On 20 December 2012, the SKA Board of Directors approved Germany, represented by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), as the tenth member of the organisation to participate in the detailed design of the SKA telescope.
Professor John Womersley, chair of the board of the SKA Organisation, welcomed Germany’s membership. “Germany has an excellent track record not only in radio astronomy but also in the management and delivery of science megaprojects and associated engineering. This expertise will be of great benefit to the SKA project as we move towards the construction phase of this inspirational telescope”, he said.
Dr Beatrix Vierkorn-Rudolph, Deputy Director General, Federal Ministry of Education and Research and Professor Michael Kramer, Director of Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie, an institute of the Max-Planck-Gesellschaft (MPG), have been appointed to represent Germany on the SKA Board of Directors. The German contribution to the SKA Organisation amounts to 1 million Euro and is financed 50% each by BMBF and MPG.
“We live in an exciting time for science and the unprecedented scale of the multi-national SKA project ensures that we will continue to be able to push the boundaries of physics and astronomy. The SKA genuinely has the potential to completely transform our understanding of the universe as we know it today”, says Professor Kramer.