Professor Melvin Hoare wins Royal Astronomical Society award
Congratulations to Professor Melvin Hoare who has won the Royal Astronomical Society’s Education Award for Higher Education 2022.
The award was in recognition of Professor Hoare’s work on the Development in Africa with Radio Astronomy (DARA) project, which aims to train a new generation of radio astronomers across sub-Saharan Africa.
The project has given students the opportunity to learn from and work with experts in radio astronomy, data reduction and analysis. Over just the last six years, more than 300 graduates and more than 30 postgraduate students have benefitted from DARA.
Professor Hoare said: "It is an honour that the Royal Astronomical Society has recognised the work of the Development in Africa with Radio Astronomy (DARA) project that I have led over that last six years.
“This could only have been achieved with the team of collaborators from the UK and South Africa, and in particular our partner institutions in eight African countries where we have been training. It has been a real pleasure seeing the excitement of the young people as they engage with the exciting world of modern astrophysics for the first time."
It is an honour that the Royal Astronomical Society has recognised the work of the Development in Africa with Radio Astronomy (DARA) project.
Professor Hoare first began this adventure as a small project in Ghana. A 32m radio telescope was being created by converting an old telecommunications dish by South African collaborators. At around this time, the UK government announced the Newton Fund, whereby the UK's aid budget could be used for scientific collaboration with developing countries for economic development.
Partnering with businesses from the space industry, Professor Hoare expanded the Ghana initiative into the DARA project, which demonstrated how skills in radio astronomy can be applied to other sectors and encouraged entrepreneurship to address development challenges.
To learn more about the DARA project, visit dara-project.org