Rich Townsend Awarded Tenure

Aug 18, 2014

The Department of Astronomy was pleased to learn that Dr. Richard Townsend has been promoted to Associate Professor with tenure effective the 2014-2015 academic year.  Townsend joined the UW-Madison astronomy department in 2008, and leads the department’s Massive Stars research group, which investigates the magnetic fields, oscillations, rotation and winds of the Universe’s hottest and brightest stars.


“Rich is an internationally recognized expert on the winds and pulsations of stars, especially those more massive than the Sun. He is especially known for innovations and implementation of advanced computational techniques in astrophysics. His tenure process included rigorous reviews of his research, teaching, and service to both the scholarly community and the public,” Dr. Ellen Zweibel, department chair and chair of his mentoring team says. “Rich was reviewed within the department, by an international group of experts, and on the campus level, and he was approved unanimously and with enthusiasm. I’m not surprised, but I am delighted. Rich has been a wonderful colleague from his first day in the department.” 


Prior to becoming a member of the UW, Townsend earned his undergraduate degree in Physics at the University of Oxford, and his PhD in Astronomy at University College London.  After a year spent teaching high-school physics in Ghana and developing web software at Reuters Ltd, he returned to astronomy to work as a postdoctoral researcher, also at University College London.


Subsequently, he emigrated to the USA, working at the University of Delaware as an Associate Scientist before joining us at UW-Madison. Townsend came to Madison because “It has a long, proud tradition of outstanding research in stellar astrophysics, that I would love to build on.”


Congratulations Rich.

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