Hel.A.S. Newsletter 242 - April 2018

  1. Short News
  2. 36th General Assembly and Elections of Hel.A.S.
  3. Formal Establishment of the Hellenic Space Agency
  4. 9th ESO / VLTI Summer School
  5. First NCAR & NSO School on Solar Spectropolarimetry and Diagnostic Techniques 
  6. Student and Postdoctoral Research Opportunities Abroad
  7. Upcoming Astronomy Meetings in Greece
  8. About this Newsletter
1. Short News

The Society would like to congratulate Ordinary Member Konstantinos Gourgouliatos for his recent election as an Assistant Professor at the Department of Physics of the University of Patras. The Society extends its best wishes to Prof. Gourgouliatos for a prolific tenure in Greece and for success in his current and future scientific endeavors.

In view of the upcoming 36th Hel.A.S. General Assembly (see Item 2 below), the Society invites applications for new Members at all levels of membership (Ordinary, for PhD holders, Junior, for PhD students, and Associate, for graduate students in astronomy- and astrophysics-related subjects).  To join the Society, interested individuals and nominating Ordinary Members should consult the Joining Hel.A.S. Section of the Society's website that contains all necessary forms and filling instructions.

2. 36th General Assembly and Elections of Hel.A.S.
The Governing Council of Hel.A.S. announces that the next, 36th General Assembly of the Society will take place on Friday, June 22, 2018 at the Society's legal base, namely the Section of Astrophysics, Astronomy and Mechanics of the Physics Department of the University of Athens. The General Assembly will convene at 09:30, in case a quorum consisting of 40%+1 of Ordinary and Junior Members is achieved. If no quorum is achieved by 09:30, the General Assembly will convene at the same location at 13:30 of the same day, regardless of quorum, in accordance with the Society's Constitution.

The Society's elections for the Governing Council of the 2018 - 2020 service term will be taking place in the course of the forthcoming General Assembly. As per Articles 27 - 39 of the Society's Constitution, election-pertinent material, instructions and guidelines will be forwarded by ordinary mail to all Ordinary and Junior Members by April 10, 2018. Envelopes will also include an invitation and tentative agenda for the General Assembly. The names and short CVs of the candidates for the Governing Council and the Auditors will be uploaded online in due time, under "Announcements" in the News and Events Section of the Society's website. The financial report for the 2016 - 2018 term will also be uploaded in the same online location in due time and will be presented and discussed during the General Assembly. 

The Governing Council takes this opportunity to remind all Ordinary and Junior Members who wish to vote in the upcoming elections to fulfill the financial requirements for this action: according to the Society's Constitution, no Member can vote in person or via an absentee ballot if not in good membership standing, this meaning that membership fees up to 2017 should be covered by the election date.  Both the Society's future and standing rely on a robust election turnout; for this reason, Members are strongly encouraged to fulfill this financial requirement that will validate their voting rights.
3. Formal Establishment of the Hellenic Space Agency 
Following a year-long preparation and law-drafting process, the Hellenic Space Agency (HSA) (Ελληνικός Διαστημικός Οργανισμός, in Greek) was officially established on March 14, 2018, via the Official Government Gazette (ΦΕΚ no. 882/14.03.2018, Issue B'), available here. HSA is a limited public entity with a primary objective to organize, coordinate and implement the nation's strategic roadmap in space-related science, technology and applications, in close collaboration with the academic and research communities, as well as with the national and international public and private sectors. The HSA is operating under the auspices of the General Secretariat of Telecommunications and Post Offices of the Ministry of Digital Policy, Telecommunications and Media.

The first President of the HSA's Governing Board is Academician Dr. Stamatios Krimigis, a distinct, world-renowned Ordinary Member of Hel.A.S. He is complemented by CEO Konstantinos Pilaftsis, honorably-discharged Colonel of the Hellenic Air Force, and Board Members Christodoulos Protopappas, Vassilios Anastasopoulos, Vassilios Kostopoulos, Athanasios Potsis and Georgios Mantzouris.

The establishment of the HSA could potentially launch a new era of national involvement in space-related activities and Greece - ESA relations, taking advantage of in-house national technological competencies, along with the well-known scientific contributions and expertise of Greek scientists within Greece and in diaspora. Hel.A.S. may have a meaningful role to play in this endeavor. New developments, as well as the HSA's website, will be announced to Society's members as soon as they are publicized.
4. 9th ESO / VLTI Summer School
By combining light from four telescopes, the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI) delivers angular resolution at milli-arcseond scale and astrometry at tens of micro-arcsecond. The available instrumentation covers the H- to N-band with low to moderately high spectral resolution.

Given that long-baseline optical-interferometry observing techniques are still not widespread in the community, VLTI schools are periodically organized. The next School will take place in Lisbon, Portugal, between 9 - 14 July 2018. The School will provide practical, hands-on training on observational programme preparation, data reduction and analysis.

Full lodging and subsistence costs will be provided to all School attendees. Travel funding can be provided in justified cases.

Funding for this School is provided by OPTICON -- Optical Infrared Coordination Network for Astronomy, via the European Union's Research and Innovation Programme under grant agreement No 730890. The deadline for applications for financial support is May 4, 2018. Further information about the School is available here.
5. First NCAR and NSO School on Solar Spectropolarimetry and Diagnostic Techniques
The polarized spectrum of the Sun encodes a wealth of information on the thermodynamic and magnetic properties of its atmosphere, which ultimately drive all phenomena of Space Weather affecting Earth and the near-Earth environment. In order to unveil this valuable information, scientists must perform critically sensitive spectro-polarimetric observations of the Sun and then carefully reduce, analyze, and interpret the observed data. However, all the aspects involved in this effort (theory, modeling, instrumentation, data analysis) constitute a highly specialized craft which is notoriously difficult to master.

Our two-week School from September 24 - October 5, 2018, organized in Estes Park, Colorado, USA, aims at presenting a comprehensive overview of the field of solar spectropolarimetry and the various tools and methods necessary for decoding the polarization of the solar spectrum. The deadline for student applications is May 31,2018. More information about the School is available here.
6. Student and Postdoctoral Research Opportunities Abroad
The list below may be refreshed or updated with further established lists:
  • AAS Pre-Doctoral / Graduate positions here.
  • AAS PostDoctoral Positions and Fellowships here.
  • EAS Job Directory (choose "PhD positions" or "Academic jobs" accordingly) here.
  • EAS School Directory here.
  • IAU Careers in Astronomy here.
  • Careers and research fellowship opportunities at ESA here.
  • Careers at NASA here.
  • ESO Recruitment Portal here.
  • CERN opportunities for students here.
  • CERN opportunities for graduates here.
  • Graduate programs at Chilean Universities here.
  • Postdoctoral position in relativistic astrophysics, Prague, Czech Republic here.
  • NEW Two (2) PhD student positions on compact objects and stellar astrophysics at the University of Geneva here.
  • NEW Postdoctoral position on gravitational waves, compact objects and stellar astrophysics at the University of Geneva here.
  • NEW PhD student opportunity on "Middle Atmosphere Physics and Chemistry" at the Sodankyla Geophysical Observatory, here
  • NEW Postdoctoral Modeling Research Fellow on Asteroseismology at the University of Birmingham here.
  • NEW Postdoctoral Galactic Archaeology Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham here.
Any Member of the Society who wishes to contribute another credible link with opportunities, or individual opportunities that will, however, be shown in a single-liner format as above, is encouraged to contact the Secretary of the Society.
7. Upcoming Astronomy Meetings in Greece
8. About this Newsletter

This Newsletter was sent to all members of Hel.A.S. who have e-mail access. The next edition of the Newsletter will be mailed around May 1, 2018.  Please send your announcements (e.g., appointments / departures, job openings, research opportunities, awards, conferences in Greece) or comments before April 25, 2018. If you do not wish to receive future issues of this Newsletter or the e-mail address to which it was sent is not your preferred one, please inform the Secretary of Hel.A.S. at secretary@helas.gr.


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