Staff

 

Staff List by Alphabetical Order


Buscher, David Interferometer System Architect (Cambridge)
MRO partner David Buscher staff photo David Buscher helped to set up the collaboration between the University of Cambridge and New Mexico Tech to build the MROI in 2002. He is System Architect for MROI (jointly with Chris Haniff), responsible for the overall system design of the MROI and for technical oversight of the project. He is also a lecturer at the Cavendish Laboratory at the University of Cambridge, where he teaches physics and astronomy courses, and does research in optical interferometry and adaptive optics. Professional website
(575) 835 – 6964
(+44) (0)1223 337 302
Collins, Robert Senior Software Engineer
Robert Collins joined the MRO in 2019 as the project’s Senior Software Engineer. He leads the software and control staff and aids MRO staff by implementing world-class facility-grade software applications for complex control systems and data acquisitions.
(575) 835 – 6375
Creech-Eakman, Michelle Interferometer Project Scientist/NESSI Principal Investigator

MRO employee Michelle Creech-Eakman staff photoMichelle Creech-Eakman is a Professor of Physics at NMT and has been the Project Scientist for MROI since 2003. She also serves on several panels and organizing committees including those for SPIE, NASA and NSF. Professional website

(575) 835 – 6756
(575) 835 – 5809
Dahl, Chuck Project Electrical Engineer
MRO employee Chuck Dahl staff photoChuck Dahl rejoined MRO in 2016 as the project Electrical Engineer. He is responsible for maintaining and expanding the site electrical infrastructure and for the development of specialized electrical systems. He is also the lead for the Beam Relay System and supports instrumentation used for testing sensitive system components.
(575) 835 – 5369
Dooley, Jonathan Research Assistant
Jonathan Dooley joined MRO in 2017 while working on his graduate degree in Applied Physics/Instrumentation at New Mexico Tech. He aids in research on beam path stabilization and control system development for the Beam Relay System.
N/A
Etscorn, Dylan Information Technology Manager
MRO employee Dylan Etscorn staff photoDylan Etscorn joined MROI in 2016 as the Information Technology (IT) Manager. He is responsible for maintaining the network, both on the Ridge and at the ROB building. This includes all hardware and associated software. He also provides IT support for the staff as well as assists Dr. Klinglesmith with the monitoring and collecting of environmental data at the observatory.
(575) 835 – 5181
Etscorn, Shelbi Outreach Assistant
Shelbi Etscorn joined the MRO in 2019 as the Outreach Assistant. She is responsible for writing and editing content for the MRO website, social media, promotional materials, and various MRO publications. She supports the Assistant Director of Outreach and Communications with activities related to public and private tours, exhibitions and conferences, educational outreach, and promotion.
N/A
Farris, Allen Interferometer Lead Software Controls
MRO employee Allen Farris staff photoAllen Farris joined MRO in 2009 from the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), where he worked on the control system of the VLA and the high-level architecture, control system, and scheduling systems of ALMA. As the leader of the Control and Software Systems group, he is in charge of all software and computer systems that control the Interferometer.
(575) 835 – 6645
Gino, M. Colleen Assistant Director of Outreach and Communications
MRO employee M. Colleen Gino staff photoColleen Gino joined MRO in 2017. She is responsible for the organization, management, and execution of outreach activities for the whole of the Magdalena Ridge Observatory with activities related to marketing and promotion, website and social media, education, visitors, tours, Friends of MRO, Board of Visitors, and the MRO Visitor Center and Gift Shop.
(575) 835 – 6782
Haniff, Chris Interferometer System Architect (Cambridge)
MRO partner Chris Haniff staff photoChris Haniff heads the Optical Interferometry sub-group at the Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge, UK and has worked on the MROI since 2002 when New Mexico Tech’s collaboration with the University of Cambridge to develop an ambitious optical/infrared imaging interferometer was initiated. Together with David Buscher, he is one of the two System Architects for the MROI, responsible for its overall system design and oversight of its technical delivery. He is a Professor of Physics at the Cavendish and is a fellow of Downing College, Cambridge. Professional website
(575) 835 – 6964
(+44) (0)1223 337 307
Hosseini, Omid Software Engineer

Omid Hosseini joined the MROI team in 2019 as a software engineer. His role as a member of the software team focuses on developing and debugging different software used to operate the Unit Telescope.

(575)835 – 6404
Jojola, Stephen Maintenance Tech 
MRO employee Jessie Maes staff photoAs maintenance tech, Stephen Jojola aids in array preparation, installation, and maintenance for the telescope enclosure. He also performs minor electrical work, welds plates and pipes, and does concrete drilling.
(575) 835 – 5156
Ligon, Robert Instrument Scientist
MRO employee Robert Ligon staff photoRobert Ligon joined MRO in 2017 as the Instrument Scientist. He was previously with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory where he worked on a variety of projects including the Palomar Testbed Interferometer and the Keck Interferometer. He is the New Mexico Tech lead for the automated alignment system, beam compressors, and the fringe tracker. His main role is to help the team achieve performance and functionality as envisioned by the system architects in whatever capacity is required.
(575) 835 – 5076
Mortimer, Daniel J Graduate Research Assistant (Cambridge)
Daniel Mortimer is a graduate research assistant at the University of Cambridge. He joined the MROI in 2017 and is undertakingwork for the array as part of his PhD. His primary role is to develop the first generation near-infrared science beam combiner, FOURIER, from the prototype stage to first light of the instrument. His research interests include beam combination instrumentation and interferometric observations to study star formation processes at the inner few astronomical units scale.
Norouzi, Siavash Student Assistant
Siavash Norouzi is currently a Masters student in Computer Science at NMT. He joined the MROI in May of 2019. Siavash is part of both the software team and AAS (Automated Alignment System) team as a software developer.
Ochoa, Danielle Office Manager
MRO employee Danielle Ochoa staff photo Danielle Ochoa joined MRO in 2016. She supports the Program Director and staff in managing the office and administration. She reviews and approves program requisitions and tracks all program expenditures. She arranges meetings, appointments, travel arrangements, and special events for MRO. She assists in the budget preparation, assists in developing new programs/services, reviews expenses against budget, and monitors monthly expenses. She prepares requisitions for purchase orders and pays invoices and is available daily to perform all duties as assigned by the MRO staff, or as needed.
(575) 835 – 6431
Olivares, Andres Interferometer Lead Opto-Mechanical Engineer
MRO employee Andres Olivares staff photoAndres Olivares joined MRO in 2007 from NOAO/CTIO of Chile. As lead Opto-Mechanical Engineer, he is the sub-project lead for the Unit Telescope Mount. He is also responsible for designing and assisting of major opto-mechanical subsystem for the Interferometer; supervise external contracts and purchases related to opto-mechanical effort. He is also an opto-mechanical engineer for NESSI in collaboration with NASA/JPL.
(575) 835 – 6758
Payne, Ifan Program Director
MRO employee Ifan Payne staff photoIfan Payne joined MRO in 2003 from the University of New Mexico. As Site Project Manager he oversaw the development of the Observatory site on Magdalena Ridge until his appointment in 2009 as Readiness and Implementation Manager during which period his principal role was that of MROI Project Manager. He was appointed MRO Program Director in April, 2010. Personal website/ linkedin.
(575) 835 – 6808
Pino, Juan Equipment Operator
MRO employee Juan Pino staff photoJuan Pino joined MRO in 2006. He works as the heavy equipment operator at the Observatory.
(575) 518 – 8077
Romero, Van Principal Investigator of MRO/Vice President of R&ED, NMT
MRO employee Van Romero staff photoVan Romero is the Vice President of Research and Economic Development at New Mexico Tech; Principal Investigator for the Magdalena Ridge Observatory Interferometer; manages a diverse research portfolio including programs in astronomy, energy, and Homeland Security.
(575) 835 – 5646
Ryan, Eileen Director, 2.4-meter Telescope
MRO employee Eileen Ryan staff photoEileen Ryan joined MRO in 2002. As Director of the 2.4-meter Telescope, Dr. Ryan manages its technical, financial, and operational activities, and leads the development of scientific and military initiatives. She is the Principal Investigator of a NASA-funded Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) program and Co-Principal Investigator (with William Ryan) of an NSF-funded program to determine spin rates of NEOs.
(575) 835 – 6803
Ryan, William 2.4-meter Telescope Scientist
MRO employee William Ryan staff photoWilliam Ryan joined MRO in 2003. As Research Scientist for the 2.4-meter Telescope, Dr. Ryan conducts observationally-based research on objects in the Solar System (both natural and artificial), and provides scientific support for planning and development. He also tests/monitors the performance of the telescope, camera instruments, and software, and contributes to their improvement via new designs and approaches.
(575) 835 – 6646
Salcido, Chris Interferometer Senior Opto-Mechanical Engineer
MRO employee Chris Salcido staff photoChris Salcido joined MRO in 2007 as an undergraduate mechanical engineering student at New Mexico Tech (NMT) and became a full time engineer in 2008. He is the sub-project lead for the delay line system and vacuum system. He also provides support for various other systems. In addition to his engineering duties he also maintains the budget for the project and provides support for the importation of items like the Unit Telescope Enclosure and Fast Tip Tilt System.
(575) 835 – 6947
Wallace-Keck, Craig Lead Maintenance Technician, 2.4-meter Telescope
MRO employee Craig Wallace-keck staff photoCraig Wallace-keck joined MRO in 2002. As the Lead Maintenance Technician for the 2.4-meter Telescope facility, Craig is responsible for the repair and maintenance of the building and support structures and provides technical support to the 2.4-m staff and research customers visiting and working at the facility.
(575) 835 – 6887
Young, John Senior Research Associate (Cambridge)
MRO employee John Young staff photoJohn Young works as a Senior Research Associate at the University of Cambridge, and has collaborated on the MROI Project since 2003. Dr. Young leads the fast tip-tilt work package at Cambridge and acts as point-of-contact with MROI staff for all software matters. His research interests include distributed real-time control systems, optical synthesis imaging and the physics of evolved stars.
(575) 835 – 6964
(+44) (0)1223 337 347

Contact Facilities, Site and Infrastructure

2.4 Meter Telescope Control Room At the Observatory site (575) 835 – 6771
2.4 Meter Telescope Dome At the Observatory site (575) 835 – 6787
2.4 Meter Telescope Elevator E911 At the Observatory site (575) 835 – 7972
Large Conference Room ROB Conference Room 101 (575) 835 – 5042
Mini-Conference Room ROB Conference Room 153 (575) 835 – 6809
Facilities, Site & Infrastructure Trailer At the Observatory site (575) 835 – 7975
Interferometer Beam Combining Facility At the Observatory site (575) 835 – 7808
Optics Lab NMT Workman Lab 195-197 (575) 835 – 5107

 

Staff List by Program

Principal Investigators

Romero, Van Principal Investigator of MRO/Vice President of R&ED, NMT
MRO employee Van Romero staff photoVan Romero is the Vice President of Research and Economic Development at New Mexico Tech; Principal Investigator for the Magdalena Ridge Observatory Interferometer; manages a diverse research portfolio including programs in astronomy, energy, and Homeland Security.
(575) 835 – 5646

Administration

 

Ochoa, Danielle Office Manager
MRO employee Danielle Ochoa staff photo Danielle Ochoa joined MRO in 2016. She supports the Program Director and staff in managing the office and administration. She reviews and approves program requisitions and tracks all program expenditures. She arranges meetings, appointments, travel arrangements, and special events for MRO. She assists in the budget preparation, assists in developing new programs/services, reviews expenses against budget, and monitors monthly expenses. She prepares requisitions for purchase orders and pays invoices and is available daily to perform all duties as assigned by the MRO staff, or as needed.
(575) 835 – 6431
Payne, Ifan Program Director
Ifan PayneIfan Payne joined MRO in 2003 from the University of New Mexico. As Site Project Manager he oversaw the development of the Observatory site on Magdalena Ridge until his appointment in 2009 as Readiness and Implementation Manager during which period his principal role was that of MROI Project Manager. He was appointed MRO Program Director in April, 2010. Personal website
(575) 835 – 6808
Ryan, Eileen Director, 2.4-meter Telescope
MRO employee Eileen Ryan staff photoEileen Ryan joined MRO in 2002. As Director of the 2.4-meter Telescope, Dr. Ryan manages its technical, financial, and operational activities, and leads the development of scientific and military initiatives. She is the Principal Investigator of a NASA-funded Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) program and Co-Principal Investigator (with William Ryan) of an NSF-funded program to determine spin rates of NEOs.
(575) 835 – 6803

MROI

Collins, Robert Senior Software Engineer
Robert Collins joined the MRO in 2019 as the project’s Senior Software Engineer. He leads the software and control staff and aids MRO staff by implementing world-class facility-grade software applications for complex control systems and data acquisitions.
(575) 835 – 6375
Creech-Eakman, Michelle Interferometer Project Scientist/NESSI Principal Investigator
MRO employee Michelle Creech-Eakman staff photoMichelle Creech-Eakman is a Professor of Physics at NMT and has been the Project Scientist for MROI since 2003. She also serves on several panels and organizing committees including those for SPIE, NASA and NSF. Professional website
(575) 835 – 6756
(575) 835 – 5809
Dahl, Chuck Project Electrical Engineer
MRO employee Chuck Dahl staff photoChuck Dahl rejoined MRO in 2016 as the project Electrical Engineer. He is responsible for maintaining and expanding the site electrical infrastructure and for the development of specialized electrical systems. He is also the lead for the Beam Relay System and supports instrumentation used for testing sensitive system components.
(575) 835 – 5369
Etscorn, Dylan Information Technology Manager
MRO employee Dylan Etscorn staff photoDylan Etscorn joined MROI in 2016 as the Information Technology (IT) Manager. He is responsible for maintaining the network, both on the Ridge and at the ROB building. This includes all hardware and associated software. He also provides IT support for the staff as well as assists Dr. Klinglesmith with the monitoring and collecting of environmental data at the observatory.
(575) 835 – 5181
Farris, Allen Interferometer Lead Software Controls
MRO employee Allen Farris staff photoAllen Farris joined MRO in 2009 from the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), where he worked on the control system of the VLA and the high-level architecture, control system, and scheduling systems of ALMA. As the leader of the Control and Software Systems group, he is in charge of all software and computer systems that control the Interferometer.
(575) 835 – 6645
Hosseini, Omid Software Engineer
Omid Hosseini joined the MROI team in 2019 as a software engineer. His role as a member of the software team focuses on developing and debugging different software used to operate the Unit Telescope.
(575)835 – 6404
Ligon, Robert Instrument Scientist
MRO employee Robert Ligon staff photoRobert Ligon joined MRO in 2017 as the Instrument Scientist. He was previously with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory where he worked on a variety of projects including the Palomar Testbed Interferometer and the Keck Interferometer. He is the New Mexico Tech lead for the automated alignment system, beam compressors, and the fringe tracker. His main role is to help the team achieve performance and functionality as envisioned by the system architects in whatever capacity is required.
(575) 835 – 5076
Olivares, Andres Interferometer Lead Opto-Mechanical Engineer
MRO employee Andres Olivares staff photoAndres Olivares joined MRO in 2007 from NOAO/CTIO of Chile. As lead Opto-Mechanical Engineer, he is the sub-project lead for the Unit Telescope Mount. He is also responsible for designing and assisting of major opto-mechanical subsystem for the Interferometer; supervise external contracts and purchases related to opto-mechanical effort. He is also an opto-mechanical engineer for NESSI in collaboration with NASA/JPL.
(575) 835 – 6758
Salcido, Chris Interferometer Opto-Mechanical Engineer
MRO employee Chris Salcido staff photoChris Salcido joined MRO in 2007 as an undergraduate mechanical engineering student at New Mexico Tech (NMT) and became a full time Mechanical Engineer after graduating with his B.S. degree in 2008. He is currently the lead engineer for the Vacuum System.
(575) 835 – 6947

Cambridge University

Buscher, David Interferometer System Architect (Cambridge)
MRO partner David Buscher staff photoDavid Buscher helped to set up the collaboration between the University of Cambridge and New Mexico Tech to build the MROI in 2002. He is System Architect for MROI (jointly with Chris Haniff), responsible for the overall system design of the MROI and for technical oversight of the project. He is also a lecturer at the Cavendish Laboratory at the University of Cambridge, where he teaches physics and astronomy courses, and does research in optical interferometry and adaptive optics. Professional website
(575) 835 – 6964
(+44) (0)1223 337 302
Haniff, Chris Interferometer System Architect (Cambridge)
MRO partner Chris Haniff staff photoChris Haniff heads the Optical Interferometry sub-group at the Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge, UK and has worked on the MROI since 2002 when New Mexico Tech’s collaboration with the University of Cambridge to develop an ambitious optical/infrared imaging interferometer was initiated. Together with David Buscher, he is one of the two System Architects for the MROI, responsible for its overall system design and oversight of its technical delivery. He is a Professor of Physics at the Cavendish and is a fellow of Downing College, Cambridge. Professional website
(575) 835 – 6964
(+44) (0)1223 337 307
Mortimer, Daniel J. Graduate Research Assistant (Cambridge)
Daniel Mortimer is a graduate research assistant at the University of Cambridge. He joined the MROI in 2017 and is undertakingwork for the array as part of his PhD. His primary role is to develop the first generation near-infrared science beam combiner, FOURIER, from the prototype stage to first light of the instrument. His research interests include beam combination instrumentation and interferometric observations to study star formation processes at the inner few astronomical units scale.
Young, John Senior Research Associate (Cambridge)
MRO employee John Young staff photoJohn Young works as a Senior Research Associate at the University of Cambridge, and has collaborated on the MROI Project since 2003. Dr. Young leads the fast tip-tilt work package at Cambridge and acts as point-of-contact with MROI staff for all software matters. His research interests include distributed real-time control systems, optical synthesis imaging and the physics of evolved stars.
(575) 835 – 6964
(+44) (0)1223 337 347

2.4-meter Telescope

Ryan, Eileen Director, 2.4-meter Telescope
MRO employee Eileen Ryan staff photoEileen Ryan joined MRO in 2002. As Director of the 2.4-meter Telescope, Dr. Ryan manages its technical, financial, and operational activities, and leads the development of scientific and military initiatives. She is the Principal Investigator of a NASA-funded Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) program and Co-Principal Investigator (with William Ryan) of an NSF-funded program to determine spin rates of NEOs.
(575) 835 – 6803
Ryan, William 2.4-meter Telescope Scientist
MRO employee William Ryan staff photoWilliam Ryan joined MRO in 2003. As Research Scientist for the 2.4-meter Telescope, Dr. Ryan conducts observationally-based research on objects in the Solar System (both natural and artificial), and provides scientific support for planning and development. He also tests/monitors the performance of the telescope, camera instruments, and software, and contributes to their improvement via new designs and approaches.
(575) 835 – 6646
Wallace-Keck, Craig Lead Maintenance Technician, 2.4-meter Telescope
MRO employee Craig Wallace-Keck staff photoCraig Wallace-Keck joined MRO in 2002. As the Lead Maintenance Technician for the 2.4-meter Telescope facility, Craig is responsible for the repair and maintenance of the building and support structures and provides technical support to the 2.4-m staff and research customers visiting and working at the facility.
(575) 835 – 6887

NESSI

Creech-Eakman, Michelle Interferometer Project Scientist/NESSI Principal Investigator
MRO employee Michelle Creech-EakmanMichelle Creech-Eakman is a Professor of Physics at NMT and has been the Project Scientist for MROI since 2003. She also serves on several panels and organizing committees including those for SPIE, NASA and NSF. Professional website
(575) 835 – 6756
(575) 835 – 5809
Olivares, Andres Interferometer Lead Opto-Mechanical Engineer
MRO employee Andres Olivares staff photoAndres Olivares joined MRO in 2007 from NOAO/CTIO of Chile. As lead Opto-Mechanical Engineer he is the sub-project lead for the Unit Telescope Mount. He is also responsible for designing and assisting of major opto-mechanical subsystem for the Interferometer; supervise external contracts and purchases related to opto-mechanical effort. He is also an opto-mechanical engineer for NESSI in collaboration with NASA/JPL.
(575) 835 – 6758
Salcido, Chris Interferometer Opto-Mechanical Engineer
MRO employee Chris Salcido staff photoChris Salcido joined MRO in 2007 as an undergraduate mechanical engineering student at New Mexico Tech (NMT) and became a full time Mechanical Engineer after graduating with his B.S. degree in 2008. He is currently the lead engineer for the Vacuum System.
(575) 835 – 6947

Facilities, Site & Infrastructure

Jojola, Stephen Maintenance Tech 
MRO employee Jessie Maes staff photoAs maintenance tech, Stephen Jojola aids in array preparation, installation, and maintenance for the telescope enclosure. He also performs minor electrical work, welds plates and pipes, and does concrete drilling.
Pino, Juan Equipment Operator
MRO employee Juan Pino staff photoJuan Pino joined MRO in 2006. He works as the heavy equipment operator on the ridge.
(575) 518 – 8077

Education & Outreach

Etscorn, Shelbi Outreach Assistant
Shelbi Etscorn joined the MRO in 2019 as the Outreach Assistant. She is responsible for writing and editing content for the MRO website, social media, promotional materials, and various MRO publications. She supports the Assistant Director of Outreach and Communications with activities related to public and private tours, exhibitions and conferences, educational outreach, and promotion.
N/A
Gino, M. Colleen Assistant Director of Outreach and Communications
MRO employee M. Colleen Gino staff photoColleen Gino joined MRO in 2017. She is responsible for the organization, management, and execution of outreach activities for the whole of the Magdalena Ridge Observatory with activities related to marketing and promotion, website and social media, education, visitors, tours, Friends of MRO, Board of Visitors, and the MRO Visitor Center and Gift Shop.
(575) 835 – 6782

Student Employees

Dooley, Jonathan Research Assistant
Jonathan Dooley joined MRO in 2017 while working on his graduate degree in Applied Physics/Instrumentation at New Mexico Tech. He aids in research on beam path stabilization and control system development for the Beam Relay System.
N/A
Norouzi, Siavash Student Assistant
Siavash Norouzi is currently a Masters student in Computer Science at NMT. He joined the MROI in May of 2019. Siavash is part of both the software team and  AAS(Automated Alignment System) team as a software developer.
N/A