Bernie Fanaroff

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Bernie Fanaroff

Bernard Lewis Fanaroff

1947 (age 72–73)
Johannesburg, South Africa
NationalitySouth African
Alma materUniversity of the Witwatersrand (BSc)
University of Cambridge (PhD)
Known forFanaroff–Riley classification[1]
Spouse(s)Wendy Vogel
Scientific career
FieldsRadio astronomy
InstitutionsSquare Kilometre Array
ThesisCosmological Information from Radio Source Spectra (1974)

Bernard Lewis Fanaroff FRS (born 1947) is a South African astronomer and trade unionist.[2][3] He served in many positions in the South African government related to labour unionism from 1994 to 2015.[3][4] He is the co-developer of the Fanaroff–Riley classification, a method of classifying radio galaxies. He was the Project Director of South Africa’s Square Kilometre Array bid.[3]

Education and early life[edit]

Fanaroff was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, to parents of Latvian and Lithuanian Jewish origins,[5] and attended Northview High School. He completed a B.Sc.Hons (Physics) in 1970 at the University of the Witwatersrand (WITS) and a PhD in Radio Astronomy from the University of Cambridge in 1974.[6][3][7] While working on his PhD, in collaboration with British astronomer Julia Riley, he made a breakthrough in the classification of radio galaxies known as the Fanaroff–Riley classification, which is used to classify radio galaxies based on the radio luminosity of their emissions.[2][7]

Career and research[edit]

After completing his PhD, Fanaroff returned to South Africa and lectured in Astronomy at WITS for a decade. He took a two-year leave of absence in the late 1980s which then extended to more than a decade.[8] He became involved in labour unionism, became a trade unionist and served as the national secretary for the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa.[9] He joined the government as a Deputy Director-General in the Office of President Nelson Mandela from 1994-1999.[3][4] He served as head of the Office for the Reconstruction and Development Programme; Deputy director-general of the Department of Safety and Security (1997-2000); Chair of the integrated Justice System Board and Steering Committee for Border Control.[2][3][4] In May 2010 he was appointed a Non-executive director of Eskom.[3][10]

In 2003 Fanaroff was appointed the Project Director of South Africa’s Square Kilometre Array (SKA) bid,[2][3] a position he held until his retirement in 2015, although he still continued on in an advisory capacity.[4] Early on Fanaroff realised that the Karoo region in which the SKA is to be located has a shortage of qualified teachers for mathematics and science. To overcome this problem and to supply the project with future skilled South African scientists, engineers and artisans Fanaroff and his colleagues established an artisan training centre as part of a Human Capital Development programme and instituted a programme to bring qualified teachers to the local schools.[11]

Honours and awards[edit]


  1. ^ Fanaroff, Bernard L.; Riley Julia M. (1974). "The morphology of extragalactic radio sources of high and low luminosity". Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 167: 31P–36P. Bibcode:1974MNRAS.167P..31F. doi:10.1093/mnras/167.1.31p.
  2. ^ a b c d "Dr Bernie Fanaroff". South African Presidency. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Media release: Dr Bernie Fanaroff receives South Africa's highest honour". 6 October 2014. Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 30 August 2019.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Dr Bernard Fanaroff". National Research Foundation. Retrieved 30 August 2019.
  5. ^ "Fanaroff ideal head for complex SKA Project". South African Jewish Report. 13 October 2013. Retrieved 30 August 2019.
  6. ^ Fanaroff, Bernard Lewis (1974). Cosmological Information from Radio Source Spectra (PhD thesis). University of Cambridge. OCLC 500437977. EThOS
  7. ^ a b c "2017 Jansky Lectureship Awarded to South African Astronomer Bernie Fanaroff - National Radio Astronomy Observatory". Retrieved 30 August 2019.
  8. ^ "HONORARY DEGREE RECIPIENT" (PDF). University of Cape Town. June 2014. p. 25. Retrieved 30 August 2019.
  9. ^ Davis, Rebecca (16 October 2018). "Daily Maverick Interview: Bernie Fanaroff, South Africa's modest national treasure". Daily Maverick. Retrieved 30 August 2019.
  10. ^ "Supplementary > Membership of the board". Eskom Holdings SOC Limited. Retrieved 30 August 2019.
  11. ^ "Policy Makers - Programmes". Academy of Science of South Africa. Retrieved 30 August 2019.
  12. ^ Africa News Agency (1 October 2018). "Kudos to Dr Bernie Fanaroff". IOL. Retrieved 30 August 2019.
  13. ^ Anon (2019). "Dr Bernard Fanaroff FRS". Royal Society. Retrieved 30 August 2019. One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from the website where:

    “All text published under the heading 'Biography' on Fellow profile pages is available under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.” --Royal Society Terms, conditions and policies at the Wayback Machine (archived 2016-11-11)