Learning about astronomy and astrophysics
KUCHING: One hundred top science students from secondary schools around Kuching were treated to an ‘Astronomy & Astrophysics: Where Science and Engineering meet in the 21st Century’ seminar held at Hilton Hotel on March 23.
Professor Peter Cottrell delivered the seminar aimed to help students understand about how science and engineering have made advances in the fields of astronomy and astrophysics in the 21st century. It is hoped that their understanding and appreciation of the roles that science and engineering play will lead to prospective careers in the future.
Cottrell is the College Director and Principal of UC International College (UCIC) in Christchurch, New Zealand, and also the Adjunct Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Canterbury.
His lecture topics included the electromagnetic spectrum, various kinds of telescopes, and his proud project, the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT), where he spent more than 10 years leading UC’s involvement with the ground-breaking facility that hosts a telescope that ranks with the largest in the world.
Hailing from Adelaide, South Australia, Cottrell studied Bachelor of Science (with Honours) at the University of Adelaide. Later on, he completed his PhD at the Australian National University in Canberra, Australia, in astrophysics.
Following his PhD, he spent several years in the United States of America at the California Institute of Technology and The University of Texas at Austin before going to New Zealand.
An astrophysicist by background, Cottrell’s experience extends 31 years with the University of Canterbury, being involved in a range of scientific research activities throughout his career, including supervision of more than 50 postgraduate students in physics and astrophysics projects.
Among the schools that participated in this seminar organised by Raven Higher Education Consultant were Lodge International School, Lodge National Secondary School, SMK St Teresa, SMK Green Road, SMK Sungai Tapang, SMK Batu Lintang, and SMK St Thomas.
Those who attended were also school leavers who attended the Borneo Post International Education Fair (BPIEF) over the weekend and were invited for the seminar.