Sheperd S. Doeleman is an Astrophysicist at the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian and Founding Director of the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT), a synchronized global array of radio observatories designed to examine the nature of black holes. He is also a Harvard Senior Research Fellow and a Project Co-Leader of Harvard’s recently established Black Hole Initiative (BHI). The BHI is a first-of-its-kind interdisciplinary program at the University that brings together the disciplines of Astronomy, Physics, Mathematics, Philosophy, and History of Science to define and establish black hole science as a new field of study.
As one of the founding members of the BHI, Doeleman leads a team studying supermassive black holes with sufficient resolution to directly observe the event horizon itself. Using Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) methods, the EHT telescope networks observe astronomical radio sources at 1.3 millimeter (mm) wavelengths. These sources include the supermassive black holes at the centers of our own Milky Way, called Sagittarius A* (SgrA*), as well as in Messier 87 (M87), the supergiant elliptical galaxy in the constellation Virgo.
Doeleman is a Guggenheim Fellow (2012) and was the recipient of the DAAD German Academic Exchange grant for research at the Max Planck Institute für Radioastonomie. He serves as a peer reviewer for the Astrophysical Journal, Science, and Nature, among others. Doeleman leads and co-leads research programs supported by grants from the National Science Foundation, the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) ALMA-NA Development Fund, the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, the MIT International Science & Technology Initiatives (MISTI), the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, and the John Templeton Foundation. He has taught at MIT and mentors students and post-doctoral fellows at MIT and Harvard.
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