Sascha is the Astrophotonics group lead for the International Space Centre at the University of Western Australia.
Sascha has been fascinated by human space exploration since being inspired by the real-world flights of the Space Shuttle and the fantasy flights of Star Trek’s Starship Enterprise.
Sascha’s own career in space research started at Curtin University analysing NASA Apollo lunar samples. In 2007, he obtained his PhD from UWA, working on the development of the Advanced LIGO gravitational wave detectors, including a six-month research period at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).
This was followed by a four-year postdoctoral position at the University of Oxford working on phased array technologies for the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) telescope. After returning to Australia, Sascha worked on optical fibre frequency metrology, and this included a three-month research visit to Systèmes de Référence Temps-Espace (SYRTE) at Paris Observatory.
In 2014, Sascha started a research group at the UWA node of the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR), where he leads an international team to develop and construct the SKA telescope’s phase synchronisation system. He has since translated these technologies and combining them with adaptive optics techniques used in cutting-edge optical telescopes, to become a world-leader in the pioneering field of free-space optical frequency transfer.
In 2021, Sascha was named the Australian Space Awards “Academic of the Year” and the winner of the overall “Excellence Award” across all individual award categories.