE experiment
for two years. In 2017, Juan joined the team of IACTec, connecting
the ongoing projects in the Large Telescope Programme (EST and
Liverpool Telescope II) with industry. He joined the EST Project
Office in the summer of 2018, and works towards the consolidation
of the preliminary design of EST.
  Horacio is an electronic engineer, a telecommunications technical
engineer, and a senior technician in occupational risk prevention.
He worked for more than 10 years as a specialist in Storage and
Backup Systems, performing maintenance and configuration
tasks in critical environments. He is currently developing the
update of the new synchronism system for the TIP2 instrument of
the GREGOR solar telescope, being part of the team in charge of
the design of the MCAO demonstrator for EST.

Qiang is skilled in the conception and simulation of solar Adaptive
Optics (AO), and Multi-Conjugated Adaptive Optics (MCAO), as
well as the system optical design and operation both in laboratory
and on-sky with seven years’ experience. He took part in the
development of a 151-element solar AO and MCAO experiment
system st the NVST in China. He works at IAC as a postdoc for
MICAL project on the optical design of the MCAO test bench.


Adelina has a journalism degree and fifteen years experience
in science communication and journalism. She has worked as
a press and communication officer for the Spanish National
Research Council and the European Research Council. She was
also in charge of communications for the NEMESIS H2020 project,
and a project and communication manager for the WWViews
Climate and Energy citizen consultation in Spain. She joined the
EST Communication Office in May 2019.


Víctor is journalist by University of Seville and holds an AV
Communication degree, and a Science Information master
degree from University of Granada. He has worked for the digital
departments of some of the main regional media companies in
Spain, such as Vocento and Joly. Before joining EST, he worked at
Parque de las Ciencias, one of the most visited science museums
in Spain, where he carried out promotional strategies for contents
and activities, and was responsible of relations with media and
also with profesionals of tourism sector.




The first eight Severo Ochoa centres, among them the IAC, have had their awards renewed for four more years. Scientific excellence and innovation in Spain have been consolidated with three new Severo Ochoa awards, and four “María de Maeztu” awards. Rafael Rebolo, the Director of the IAC in a statement said that “The renovation of the award to the IAC is excellent news, which encourages us to keep working to carry out the best science and technology”.

The Secretary of State for Research, Development and Innovation has granted seven new awards within the programme of Centres and Units of excellence “Severo Ochoa” and “María de Maeztu”. Also the first eight centres to receive the Severo Ochoa awards in 2011 have had them renewed for four more years. The total investment in this round of awards is 52 million euros, 32 million more than last year, and shows the Secretary of State for I+D*R investment in research and innovation.

The three centres which have obtained the Severo Ochoa award for the first time are the “Basque Center on Cognition, Brain and Language, the Institute of Material Science of Barcelona, of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) and the Centre for Research in Agricultural Genomics (CRAG) a consortium formed by the CSIC, IRTA (Instituto de Investigación y Tecnología Agroalimentarias) the Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona (UAB) and the Universidad de Barcelona (UB). These three centres will each receive grants of one million dollars per year for four years.

The four research units chosen for the “María de Maeztu” award are: the Department of Information and Communication technologies, of the Universidad Pompeu Fabra, the Department of Particle Physics of the CIEMAT (Centro de Investigaciones Energéticas, Medioambientales y Tecnológicas), the Institute for Molecular Science of the Universidad de Valencia, and the ICTA (Instituto de Ciencia y Tecnología Ambientales) of the Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona. These units joint the 6 which were granted the award last year, and will each receive funding of 500,000 euros per year for four years.

The requirements, the levels demanded, the criteria and procedures for evaluation and selection in terms of scientific excellence do not make distinctions between the centre and the units, which have been chosen after a rigorous process of evaluation involving 115 international scientists of recognized prestige. As a result the quality and the level of excellence of their research is assured, and the differences are due only to the way they are run, and principally to the difference in the sizes and scopes of the two types of institutions.

Four more years of excellence

The first eight Severo Ochoa centres of excellence, evaluated positively via an analysis of their strategic research plans for 2016-2019, have had their awards renewed, which means that they will each receive one million euros per year for the next four years. These centres have not only confirmed their position of reference in the international research scene but, in the opinion of the evaluating panels many have consolidated their scientific leadership during the four years in which they benefitted from the previous Severo Ochoa award. The eight centres are: The Barcelona Supercomputing Center – Centro Nacional de Supercomputación (BSC-CNS), the Institute of Mathematical Sciences (ICMAT), the Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO), the Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands (IAC), the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO), the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona), the CNIC (Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares Carlos III) and the Barcelona Graduate School of Economics (BGE)

This selection round confirms the support of the Government for high impact research carried out in the public sector. The chosen centres are outstanding for the international fame of their scientific contributions, for their innovative capabilities, and for their close relation with industry. They are reference centres in an international context, and are able to attract international talent. Thanks to this programme a research base of excellence which is highly competitive is being consolidated within Spain.

More information:
Press release of the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness

"SolarLab" is an outreach project of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC), which is sponsored by the Severo Ochoa programme and enjoys the collaboration of various entities of the Canary Islands*
Its purpose is to communicate to the general public our knowledge of astrophysics and in particular solar physics, as well as presenting the uniqueness of the Canarian Skies for astronomical observation.
During the next two years, and using three highly specialized solar telescopes, we plan to train 300 teachers about (solar) astronomy and reach 80,000 students from 140 schools of the 7 islands, thus reaching approximately 70% of all of the archipelago’s students between 12 and 18 years. In this way they will have the opportunity observe the Sun in detail at least once in their life.

During the first year we will reach the target of training 140 teachers and engaging with 38,500 students in 63 secondary schools throughout the islands. We will also offer them the opportunity to participate in a solar research competition. The prize for the best entry from each island will be a special visit to the IAC facilities in La Laguna and the Observatorio del Teide for four students and one teacher.

A cornerstone of the project will be its website, which provides updated information on the project, provides a link for them to ask the IAC solar physicists questions, download presentations about the Sun, links to manuals, videos and much more useful information ...

Our future intention is to promote this project beyond the Canary Islands, and publicise our experience and make available all the materials and our experience to anyone who wants to use it. (Project webpage – Spanish: http://www.iac.es/solarlab).

*List of collaborators: