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Erik Kuulkers

Erik grew up in a small village in the Netherlands and studied at the University of Amsterdam, where he received his PhD on EXOSAT observations of Z sources, some of the brightest X-ray sources in the sky. Following his PhD, Erik took up a post as a research fellow at ESA’s European Space Technology Centre (ESTEC) in Noordwijk, the Netherlands on which he worked on data from the Italian-Dutch satellite BeppoSAX.

After his time as a research fellow Erik moved to Oxford University, UK and then to Utrecht University/Netherlands Institute for Space Research (SRON) for Postdoctoral positions. In 2002, just before INTEGRAL was launched Erik returned to ESTEC to work as an operations scientist for the mission.

In 2004 Erik moved with the INTEGRAL science operations center (ISOC) to the European Space Astronomy Centre (ESAC) near Madrid, Spain. Erik now continues to work on INTEGRAL operations, where he and his colleagues take care of planning what INTEGRAL observes, as well as interfacing with the scientific community about their observations and the scientists in charge of INTEGRAL’s instruments regarding the performance of the detectors.

Besides his duties as an INTEGRAL operations scientist, Erik devotes his research life to accretion of material from solar-type stars onto tiny, but compact objects such as white dwarfs, neutron stars and even black holes. Many of these binary stars live in the direction of the centre of our Galaxy, in a region known as the Galactic Bulge. Erik, with the help of the INTEGRAL space observatory, takes snapshots of the Galactic Bulge about every three days.

Last Update: 03 April 2009
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