Pasadena, CA—The Carnegie Observatories announces the appointment of Professor Leopoldo Infante of Pontifica Universidad Católica (PUC) de Chile to direct the Las Campanas Observatories (LCO), high in the Atacama Desert in Chile. He will take the post July 31, 2017, succeeding Carnegie astronomer Mark Phillips who stepped in as interim LCO director when the previous director, Miguel Roth, retired in 2014.
Since 2009, Infante has been the founder and director of the Centre for Astro-Engineering at the Chilean university. He joined PUC as an assistant professor in 1990 and has been a full professor since 2006. He was one of the creators of PUC’s Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, and served as its director from 2000 to 2006. He also established the Chilean Astronomical Society (SOCHIAS) and served as its president from 2009 to 2010.
Director of the Carnegie Observatories John Mulchaey remarked, “We could not be happier that Leopoldo will direct Las Campanas. His in-depth knowledge of leading complex organizations, his scientific accomplishments, outreach and service to the astronomical community worldwide make him an ideal selection for this post.”
Infante received his B.Sc. in physics at PUC. He then acquired a MSc. and Ph.D. in physics and astronomy from the University of Victoria in Canada. Infante has been visiting professor at Princeton University and The Johns Hopkins University in the U.S. He has also held research positions at the European Southern Observatory, University of Bonn in Germany, and the Vatican Observatory, among others. In addition he has significant international teaching experience.
Infante reflected on his new position, “The notions ‘to encourage the broadest and most liberal’ manner’ of discovery, with complete freedom that embodies Carnegie Science made me think that I want to be part of that and contribute to the discovery of the universe by running the best astronomical facilities."
Infante has published over 370 papers, which have been cited more than 10,800 times. He has earned numerous awards and belongs to the Chilean Astronomical Society, the American Astronomical Society, The American Institute of Physics, and the International Astronomical Union. For more information see http://www.astro.puc.cl/~linfante/