Keith Grainge is Professor of Physics at The University of Manchester. He is an experimental cosmologist who works on the design of radio telescopes and then uses them to extract the underlying astrophysics.
He studied for his PhD at Cambridge University (1996) studying clusters of galaxies and measuring the Hubble Constant, the rate of expansion of the Universe. Since then he has worked on the design, construction, commissioning and science results from two telescopes observing the Cosmic Microwave Background. The first of these, the Very Small Array was located on Tenerife and measured the curvature, matter density and age of the Universe. The second, the Arcminute Microkelvin Imager, performs a range of science including follow-up of transient phenomena, spinning dust observations and galaxy cluster imaging.
Keith is now the Associate Director of Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics focussing on the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), which will be the world’s largest and most sensitive radio telescope. It will be a transformative instrument that will address fundamental unanswered questions about our Universe. Key science projects include testing General Relativity, detecting gravitational waves, exploring the formation of the first stars and galaxies in the Universe, measuring how dark energy is accelerating the expansion of the Universe, investigating the role of magnetism in the cosmos, and searching for life beyond the Earth. Keith led one of the SKA international Design Consortia, working on the Signal and Data Transport networks, until the successful completion of the design in 2019. These networks are the backbone of the telescope, transporting data rates of around 10 Tbps out of the telescope to HPC facilities and delivering a synchronisation signal to maintain coherence of the telescope with accuracy better than 1 picosecond.
Last updated: 11 October 2019