Tom P. Ray
Tom Ray's interest in astronomy was sparked at
an early age while out walking one night with his
"Big Brother." Looking up he saw what must have
been a meteor storm, although he didn't know it
at the time. Instead, like the proverbial Chicken
Little, he was sure the sky was falling! He bought
his first telescope when he was 12 and around the
same time joined the local astronomical society.
During his final year at school Tom decided to pursue
a career in astronomy. When he mentioned this to
his career's teacher, she said: "That's a great
idea, but what real job would you like?"
After completing his primary degree in Trinity
College Dublin, Tom did an MSc and PhD in radio
astronomy and plasma astrophysics at Jodrell
Bank and at the University
of Manchester. Subsequently he spent time in
of Sussex, England and the Max
Planck Institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg,
Germany before returning to his native Ireland.
Currently he is Professor of Astrophysics in the
Dublin Institute for
Advanced Studies. Tom's main area of interest
is star formation although he has also dabbled in
quasars, comets and archaeo-astronomy (the study
of ancient astronomical sites like Stonehenge).
He has been a Principal Investigator and a Co-Investigator
on several HST programs.
Married with 3 children (all girls), he likes
to consider himself the "token male" as even the
pets in his household are female. When not pursuing
astronomy, Tom likes to sail the Irish Coast and,
like many other Irishmen, drink Guinness.