Sanchez-Lavega, Agustin


Agustin Sanchez-Lavega

Born in Bilbao in 1954. Between 1980 and 1987 he worked at the German Hispano Astronomical Center – Max Planck Institut fur Astronomie (Calar Alto Observatory) in Almería. In 1986, he received a doctorate in Physical Sciences from the University of the Basque Country UPV / EHU. In 1987, he joined the School of Engineering of Bilbao of the University of the Basque Country.

Academic Activity: Full Professor of Physics at the School of Engineering of Bilbao UPV/EHU. Founder and director of the Aula EspaZio Gela in the School of Engineering of Bilbao (UPV/EHU) and of the Master in Space Science and Technology (since 2009). He has been the advisor of 17 PhD theses. He is the author, among others, of the textbook for graduate and master students “An Introduction to Planetary Atmospheres”, 696 pages, Taylor & Francis (CRC), UK-USA (2011).

Academic and Scientific duties: Member of the “Solar System Working Group” of the European Space Agency (ESA) (2004 – 2006). Member of the National Commission for Evaluation of the Research Activity (CNEAI) (2009-2010). Director of the Applied Physics Department I of the University of the Basque Country UPV-EHU (2009 – 2016). Member of the “Scientific Program” for the European Extremely Large Telescope E-ELT of the Southern Hemisphere Observatory (ESO) (since 2015). He has been member of the Ikerbasque Foundation of the Basque Government (2009-2015). He is currently the manager of the National research projects in Astronomy and Astrophysics (AYA) of the National Research Agency (January 2017-present), and member of the National Commission for Astronomy (2015-present).

His current research interest is the study of planetary atmospheres, being director of the Planetary Sciences Group of the UPV/EHU of the Basque Country Government. He is co-investigator of different instruments in the space missions Venus Express, Mars Express, ExoMars20 and JUICE (Jupiter Icy Moon Explorer) all of them from the European Space Agency (ESA) and Mars2020 from NASA. It has been PI in proposals for the Hubble Space Telescope and James Webb Space Telescope, as well as PI for the instrument PlanetCam. He has published 211 articles in specialized journals of research, highlighting the 11 in the prestigious journals Nature (where he has occupied four times the cover) and Science. He is also the author of 11 book chapters. He has given 35 invited lectures in Congresses and Seminars in universities and research centers around the world. His interest in outreach and popularizing science has led him to publish more than 60 articles and book chapters, and to impart more than one hundred public lectures.

He has received the Extraordinary Prize of Doctorate in Physical Sciences, University of the Basque Country (1986). He has also received the Award for Teaching and Popularization of Physics at University level (2014), and the Award to the best article published in the Revista Española de Física (2010), both from the Spanish Royal Society of Physics – Fundación BBVA. In 1986 he received the Euskadi Research Prize of the Basque Government-Eusko Jaularitza.