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Valdis Avotins

Valdis Avotins. PhD in Theoretical Inorganic Chemistry with a specialisation in high energy chemistry. During his carier V.Avotins has spend over 14 years in state governmental institutions. He contributed
to more then 10 national development programs including National Innovation Policy. Over 10 years in innovation and early stage entrepreneurship research. Since 2007 back in academic world as the  Director of Research Institutions of Ventspils University of Applied Science. Since 2016 contributes to European science policy by functioning in the boards and steering panels for large international science infrastructures (EVN and JIV-ERIC).


Baiba Reimane

Project manager with 11 years work experience. Works at VIRAC as project manager and BALTICS project coordinator since July 2017. Main responsibilities in BALTICS: implementation of project according to schedule and budget, follow the financial flow , prepare and follow the flow of project documentation, overall control over project expenses monitoring its eligibility, risk management, project staff management, prepare amendments, plan and monitor procurements, provision of information and preparation of documentation for VIRAC and programmDorovskyy e officer, preparation and submission of reports, publicity events, communication with partners and desk officer in Eiropean Comission.

Marcis Bleiders

Marcis Bleiders. Received his Master’s degree Electronics from Ventspils University College in 2015 and since then works at VIRAC where his main occupation has been related to maintenance and development of receiving subsystems of Irbene RT-32 and RT-16 radio telescopes. Responsibilities include radio telescope software and signal registration hardware development and preparation for both VLBI and single antenna mode observations, implementation of new observation methods, radio telescope performance monitoring and calibration. His main interests are radio frequency hardware and embedded level software design, RF instrumentation and metrology.

Marcis Donerblics

Mg.Sc.ing in electronics engineering. Day to day activities include work in Engineering and Technical Operations groop at VIRAC responsible for upkeep and operation of radio telescopes RT32 and RT16, participation in VIRACs research and development projects as well as giving lectures at Ventspils University of Applied Sciences. R&D expertise and interests include satellite technology, satellite communication and ground segments.

Romass Pauliks

PhD in Electronics and Telecommunication with over 15 years of experience in Digital Video Broadcast Technology Research and Development. Previously worked as Telecommunication and Computer Network Technology Researcher and Data Scientist. Has more than 20 years work experience with IT and asTelecommunication Technology lecturer.

Gints Dreifogels

Master’s degree in electronics engineering. Working at Ventspils International Radio Astronomy Center of Ventspils University of Applied Sciences (VUAS) since 2016. Lecturer in VUAS of study subject “Microcontrollers and embedded systems”, assistant in study subject “Antenna theory”. Interests includes antenna design, their electromagnetic simulations and measurements; astronomy – including interests in planetary science and deep space exploration.

Arturs Orbidans

Mg.sc.ing. in Electronics gained at Ventspils University College (2015), engineer at Technical department of ERI VIRAC. Responsible for software maintenance of VLBI equipment, NASA Field System and technical support during radio astronomical (VLBI etc.) observations at radio observatory of Irbene. Expertise includes development of scripts and software (C, Python, bash) to perform automatic observation scheduling, execution, data conditioning and transfer etc. Lecturer at IT faculty of Ventspils University College (general physics, programming).

Karlis Luksis

Master’s degree in Electronic Engineering. Cosmos Communication Engineer in VIRAC since January 2018. Main task — advanced coding and modulation system implementation in FPGA for HSCOM — high speed communication subsystem for nanosatellites.

Kaspars Prusis

Obtained master’s degree in electronics and since 09.2016 working in Ventspils International Radio Astronomy Centre (VIRAC). During this period the main activities have been the following:

• Gaining knowledge in radio astronomy and interferometry by attending seminars and trainings offered by BALTICS project partners – Radio Astronomy Institute of the University of Manchester “Jodrell Bank Center for Astrophysics” (JBCA), Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy (ASTRON) and others;

• Processing radio interferometric data acquired from parabolic and LOFAR antenna arrays. This includes reduction of data acquired by e-MERLIN interferometer and processed data from LOFAR Long-Baseline Calibrator Survey (LBCS);

• Creation and maintenance of VIRAC’s supercomputing cluster dedicated for radio astronomical data processing.

Atvars Nikolajevs

Master’s degree in Electronic Engineering. Currently working at engineering research institute “Ventspils International Radio Astronomy Centre” (VIRAC) since January 2017; joined the BALTICS project. Involved in LOFAR data processing. Participated in two traineeships at research institute “Paul Scherrer Institute” (Switzerland) and astronomical observatory “Tartu Observatory” (Estonia). Also participated at international hackathons such as ‘’Junction 2016” (Finland) and “Garage48 SpaceTech 2017” (Estonia).

Interested in science, technologies, electronics, programming, physics, music, travelling, recreational activities, cooking, and healthy lifestyle.


Rene Vermeulen

PhD in Astrophysics with over 30 years of experience in astronomical research focused on radio interferometers and using multi-wavelength data. Over 20 years of experience in observatory operations, including complex scheduling, data delivery, and quality monitoring activities. More than 10 years of experience in directing world-leading telescopes (WSRT and LOFAR) in an international environment, as well as in European science policy by functioning in the boards and steering panels for large international infrastructures (EVN, e-MERLIN) and EC funded projects (RadioNet, RISCAPE, JumpingJIVE LOFAR4SW). 

Carla Baldovin

PhD in Astrophysics with 10 years of experience in scientific research on multi-wavelength studies of young stellar objects. Policy Officer for the ILT and European Radio Facilities, working on the exploration of a modified governance structure for the ILT, adapted for optimal engagement and funding stability towards LOFAR2.0. Taking part in initiatives to forge new partnerships for the ILT. Project manager of the ESA activity funded at ASTRON to study the utilisation of LOFAR data products in the ESA SSA SWE network.

Ronald Halfwerk

Director of AstroTec Holding BV. Ronald Halfwerk was born in Zwolle, the Netherlands, in 1959. He received a BSc. degree in Electrical Engineering in 1984 at Hanze University Groningen Applied Sciences. In 1991 he completed a study in Higher Business Administration. Starting his career as a System engineer and designing electronics for data acquisition systems, in 1990 he became head of the Engineering Department of VonkData, Coevorden.
In 1996 he was Operations Manager of Polar Systems, a business unit of Imtech N.V. focusing on designing systems and products for Telemetry, Telecontrol and Scada
applications. In 1999 he joined the R&D Division of ASTRON were he set up the Technology Transfer Office. Being a Technology Transfer Officer, he covers the interfacing between science and industries including new business development originated from ASTRON scientific research and development programmes. In 2010 he became director of the AstroTec Holding BV, a fully owned subsidiary of ASTRON. AstroTec Holding BV is a company which has, amongst other activities, a task assigned to design and build in collaboration with academic partners (Universities and/or scientific consortia) new stations for low frequency radio telescopes like the International LOFAR Telescope.

Roel Witvers

Instrument Engineer
– Low Noise Amplifiers
– MMIC design
– RF design
Roel Witvers received his BSc degree in electrical engineering from the Hogeschool Enschede, the Netherlands, in 1997. He joined ASTRON in 1997 where he has worked since. He started working as a RF-engineer. Since 2000 he has worked on MMIC design with the main emphasis on LNAs but also on mixers. He mostly worked on GaAs and InP. Most work was done to optimize the connection between antenna (array) and LNA. He is now working on optical RF-links. His interest are low noise amplifier, phased array systems and optical RF-signal transport.



Therese Cantwell

Obtained a BSc in Astrophysics from University College Cork in 2013 and a PhD in astrophysics from the University of Manchester in 2017.  A postdoc at the Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics. Work is focused on designing and developing recommendations for the European SKA regional centre as part of the AENEAS project. The specific role is to develop the design considerations for post-processing of radio data, in particular with respect to machine learning and computer vision applications for science exploitation.

Neal Jackson

Reader in the Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics, School of Physics and Astronomy. Obtained a BA in Natural Sciences (Physics) from Cambridge University in 1986, and a PhD in astronomy from the University of Manchester in 1989. Spent nearly two years as a postdoctoral researcher in Manchester, followed by a three-year PDRA position at Leiden Observatory, Netherlands. Returned to Manchester as a temporary lecturer in 1994, obtaining a lectureship in 1998. Main research interests are in strong gravitational lensing, the multiple imaging of background galaxies by foreground galaxies, which allows us to study mass distributions in the distant universe, obtain magnified images of faint and high-redshift objects, and constrain cosmological parameters including the Hubble constant.


Peter Gallagher Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, Ireland

Philippe Zarka

PhD in Astrophysics, Directeur de Recherche at CNRS, working at Observatoire de Paris – LESIA (Laboratoire d’Études Spatiales et d’Instrumentation en Astrophysique), deputy-Director of Nançay Radio Observatory, co-founder of LOFAR-France, P.I. of NenuFAR project, co-I. of radio experiments on many planetary space missions incl. Cassini and Juno. Research interests include planetary and exoplanetary magnetospheres and radio emissions, lightning, fast radio bursts, both from and observational (from space and from the ground) and theoretical perspective. Leading the development of radio instrumentation (receivers on space missions, Nançay Decameter Array, and recently NenuFAR). (Co-)Director of 12 PhD theses, teaching radioastronomy at Master 2 level, (co-)author of >300 scientific papers in refereed journals and books, involved in outreach activities. Recipient of COSPAR Zeldovich Medal (1994) and of 10 NASA and ESA group awards.

Andrzej Krankowski University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Poland
Mikhail Riabov Professor and senior researcher with specialisation at intergalactic environment and astrochemistry, expert in VLBI technique and its application to radioastronomy, space geodesy and solar observations. He will share Odessa’s observatory and research laboratory’s experience in LOFAR / URAN / GURT efficient use and brings new idea’s for further bilateral collaboration between Ukraine and Latvia, based on Baltic’s project achievements thus increasing sustainability of project outcomes. He develops joint platform together with Oleg Ulyanov.
Oleg Ulyanov

Senior researcher with long-lasting experience in radio telescope design, renovation and modernisation, in low frequency antennae building.

At present, the head of the department of Decametric Radio Astronomy of IRA NASU. Author and co-author of more than 100 scientific publications. The scientific interests area is astrophysics, radio astronomy, computer science, radio engineering.

Laureate of the Scientific Prize of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine named academician S.Ya. Braude in 2017. In conference will bring up Ukrainian experience of LOFAR antennae’s for more than 40 years, the experience which definitely is complementing EU ILT experience.

Serhii Yerin Contributes with experience in Low-frequency radio astronomy: pulsars, Sun, Jupiter radio emissions, calibration of radio telescope antenna arrays, antenna and antenna arrays: modelling and measurements, microwave engineering, measurements and research. He will share Kharkiv institute experience in GURT technologies, new digital form of LOFAR station 1.0 analogue in Ukraine. The exchange with such experience could generate new project ideas for LOFAR 2.0 development process.
Maria S.Kirsanova Senior researcher with high competence in areas of massive star-forming regions and influence of massive stars on their surroundings, astrochemistry, masers and their advantages for studies of Galaxy structure and star forming regions. SDhe will bring unique competence how to combine several data sources and several processes.
Evgeny Tikhonov Advanced specialist in electronical design, data interpretation and programming. Fluency in maths and real job experience help to process and analyse beam formation tasks and challenges in low frequency phased array antenaes.