Astrophysics Group

Cavendish Laboratory

Bernie Fanaroff honoured

Dr. Bernie Fanaroff is to receive South Africa’s highest award for his contribution to astronomy and in particular for his role in establishing South Africa as a world-class research destination and host for the mid-frequency elements of the SKA.

Bernie’s contributions to radio astronomy began back in the 1970’s when as a Ph.D. student here in Cambridge he identified along with Julia Riley the two classes of radio sources which now bear their names – Fanaroff and Riley class I and class II sources, or FR-I and FR-II as they are now universally known.  He returned to astronomy after a very distinguished career within the trade-union movement in South Africa to head the South African bid to host the SKA.   The vision which he has now realised was for RSA not only to act as the host for a this major global infrastructure, but also to be a full partner in the technology development and scientific exploitation of the SKA.  He has led the formation of a truly world-class radio astronomy team in RSA who are delivering the ambitious MeerKAT SKA precursor.

We send our warmest congratulations to Bernie on this immensely well-deserved honour.

For the text of the official announcement and more information see