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Dr. A. Hermann Pfund Professor (Director, CAS)
Timothy M. Heckman, the inaugural Dr. A. Hermann Pfund Professor, is the director of the Center for Astrophysical Sciences. In this role he is responsible for promoting and supporting research in astrophysics, for nurturing large-scale projects and providing them with an organizational structure, for providing a forum and a focus for strategic planning, for fostering cooperation between the different elements of the local astrophysics and space science communities, and for providing a structured career path for the non-tenure-track research staff. The center comprises nearly 80 PhD-level faculty and research staff and 40 graduate students and receives $10 million annually in NASA grants and contracts.
Heckman received a BA magna cum laude from Harvard College and a PhD in astrophysics from the University of Washington. He then held a postdoctoral fellowship at the Leiden Observatory followed by the Bart Bok Fellowship at the Steward Observatory. In 1982, he joined the faculty in the astronomy program at the University of Maryland. He came to Hopkins in 1989, holding a joint appointment as a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy and tenured astronomer at the Space Telescope Science Institute. He became a full-time Hopkins faculty member in 1994 and has been the director of the Center for Astrophysical Sciences since 2002. Heckman currently chairs the Pan-STARRS1 Board, is a member of the National Academy of Sciences ASTRO2010 Committee, the Board of the Association for Research in Astronomy (AURA), the National Radio Astronomy Observatory Visiting Committee, the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) North American Science Advisory Committee, and the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) Advisory Committee. He served as chair of the Astrophysical Research Consortium (ARC) Board of Governors from 1995 through 2000 during which time ARC established the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. He has served on NASA’s Structure and Evolution of the Universe Subcommittee, and on the National Academy of Sciences' Committee on Astronomy & Astrophysics. He has also served on AURA’s Space Telescope Science Institute Council, Gemini Oversight Committee, and two Space Telescope Science Institute director search committees.
Heckman’s research has focused on the evolution of galaxies and supermassive black holes. He has authored or co-authored over 600 scholarly publications which have been cited over 28,000 times. He has given nearly 100 invited talks at national and international conferences and symposia. He has been awarded an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship and been named the Sackler Distinguished Lecturer.
Heckman currently chairs the Pan-STARRS1 Science Consortium Board and is the vice chair of the Board of the Association for Research in Astronomy (AURA). He is a member of the Subaru Prime Focus Spectrograph Steering Committee, the National Academy of Science’s Committee on Astronomy & Astrophysics, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) Advisory Committee, and the Visiting Committee of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory. He served as chair of the Astrophysical Research Consortium (ARC) Board of Governors from 1995 through 2000, during which time ARC established the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. He served on the National Academy of Sciences 2010 decadal survey "New Worlds, New Horizons."