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Professor Carole Tucker BSc, MSc, PhD

Professor Carole Tucker

BSc, MSc, PhD

Astronomy Instrumentation Group
Cardiff Hub for Astrophysics Research and Technology

+44 (0)29 2087 4144
N/0.43, Queen's Buildings - North Building, 5 The Parade, Newport Road, Cardiff, CF24 3AA
Available for postgraduate supervision


I am a member of the Astronomy Instrumentation Group (AIG) and have worked on a large number of far infrared and submillimetre projects, both ground-based and space-borne.

My particular expertise lies with the quasi-optical filter technology for which Cardiff is the sole-provider worldwide.  I manage the Cardiff Filter Technology production facility, which consists of two cleanroom suites running with a technical team of six; we supply up to 500 devices per year to our international collaborators and commercial partners.  I currently hold a Royal Society of Edinburgh Enterprise Fellowship related to the Cardiff Production Facility.

I also love teaching physics and talking to students; I am currently the Careers Officer for the School.


I completed my BSc in Physics at Reading University, then my MSc (Medical Physics) and PhD at Queen Mary, University of London.   During this time I gained considerable cleanroom experience building novel detection devices and I learnt a number of spectroscopic techniques (optical, X-ray and positron).

In 1998 I took a PDRA position in the Astronomy Instrumentation Group (AIG) at QMUL, working on the hardware for the ESA Herschel and Planck Space Satellites.  In 2001 our group and this activity moved to Cardiff University.

During my 20 years with the AIG I have worked on a large number of international submm/FIR project teams and I now lead the Cardiff Filter Manufacture Facility.  The underpinning R&D of our work has predominantly been funded by successive STFC awards, however in the past I have also worked on the application of Cardiff AIG technology to biological fields for which I obtained two EPSRC awards.  As well as conventional academic work, I have a large portfolio of commercial activity relating to the provision of Cardiff Filters worldwide and hold a number of service contracts for the provision of filters.

In 2005 I became an academic member of staff and I was promoted to Professor in 2014. During this time I have acted as the School’s UG Admission Tutor, Director of Teaching and Deputy Head of School.

I am a member of the Institute of Physics, the Royal Astronomical Society and a Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales.

























  • Bowey, J. E., Lee, C., Tucker, C., Hofmeister, A. M. and Ade, P. A. R. 2000. 16-80 μm Spectra of Crystalline Silicates at 4 K, ~ 80 K and 295 K. Presented at: ISO beyond the Peaks, Villafranca del Castillo, Spain, 2-4 February 2000ISO Beyond the Peaks: Proceedings of the Second ISO Workshop on Analytical Spectroscopy : ISO Data Centre, Villafranca del Castillo, Madrid, Spain, 2-4 February 2000. ESASP Vol. 456. Paris: European Space Agency pp. 339-342.


I have acted as Module Organiser and/or written the content of the following modules:

  • PX4125 Instrumentation for Astronomy;
  • PX3136 Electromagnetic Radiation Detection;
  • PX1123, PX1223 Introductory Practical Physics I & II;
  • PX0202 Electromagnetism and Light;
  • PX0203 Elementary Mathematics.

In addition I act as a Supervisor and Primary Assessor for Yr 3, Yr 4 and MSc project students and I am a Personal Tutor to undergraduate students.

I have held a number of teaching-related administrative posts within the School and I am currently the Careers Officer for Physics.

My expertise is in the following fields:

  • FIR astronomical instrumentation for photometric and spectroscopic studies;
  • Quasi Optics and metamaterials for FIR Astronomy and THz applications;
  • IR to THz spectroscopy of optical components and materials;
  • Cryogenic instrumentation.

My main activity is the management and development of the Cardiff Filter Technology.   Our production facility is the world-wide provider of embedded metal-mesh optical components and metamaterials to the FIR astronomical community. We also supply devices to the broader THz community via spin-out company QMC Instruments Ltd.

I have worked on a large number of FIR/submm projects and my present activities include:

  • Membership of the Simons Observatory, work-package leader for optical filters;
  • Provisional membership of the CMB-S4 community;
  • Membership of the SPICA-SAFARI instrument consortium;
  • Membership of the QUBIC Collaboration Board;
  • Membership of the LiteBIRD consortium and WP leader for optical filters;
  • Membership of the TolTEC technical team.


Current supervision


Charlotte Braithwaite

Research student

Past projects

  • MSc Supervisor for Ms Lois Marsh, graduated 2019, Large Aperture Optical Fitlering for the Simons Observatory Telescopes.
  • PhD Supervisor for Dr Peri Jones, graduated 2017Towards disease diagnosis through Terahertz spectroscopy of biological components and tissue.
  • PhD Co-Supervisor for Dr Adam Rykala, graduated 2012, Star formation studies using the Herschel-SPIRE Imaging FTS.