ESO Names Roberto Tamai As E-ELT Programme Manager
The ESO Council, at its meeting this week in Garching, has approved the appointment of Roberto Tamai as Programme Manager for the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT), effective 1 February 2014.
Roberto replaces Alistair McPherson who has very successfully steered the E-ELT project through its early stages. Alistair is returning to the United Kingdom as Deputy Director General/Head of Project for the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), based at Jodrell Bank near Manchester.
Roberto comes from Naples and was educated in Italy and at Berkeley, Calfornia. He started his career working on the ESA Hypersonic Plasma Wind Tunnel Project and subsequently has had a distinguished career at ESO, both in Chile and in Garching. In 1999 he moved to Paranal as a mechanical engineer and became the Head of the Engineering of Paranal Observatory, and then Deputy Director of the La Silla Paranal Observatory. In 2008 he moved back to Garching to work on the E-ELT, and in 2009 he was made Head of Technology Division and then Deputy Director of Engineering at ESO.
The E-ELT is ESO’s most ambitious project so far. Construction of the road and platform will start next year and the remainder is ready to begin in the near future. The start of operations is planned for early in the next decade, when the E-ELT will begin to tackle the biggest astronomical challenges of our time. As a revolutionary new ground-based telescope with a 39-meter main mirror, it will be the largest optical/near-infrared telescope in the world: “the world’s biggest eye on the sky.”