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Dr. Unwin received his BA, MA, and PhD degrees from the University of Cambridge, and was a postdoctoral fellow and a Member of the Professional Staff at Caltech. He researched active galactic nuclei using VLBI and X-ray instruments and contributed to techniques for sparse-aperture imaging. For several years he was manager of the VLBI correlator, an essential component of the VLBI imaging system. His experience ranges from working with telescopes and instrumentation at OVRO, Parkes, Palomar, CSO, VLA, and VLBA, and with the ROSAT, FERMI, and Kepler spacecraft.
Steve moved to JPL in 1996 to work on the Space Interferometry Mission, and was Deputy Project Scientist for the project during its long development. He served as Deputy Program Scientist for the Exoplanet Exploration Program for several years, working extensively with community-based science teams. He has extensive experience in end-to-end mission concept development, and has led several mission proposals to NASA. Most recently, he served as Proposal Manager on the SPHEREx mission, approved in Oct 2020 to enter Implementation (Phase C).
Dr. Unwin is Vice President of the American Astronomical Society (2020-2023), and also served on the Board of Directors (2014-17), responsible for planning the annual scientific meetings. He is a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, a member of the AAS Division on Dynamical Astronomy (Chair 2006-7), a member of the International Scientific Radio Union, and a member of the International Astronomical Union.