Professor Sergei Gulyaev is the founder and director of AUT’s Institute for Radio Astronomy and Space Research. Under his direction the institute has built an observatory at Warkworth, north of Auckland equipped with a 12 metre and a 30 metre radio telescope.
A hallmark of Professor Gulyaev’s research is his collaborative approach with the IRASR forging working relationships with radio astronomy and national aeronautical organisations around the world such as NASA, SpaceX, ESA (European Space Agency) and JAXA (Japanese Space Agency).
In one of many collaborative projects Professor Gulyaev and his team have used a technique known as Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) to link the Warkworth radio telescope with observatories across Australia, including ASKAP (Australian SKA Pathfinder). Acting as one virtual radio telescope they were able to get greater resolution or sharper cosmic images from their observations.
In 2004, Professor Gulyaev, along with Sir Ian Axford, set up a committee called SKANZ to begin the crusade for New Zealand to join Australia in bidding for the hosting of the international science project known as the Square Kilometre Array (SKA). In 2007, by running an SKA Industry Roadshow in three cities and commissioning a Business Case for NZ to join in the Australian SKA bid (ACIL Tasman) a greater awareness of the scientific and economic benefits for this country was promoted nationally.
As a direct result of the SKA’s demands for enormous and complex data processing, one of Professor Gulyaev’s students has conducted research on a new model for managing massive and dynamic amounts of data (published by Springer, 2012).
Another of his PhD students has done original work solving a quantum mechanics mystery which has confounded scientists for the last 10 years. It concerns the density of giant atoms in deep space.