Research Assistance Centres


Armando Gil de Paz
Head of CAI Physical Technologies
Ph.D. in Physical Sciences
Brief biography: Degree in Physics from UCM (Extraordinary Prize 1995). After an FPU scholarship I received my PhD from UCM in 2000, year in which I started working at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, CA. In 2002 I moved to the Carnegie Observatories of Washington where I worked until 2005. In that year I got a Marie Curie at UCM, where in 2007 I accepted an R&C contract. Since 2017 I am Full Professor at UCM itself. Main scientific achievements: During my PhD thesis I focused on the near-infrared study of a sample of nearby star-forming galaxies. This allowed to derive for the first time the stellar mass and their specific star formation rates, constituting one of the first studies of the Main Sequence of star-forming galaxies. In this period I also started working on the study of stellar populations and kinematics of dwarf galaxies, which was largely extended during my stay at JPL where I published the "BCD Galaxy Atlas". With my move to the Carnegie Observatories I became responsible for the exploration of the Local Universe with the GALEX/NASA satellite, being responsible for the "GALEX Atlas of Nearby Galaxies" and co-discoverer of the Extended UV Emission in galaxy disks. Since then my research has focused on the study of the evolution of galactic disks using multi-frequency data from UV to IR and 2D spectroscopy. Within this objective I have participated in the definition of the S4G, LVL, CALIFA scans and led the construction of MEGARA, an optical IFU and MOS for the GTC, installed since April 2017 at GTC with first light in July 2017. I am co- Principal Investigator of the TARSIS instrument, recently selected as the future instrument for the 3.5m telescope of Calar Alto Observatory (CAHA, Almeria) and director of the LICA (Laboratory of Advanced Scientific Instrumentation), Unit belonging to one of the UCM Research Support Centers (CAIs). Projects and management: I have been principal investigator of three "Excelencia" and "Retos" Projects of the MCIN and of the Construction Contract of the MEGARA instrument for the 10.4m GTC. I have been awarded projects for an amount of 10.8 M€, of which about 7.8 M€ as PI. I am original co-IP of the CALIFA project and member of the legacy projects S4G and LVL. I have participated and led observational projects on Space telescopes (4 HST, 3 Spitzer, 6 GALEX) and on the ground (GTC, Gemini, Keck, VLT) as well as in projects participated by other funding agencies: Spain-France Integrated Actions, responsible for a MCIN Red de Excelencia (2018-2019), an Acción Dinamización "Europe Research" 2020, and several grants for MCIN International Congresses (IAUS #321) and RIA (3x) and Mexican CONACyT projects. Responsible for research contracts with companies, including contracts under Art. 83 of the LOU and CDTI support in the Science Industry program (IDC-20101106 and IDC 20101019) for a total of ~0.5 M€. Other merits: CAT commissioner of the La Palma telescopes, member of the OPC and of the ESO "OPC at large", chairman of the OAJ proposal committee, member of the National Commission of Astronomy (2021-), evaluator of the Spanish National Agency of Evaluation and Prospective, of the European Research Council, and of the Argentinean National Agency of Scientific and Technological Promotion, evaluator member in 10 thesis tribunals and of the panel of Ramón y Cajal contracts in its 2011 call, member of the panel of the evaluation of MCIN projects (AYA2015, ESP2015, ESP2017), member of the evaluation panel of grants for young researchers of the MCIN (JIN2015), member of the Scientific Commission of the Spanish Society of Astronomy (2009-2010), referee of the journals ApJ, MNRAS, AJ, A&A and I have signed a total of 14 press releases.
Rafael González Fuentetaja
Technician of Advanced Scientific Instrumentation Unit
Telecommunications Engineer
Telecommunications Engineer (UPM, 1990). He worked for many years in Telefónica R&D, in its last stages as DevOps engineer. In 2020 he joined the Faculty of Physical Sciences at UCM, working as a support engineer at LICA performing the calibration of TESS-W photometers developed by UCM as well as various works of filter characterization in the optical bench of LICA and simultaneously these tasks with the development of IoT sensor prototypes and software for the STARS4ALL and ACTION projects.
Partner professors
Jaime Zamorano Calvo
Partner professor of Advanced Scientific Instrumentation Unit
Jesús Gallego Maestro
Partner professor of Advanced Scientific Instrumentation Unit
Ph.D. in Physical Sciences
Jesús Gallego is Full Professor (Catedrático) at UCM. He is the coordinator of the GUAIX research group and he currently holds the position of Deputy Director of the Earth Physics and Astrophyiscs Department. Jesús Gallego graduated in Physics in 1989 and obtained a Ph.D. in Physics in 1995 (specialty Astrophysics), obtaining the UCM Extraordinary Ph.D. Prize. After a stay as a postdoctoral researcher at the Lick Observatory at the University of California, Santa Cruz, he returned to the UCM, first as an assistant lecturer and later, as a professor. In 2018 he became Full Professor (catedrático). He has 132 articles published with referee (ADS) and an h-index of 42 (Google Scholar). Gallego has more than 200 contributions to international congresses and he has been a referee of international journals (ApJ, AJ, MNRAS, and A&A). Jesús Gallego has been the director of 10 doctoral theses and an extensive list of dissertations, research works, and TFMs. He is the Spanish representative at the Board of the MOSAIC instrument for the future Extremely Large Telescope (ELT). He is also UCM representative at the Board of the TARSIS instrument for the 3.5m telescope of the Calar Alto CAHA Observatory.