Dickel, Hélène R. (1938-) | University of Illinois Archives

Name: Dickel, Hélène R. (1938-)

Historical Note:

Hélène R. Dickel (b. 1938), Emerita Research Professor of Astronomy, held the position of Research Professor in Astronomy at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) from 1977 to 2001. She is known in her field as co-discoverer of the first formaldehyde maser (1979) and for being "a pioneer in radio molecular spectroscopy using radio aperture synthesis techniques" (UIUC Biography).

Dickel completed her bachelor's degree in mathematics from Mount Holyoke College in 1959 before studying astronomy at the University of Michigan, earning her master's in 1961 and PhD in 1964. After holding research positions at UIUC (1965-77), she was appointed Research Professor in Astronomy in 1977, a position she held until her retirement in 2001. Over the course of her career, Dickel has held visiting positions in the US and internationally, including at the Division of Radiophysics in Sydney, Australia (1970-71); Sterrewacht te Leiden, the Netherlands (1977-79); Earth and Space Sciences Division of the Los Alamos Laboratory in New Mexico (1985-86); the Australia Telescope National Facility in Sydney, Australia (1992-93); the Netherlands Foundation for Research in Astronomy in Dwingeloo; and the Astronomical Institute of the University of Amsterdam. Her pioneering work in radio molecular spectroscopy resulted in some of the earliest images of molecular distributions using the Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope (the Netherlands), the Very Large Array of Radio Telescopes of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (US and Chile), and the millimeter array of the Berkeley-Illinois-Maryland Association (UIUC Biography). Dickel's later work involved researching radiative transfer modeling of star-forming regions.

Dickel retired in 2001 before relocating to Albuquerque, New Mexico, in 2005, where she served as an Adjunct Professor in the Physics and Astronomy Department of the University of New Mexico, working on the Long Wavelength Array project (2005-2018).


Hélène R. Dickel," accessed April 23, 2020, http://www.phys.unm.edu/~h-dickel/.

"Prof Helene R Dickel Phd, Biography," Department of Astronomy (UIUC), accessed April 23, 2020, https://astro.illinois.edu/directory/profile/h-dickel.

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