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Professor Matt Griffin

Professor Matt Griffin

Head of Astronomy Instrumentation Group

School of Physics and Astronomy

+44 (0)29 2087 4203
N/1.16, Queen's Buildings - North Building, 5 The Parade, Newport Road, Cardiff, CF24 3AA
Media commentator

I am a member 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), Universit√© Aix-Marseille, 2018

Professional memberships

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

Committees and reviewing


  • Member of the Research Councils' Individual Merit Promotion Scheme Panel
  • Editorial Board for the Journal of Astronomical Instrumentation
  • Member of SRON, Netherlands, Science Advisory Committee
  • Member of the SPICA Science Study Team
  • Member of REF2021 Physics (UoA 9) 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)
  • UK Co-PI for the ARIEL exoplanet characterisation mission, selected by ESA as its M4 mission, with
    launch envisaged in 2018
  • UK Spokesperson for the SPICA-SAFARI instrument consortium (SPICA has been selected by ESA for
    Phase-A study as a candidate for its M5 mission)

I currently co-supervise one PhD student working on observational star formation.

Past projects

Previously I have supervised students working on both astronomical instrumentation and star formation.