Christian Knigge

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Professor Christian Knigge
Astronomy Group
Physics & Astronomy
University of Southampton
Southampton SO17 1BJ
United Kingdom
tel: +44-(0)2380-593-955

My Teaching and Administrative Responsibilities

Having been the Director of Progammes for Physics & Astronomy until 2013/14, I am enjoying a sabbatical year in 2014/15 and will also spend most of my time on research during 2015/16. My work during these years is supported by a Leverhulme Research Fellowship.

I do still run PHYS2011 "Design and Observation in Astronomy". This second year module is our annual 2-week astronomy field trip to Tenerife, which runs over the Easter break. The course is open to the top 12 students on our MPhys/BSc with Astronomy programmes. The first week is an intense space mission design study that takes place at the University of La Laguna and is carried out in teams of students from a variety of international and academic backgrounds. More specifically, teams are composed of UK, Spanish and Irish students on astronomy, space science and engineering programmes. This week is led by my Southampton colleague Tony Bird. The second week, which I lead myself, takes the astronomers to the Observatorio del Teide, a professional research observatory, where they get to use a variety of telescopes to carry out astronomical observations. Students are allowed, and actually encouraged, to choose and design their own observing programmes, and then have to analyse, write up and present the data they have obtained after returning to Southampton. Both weeks of the course are intended to take students through a compressed version of the full life-cycle of space mission design and observational astronomy, with the students themselves taking full ownership of the projects they carry out in both weeks.

Previously, I also taught PHYS1008 "Physics of the Solar System" and PHYS2015 "Introduction to Energy and the Environment".

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