Stanford physicist Steven Kahn to head Large Telescope project

Physics Professor STEVEN KAHN has been named director of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) Project. He will assume the post July 1 and will retain his affiliation with SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford.

LSST is billed on its website as the “widest, fastest, deepest eye of the new digital age.” The project is currently in the final stages of its design and development. The telescope will be located in Chile.

By digitally imaging the sky for a decade, the LSST will drive advances in big-data science and computing and create opportunities for transformative education in science, technology and mathematics.

“Steve brings a unique blend of relevant management and scientific experience to this position. He will inherit a strong team and will lead LSST into the construction phase,” said WILLIAM SMITH, president of the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA), who made the announcement last week.

In this artist's rendition, the LSST primary mirror is seen through the slit of the dome at sunset. The LSST will carry out a deep, 10-year imaging survey in six broad optical bands over the main survey area of 18,000 square degrees. (Image credit: Todd Mason, Mason Productions Inc. / LSST Corp.)

DAVID MACFARLANE, director of SLAC Particle Physics and Astrophysics, and chair of the LSST Corporation board of directors, said, “Steve Kahn brings an outstanding breadth of scientific credentials in assuming the LSST director role, along with tremendous project leadership and management experience.” He added that Kahn is uniquely positioned with the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy to take on the directorship as the project makes the all-important transition to construction.

Read the full announcement from AURA.