Prof Paul Groot started his new job as the SALT South African Research Chair in Fast Transients and Gravitational Wave Counterparts on 1 November 2018. This is a joint position with the SAAO, hosted at UCT, whilst on secondment from Radboud University Nijmegen.
Paul Groot is professor of astronomy at Radboud University, located in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, and the SALT SARChI professor at the University of Cape Town. He obtained his PhD cum laude in 1999 at the University of Amsterdam, among others on the first detection of optical afterglows from gamma-ray bursts. After a stay at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics as a CfA fellow he returned to the Netherlands in 2002 to co-found the Department of Astrophysics at Radboud University. He was chair of the Department from 2006-2016, and chair of the Netherlands Research School for Astronomy (NOVA) from 2012-2016. He plays a very active role in setting the research and instrumentation agenda for Dutch astronomy. His research is focused on compact binary systems, transients, and gravitational wave astrophysics. He has a keen interest in instrumentation, among others as Project Scientist on the VLT X-Shooter spectrograph and Principal Investigator on both the MeerLICHT telescope and the BlackGEM array. He is a member of the Virgo Collaboration in gravitational wave physics. He is the co-recipient of the 2002 EU Descartes Prize, the 2016 Special Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics, and the 2016 Gruber Prize in Cosmology.