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Professor Matt Griffin

Professor Matt Griffin

Head of Astronomy Instrumentation Group
Cardiff Hub for Astrophysics Research and Technology (Co-Director)

+44 (0)29 2087 4203
N/1.16, Queen's Buildings - North Building, 5 The Parade, Newport Road, Cardiff, CF24 3AA
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I am a member (and currently Head) of the Astronomy Instrumentation Group, with many years experience in far infrared and submillimetre astronomy and instrumentation, both ground-based and space-borne.


I studied Electrical Engineering at University College Dublin, graduating in 1976, after which I worked in industry before doing an MSc in Astrophsyics and subsequently a PhD in Astrophysics at Queen Mary College London, graduating in 1985. I remained at Queen Mary until 2001, when I joined the Astronomy Instrumentation Group at Cardiff University.

Honours and awards

  • Royal Astronomical Society Group Achievement Award: SCUBA Team, 2009
  • Arthur C Clarke Individual Achievement Award, UK Space Conference, 2010
  • French Association for Aeronautics and Astronautics Grand Prix award to Herschel/Planck Team, 2010
  • Royal Astronomical Society Jackson-Gwilt medal, 2011
  • Arthur C Clarke Academic Study/Research Achievement Award: Herschel-SPIRE Team, UK Space Conference, 2013
  • Royal Astronomical Society, Group Achievement Award: Herschel-SPIRE Team, 2014
  • Honorary Doctorate (Docteur Honoris Causa), Université Aix-Marseille, 2018

Professional memberships

  • Fellow of the Institute of Physics
  • Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales
  • Member of the Royal Astronomical Society

Academic positions

1989 - 2000  Lecturer/Reader/Professor in the Department of Physics, Queen Mary, University of London

I was Head of the Cardiff School of Physics and Astronomy between 2014 and 2018.

Committees and reviewing


  • Member of the UK Research Excellence Framework (REF2021) Physics sub-panel
  • Member of the European Space Agency (ESA) Space Science Advisory Committee (SSAC)
  • Member of SRON, Netherlands, Science Advisory Committee
  • Chair of the UK Space Agency (UKSA) Athena Programme Management Board
  • Member of the UKSA Space Programme Advisory Committee (SPAC)
  • Member of the Research Councils' Individual Merit Promotion (IMP) Scheme Panel
  • Editorial Board for the Journal of Astronomical Instrumentation
  • Member of the Learned Society of Wales Fellowship Panel

Previously I have served on many RCUK peer review and policy-making committees, including the JCMT Board (as chair), STFC Science Board (as chair), the European Space Agency Science Programme Committee (UK delegate), and on European panels including the European Space Science Advisory Committee and the European Union FP-7 Science Advisory Group. I have also served on several national and international research evaluation panels including for Universities and agencies in France, Sweden, Ireland, and the USA.


We are currently unable to retrieve the list of publications. Visit our institutional repository.


I am currently module organiser for the first-year core course "Electricity, Magnetism, and Waves", and participate in teaching the fourth-year course "Instrumentation for Astronomy" as well as delivering postgraduate lectures in Astronomy Instrumentation. In recent years I have also taught "The Physics of Semiconductor Devices", "Electromagnetic Radiation Detection", and "The Sun and Stars"

Far infrared and submillimetre astronomy and instrumentation, especially developing technology and instruments for both ground-based and satellite-borne observatories.

Recent and present activities include:

  • Principal Investigator for the Herschel-SPIRE instrument
  • Coordinator of the SPACEKIDS European Union FP-7 project
  • Co-I on FP-7 projects HELP (Herschel-related extragalactic astronomy) and FISICA (FIR interferometry technology development)
  • Member of the SPICA collaboration and of the ESA SPICA Science Study Team. SPICA was studied by ESA and the Japanese space agency JAXA, for study as a candidate for the ESA M5 mission, but not selected
  • UK Co-PI for the ARIEL exoplanet characterisation mission, adopted by ESA as its M4 mission, with launch envisaged in 2029


Past projects

I currently co-supervise one PhD student (Luke Booth) working on exoplanet characterisation.  Previously I have supervised students working on both astronomical instrumentation and star formation.