A workshop for graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and early career professionals from the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) International Observatory, including Caltech, Canada, China, India, Japan, and University of California. The workshop is the key event for the 2018-2019 Thirty Meter Telescope Early-Career Initiative (TECI) Program.

December 2-9, 2018. Pasadena, California, USA

Scroll down to the bottom of the page for application information.

Workshop Aims

The workshop is designed to support international collaboration among the TMT partners by engaging those in the early stages of their career in TMT and providing a workshop experience that:

  • Develops professional skills needed to be successful in TMT and similar projects, including international collaboration, and project management
  • Provides an experience with the instrument design process
  • Enables participants to see how they can contribute to TMT and engage in current TMT projects
  • Builds community among TMT future users and leaders, and connects them to current TMT leaders

Workshop Details

This workshop is scientific and technical, and was much like a “summer school” style event, with more emphasis on professional skills that are highly valued by TMT and large projects in general. Sessions give participants an opportunity to learn and practice skills such as working effectively on interdisciplinary, international teams; defining technical requirements based on science goals, and managing projects.

Participants will also visit local facilities in Pasadena, including: TMT Project Office, Caltech, and other sites to be announced.

Throughout the workshop, TMT leaders provide presentations on topics such as TMT instruments, project management, systems engineering, software, and the role of scientists in TMT now and into the future. The workshop includes two sessions that give participants an extended period of time to work in small teams, and spanning multiple days:

  • Instrument design: Participants will work in small international teams to work through the process of designing an instrument, including conceptual design, defining science cases and requirements, and down-selecting. Some participants act as a science advisory committee (SAC), gaining experience in how SACs work.
  • TMT Mini-Projects: Participants collaborate on small projects informing specific case studies or problems of interest to the TMT Project Office, the TMT community, and the ISEE/TMT International Program. For example, coming up with a template for the next TMT detailed science case, or working on priorities for TMT data pipeline and archive use cases.

TECI Poster Session: Participants are invited to present their work at this poster session which will be held on the last day of the workshop, December 9.

The annual TMT Science Forum will be held immediately following this workshop from December 10-12, 2018, at the same location. TMT leaders from around the world attend the TMT Science Forum and will be invited to arrive early to attend the TECI Poster Session.

What past participants say about the workshop:

“It was incredibly valuable to work in a collaborative setting and learn from researchers of all academic and cultural backgrounds”

“The TMT workshop is a great opportunity to develop a sense of connection to the project as a whole. The entire experience has made me much more excited and eager to participate in it than I could have imagined.”

Participating Organizations

  • Thirty Meter Telescope International Observatory Project Office
  • Institute for Scientist & Engineer Educators (UC Santa Cruz)
  • University of California Observatories
  • Wide Field Optical Spectrometer (WFOS) team

Speakers & Instructors

  • Gary Sanders, Project Manager, Thirty Meter Telescope
  • Scott Roberts, Systems Engineering Group Leader, Thirty Meter Telescope
  • Warren Skidmore, Telescope Research Scientist, Thirty Meter Telescope
  • Lisa Hunter, Director, Institute for Scientist & Engineer Educators
  • Other instructors and presenters will include members of TMT ISDTs, Instrument Teams, and Project Office

Event Participants

We invite workshop applications from early-career scientists and engineers (graduate students, postdocs, professionals) affiliated with any of the Thirty Meter Telescope partners:

  • Caltech
  • Canada
  • China
  • India
  • Japan
  • University of California

Cost of Participation

TECI is able to provide financial support for approximately 5-10 participants from each TMT partner (list above), which includes:

  • Fee waiver for workshop (free for those accepted)
  • Hotel accommodations during workshop (double accommodation)
  • Some meals (lunches and several dinners)
  • Ground transportation during workshop

Applicants to the workshop are asked to secure funding for their roundtrip airfare costs to travel to Pasadena, USA, from their TMT partner office or advisor. In some cases TECI may cover airfare costs.

To apply for financial support to participate in the workshop, applicants complete a travel request form that is within the overall TECI application.

Applying to participate in the workshop

Application to open soon! Check back here in late May.

For more information and to be notified when the 2018 TECI workshop application opens, please contact Nicholas McConnell at njmcconn@ucsc.edu or Austin Barnes at isee.austinbarnes@gmail.com.

Approximate timeline:

  • Application opens: Late May, 2018
  • Application deadline: Early July, 2018
  • Acceptances sent: Late July, 2018