Ian Veenendaal attended Immanuel Christian High School from grades 7-12 and graduated in 2009. After graduating, he completed a Bachelor’s, Master’s and PhD in Physics at the University of Lethbridge. Ian worked under the supervision of Prof. David Naylor, developing new concepts for scientific instruments used on space telescopes for studying the universe at far-infrared and microwave wavelengths.
“These wavelengths are used to study cold, dark areas of the universe, containing clouds of dust and gas which may collapse under their own gravity to form new stars, allowing us to understand the physics behind the star formation process,” Ian explained. “Also, long wavelengths allow us to peer past all stellar objects in the foreground to study the background glow of the universe known as the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) which marks remnants of the formation of the very first atoms.”
Ian has worked at SRON, a space research institute in the Netherlands in the cities of Groningen and Leiden, and currently, Ian & his wife Alexis live in Cardiff, Wales, where Ian works as a research fellow at Cardiff University. His main work involves optical design and AIV (assembly, integration, and verification) for various far-infrared and microwave telescopes. Ian has previously worked on the Herschel & SPICA space telescopes, and now works on the Simons Observatory, a ground-based CMB telescope located in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile, and LiteBIRD, a space-based CMB telescope led by the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency.