My Team

Large leading edge projects don't happen in a vacuume. I am pleased to be working with an excellent group of motivated individuals who all believe we can discover an extrasolar planet.

John Fritzel
Co-investigator / Engineer 

Interests: electronic music, theoretical physics, philosophy and high-power rockets.

John is primarily involved with the telescope and spectrograph hardware and construction. Shown here with his home-built 10" F4.5 clock-driven Newtonian, built in 1988.

John Innis

John is a PhD astronomer who is now conducting in air pollution monitoring for the Tasmanian EPA. John's thesis work at Monash University was on active-chromosphere stars. This was followed by five years postdoctoral work on stellar seismology and exo-planets at the University of Birmingham (England). After that, John became an atmospheric physicist for the Australian Antarctic Division in Tasmania. He has completed two winters in Antarctica where he studied atmospheric dynamics at auroral altitudes, and later worked with the atmospheric LIDAR at Davis station. He has also held a visiting scholar position at the University of Alaska Fairbanks conducting research on upper-atmosphere gravity waves in the polar regions.

Dan Joyce

"Jedi" Dan Joyce is 4th term president of the Chicago Astronomical Society and is an Earth and Space Science educator at the Cernan Space Center at Triton College. He is also the astronomical advisor to Tom Skilling's "Ask Tom Why" column in the Chicago Tribune. With a 30-year history of mirror-making, Dan has made such notable optics as Don Parker's 16" F6, the Peoria Astronomical Society's 24", and George Lucas of Star Wars fame's 10" Newtonian. Dan will be responsible for grinding the optics on the planet finder telescope.

Doug George

Doug George is President of Cyanogen Productions and the lead author of Maxim DL and Maxim DL/CCD astronomical imaging software. Doug is a Professional Engineer with 16 years of experience ranging from digital signal processing to electromagnetic sensor design. Doug co-discovered Comet Skorichenko-George in December, 1989 and has several supernova discoveries with Tim Puckett. Doug will be providing customized Maxim DL software for the project.

Bob Boyle
Co-investigator / 

Interests: Computers, astronomy and physics

Bob is the Labview programmer on the team and has worked on the PMT and temperature control systems.

Sigfried Vanaverbeke 

Sigfried is a PhD physicist working at the university of Leuven in Belgium. He is based at the local university campus in Kortrijk in the western part of Flanders. Among his current research interests are numerical modeling of wave propagation in nonlinear mesoscopic materials, computer models of the structure and evolution of protostellar and protoplanetary disks, exoplanet photometry and radial velocity studies. His contribution to the project will include selection of the stellar sample and modeling and analysis of the radial velocity data.