Dr Rosie Bolton

Dr Rosie Bolton


Study what interests you, not what anyone else wants you to do.

Dr Rosie Bolton

Rosie works at the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) Organisation as a Project Scientist. 

What is your role within the SKA?

I am the Project Scientist for the SKA’s Regional Centres, which will be a globally distributed network of data centres that will store the SKA’s data products and give scientists access to them.

Q: What does the SKA Regional Centre Project Scientist do day-to-day?

I’m developing an understanding of what SKA Regional Centres might need to do to serve their communities of scientists; how much computing, storage and networking they will need, and ultimately an idea of how they will be funded and managed. I talk with several groups of experts from around the world - which means quite a few meetings! - and I go to conferences about SKA science and about global computing to try to see how these areas can be combined.

Did you always want to be an astrophysicist? What triggered this career choice?

When I was about six my grandfather showed me the Milky Way and explained that it was our galaxy. That idea about the Universe beyond our day-to-day existence really stuck with me. I loved science and maths at school, doing experiments and seeing how things fit into place.

How does your role fit in to and support the wider SKA project?

The regional centres are a relatively new concept within the project and their funding falls outside the current budget of the SKA. But there are huge benefits to member countries being part of a regional centre initiative - for example, the centres will provide a platform that will enhance international collaborations and boost multi-wavelength science.

What top tips would you have for young people keen on following in your footsteps – is there anything you wish someone had told you?

Study what interests you, not what anyone else wants you to do. STEM subjects are very much worth studying, but you should follow your interest about what you do with your life, whether that be building rockets, running a business or writing poetry - and you could do all of these things.

What’s the best thing about your job?

The work is interesting and it’s really exciting to be part of such a big project. I’ve been working within the SKA project for over a decade now and I have seen real progress, not just in the design, but with the new HQ being built and precursors and prototype instruments delivering great results.

What is it like working at SKA HQ?

SKA HQ is in a beautiful location surrounded by green fields and woodland - I love getting out at lunch time to enjoy the scenery. We have a very friendly and diverse staff community.


Image credits: SKA Organisation

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