Our team's structure

The MWA Operations team is based at Curtin University, 600km from the telescope itself. Together with the MWA Management team, this small dedicated group of people keeps the telescope running every day of the year. See the image below for the MWA's organisational structure.

The structure of the MWA Management and Operations team personnel.


Professor Steven Tingay, MWA Director

John Curtin Distinguished Professor Steven Tingay is an internationally renowned radio astronomer, spanning astrophysics, engineering, instrumentation, high performance computing, and project governance. Professor Tingay has been involved in the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) project since its inception, and was the driving force behind its Phase I, 128-tile configuration, a A$51 million phase which commenced mid-2013. The MWA is a precursor to the multi-national €1.7 billion Square Kilometre Array (SKA) telescope. Professor Tingay is a central figure in international SKA developments and played a leading role in securing this investment for Western Australia. Professor Tingay was appointed a WA Premier’s Fellow in 2007. His personal research has resulted in over 280 refereed publications, accumulating over 12,000 citations. Professor Tingay’s most recent achievement is being awarded joint winner of the WA Scientist of the Year for 2020.

As the MWA Director, Prof. Tingay is responsible for the overall operations and financial management of the telescope.

Steven Tingay

MWA Director

Mr Tom Booler, MWA Program Manager

Mr Booler has had an extensive career in project management and logistics spanning the Armed Forces, industry and now research organisations. He has held the role of MWA Project Manager for over 9 years.

Tom Booler

MWA Program Manager

Associate Professor Randall Wayth, MWA Principal Engineer

 A/Prof. Wayth has a background in both electrical engineering and computer science with undergraduate degrees in both disciplines, combined with a PhD in radio astronomy. A/Prof. Wayth has over 150 refereed publications covering both the scientific exploitation and technical development of low frequency interferometers. He was responsible for the design and execution of the GLEAM survey (Wayth et al. 2015) and led the design and deployment of the Phase II MWA expansion (Wayth et al. 2018).

Randall Wayth

MWA Principal Engineer

Ms Mia Walker, MWA Project Officer 

Ms Walker has honours degrees in Electronics and Communications Engineering (BEng) and Physics (BSc). Ms Walker provides project planning and reporting to major stakeholders, supports the Management team in implementing and maintaining contracts, supports the management of technical and project information, and liaises with partners in Australian government, industry and the wider international MWA Collaboration. In addition, Ms Walker supports on-site and local instrumentation and engineering programs, and represents the MWA at outreach events.

Mia Walker

MWA Project Officer

Mx Derwent McElhinney, AusSRC Developer

Mx McElhinney is a nonbinary software developer with a strong drive for solving challenging engineering problems on the cutting edge of computer science. After doing a BSc in Computer Science and Physics, they spent several years as a software development consultant with a focus on quality software delivery through the disciplined use of industry best practices. It is these practices which Mx McElhinney hopes to employ in the development and optimization of the MWA's signal processing pipeline as it evolves into one which can scale up to meet the demands of the future upgrades. Mx McElhinney is embedded in the MWA Operations team and funded by the AusSRC project to liaise with scientific and technical stakeholders in developing software solutions focussed primarily on achieving the science goals of the Epoch of Reionisation (EoR) team.  

In the long-term, Mx McElhinney will use the insights gained from the MWA development effort to inform the requirements and system architecture of the High-Performance Computing systems for the future Australia SKA Regional Centre. 

Derwent (Dev) McElhinney

AusSRC Developer

Mr Harrison Barlow, MWA ASVO Web Developer

Mr Barlow has a BSc in software engineering and computer science. Having managed and built websites for national e-commerce companies, international tourism brands, and fortune 500 companies, he brings experience in front end development, digital strategy, user experience (UX) and design & data analytics. Within his role, Mr Barlow assists with the management of the MWA node of the All-Sky Virtual Observatory (AVSO); the web-based data portal which serves telescope data products to the wider astronomical community. His area of responsibility includes designing, developing, testing and maintaining the web-front end and back-end software components and systems of the MWA ASVO.

Harrison Barlow

MWA ASVO Web Developer

Mr Brian Crosse, Project Lead and Engineer

Mr Brian Crosse has 20 years of experience in the design, commissioning and maintenance of ruggedized RF systems including radio telescopes for deployment in harsh environments. Mr Crosse is currently leading the CIRA design effort for the SKA-LOW Power and Signal Distribution system. Mr Crosse provides strategic technical advice and overview on MWA Operations and potential instrumental upgrades.

Brian Crosse

Project Lead and Engineer

Mr David Emrich, MWA Hardware Manager

Mr Emrich has a degree in computer science and over 30 years of experience in engineering and hardware management, including 10 years with the MWA. In his current role, Mr Emrich is responsible for the continued operation of the telescope, including hardware life-cycle management and upgrade planning. Duties also include supporting external instruments and partners with experiments designed to interface with MWA hardware and/or operate on site.

David Emrich

MWA Hardware Manager

Mr Phillip Giersch, MWA Technician

Mr Giersch holds a Diploma of Electronics and Communications Engineering. Prior to joining the MWA team he had over ten years’ experience as a technician in electronics, electro-mechanical repair, installation and servicing. Within this period, he has been working across multiple industries including education, biomedical engineering and consumer electronics.  In his current role, Mr Giersch is responsible for installing and maintaining electronic and electro-mechanical equipment and scientific instruments relevant for the MWA. Furthermore, his duties entail assisting with electronic upgrades to instruments & systems, contributing to the design, construction and modification of electronic circuitry and preparing documentation, reports and recommendations associated with electronic facilities.  

Phillip Giersch

MWA Technician

Mr Andrew McPhail, MWA Fieldwork Coordinator

Mr McPhail has an extensive background in the Armed Forces. As Fieldwork Coordinator, he is accountable to the Director for ensuring all activities on the MRO are conducted in accordance with the internal policies of the MWA, the CSIRO site licence agreement, Indigenous land use conditions, and the health safety and emergency procedures of Curtin University and CSIRO. This includes co-ordinating all logistic support, planning and conducting routine maintenance, conducting instrument deployment, and providing support to the MWA Hardware Manager. He is also the MRO MWA Site Warden and First Aid Officer for all site specific emergency planning and responses.

Andrew McPhail

Fieldwork Coordinator

Mr Greg Sleap, MWA Data Manager 

Mr Sleap has a degree in information technology and a masters in astronomy, and extensive experience in software development. He is responsible for the planning, design, development, testing, implementation, monitoring, troubleshooting, support and day-to-day running of the MWA Archive. This includes the dataflow out of the correlator and voltage capture system, transport, pre-processing, long term storage and access of data for member researchers and the public via the MWA ASVO web portal. Mr Sleap is also responsible (jointly with Dr Andrew Williams) for all MWA networks and server infrastructure at the MRO, Pawsey and Curtin University, as well as the MWA Collaboration software and infrastructure (Co Manage, AAF/edGAIN, Confluence Wiki, mailman). Mr Sleap is also the primary contact for liaising with our key service providers: Pawsey, CSIRO, AArnet, Australian Access Federation, AAL and Curtin University IT services.

Greg Sleap

MWA Data Manager

Dr Andrew Williams, MWA Monitor and Control Engineer 

Dr Williams has a BSc and PhD in Physics. Dr Williams is responsible for the computers and software providing the telescope user interface (command line tools, human readable web pages, etc), as well as handling telescope systems startup and shutdown, writing the desired observing state to the hardware and detecting faults in real time, storing and disseminating observation metadata, and logging and visualising telemetry data (voltages, temperatures, etc). Day-to-day work is a mix of gradual improvements/enhancements to the existing MWA software, and new work to support changes in the MWA architecture (long baseline tiles, new correlator, etc). Dr Williams is also currently responsible for scheduling time on the MWA. 

Andrew Williams

MWA Monitor and Control Engineer