Primary Mirror Expert
John Menzies received his PhD from the Australian National University in Canberra following work on globular clusters at Mt Stromlo Observatory. He proceeded to Oxford to take up the Radcliffe-Henry Skynner travelling fellowship in astronomy at Balliol College. This provided access to the Radcliffe Observatory in Pretoria where the 1.9-m telescope then resided. This was followed by a stint of teaching at Preston Polytechnic in Lancashire (now the University of Central Lancashire) and finally a post at SAAO as head of photoelectric photometry. Soon after CCDs came to SAAO he became head of the CCD department and wrote lots of control software. Research since 1995 has focussed on the search for extra-solar planets using the gravitational microlensing technique as a member of the PLANET collaboration, and for a bit of light relief, an infrared survey of Local Group galaxies for long-period variable stars. Involvement with SALT has been in the form of data analysis for the primary mirror edge-sensing system. The hardest feature of the SALT activity has been trying to think like an engineer rather than like an astronomer!