Dr Warwick Wilson

Dr Warwick Wilson.

Dr Warwick Wilson: advancing technology for radio astronomy

Dr Warwick Wilson is an Honorary Fellow with CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science.

  • 30 November 2009 | Updated 3 July 2012

Current activities

As an Honorary Fellow, Dr Wilson is continuing to provide CSIRO with his expertise in the development of specialised systems for radio telescopes.


Dr Wilson's first professional position, from 1974 to 1977, was as a Research Scientist (Engineering) with the Max Planck Institute for Radioastronomy in Bonn, West Germany, where he developed receiving and processing systems for the Effelsberg 100-m radio telescope.

From 1977 to 1979 he was Group Leader of the Systems Group for the Effelsberg telescope, responsible for the operation of its receivers and electronics and for the design of new systems.

During 1979–1980 Dr Wilson worked for Amalgamated Wireless Australasia (AWA) on the development of the Microwave Landing System.

"Dr Warwick Wilson's work has achieved international recognition for his outstanding contributions to the technology for radio astronomy."

Dr Wilson joined CSIRO in November 1980 as an Experimental Officer with the then Division of Radiophysics, taking the role of Leader of the Digital Electronics Section within the Computer Group.

During 1981–83 he was seconded from CSIRO to Interscan Australia Pty Ltd. He relocated to Kansas City in the USA to lead a group responsible for the development of electronic systems for a phased-array Microwave Landing System for the US Federal Aviation Authority.

In 1983 Dr Wilson returned to CSIRO. He was asked to take responsibility for designing and building the digital correlator (a special-purpose computer) for the Australia Telescope Compact Array radio telescope, which CSIRO was then planning. 

This was the beginning of Dr Wilson's involvement in the design of these specialised instruments.

From 1991 Dr Wilson held a number of positions with the Australia Telescope National Facility and CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science, including Head of Engineering and Research Group Leader – Engineering Generalists.

Dr Wilson retired in 2010 but continues to provide his expertise to CSIRO as an Honorary Fellow.

Academic qualifications

Dr Wilson has been awarded a:

  • Bachelor of Science (Physics and Mathematics) from the University of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1967
  • Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical) from the University of Sydney, 1969
  • Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Sydney, 1975.


Dr Warwick Wilson's work has achieved international recognition for his outstanding contributions to the technology for radio astronomy.

In 2009 he was awarded a CSIRO Lifetime Achievement Medal for inspirational leadership spanning 27 years.

He has ensured consistent development and delivery of benchmark research instrumentation that has helped establish and maintain CSIRO's position as a world leader in the field of radio astronomy.

In addition, Dr Wilson has played a major part in the development of several instruments:

  • the original wideband correlator for the Australia Telescope Compact Array, which used an innovative state-of-the-art Very Large Scale Integrated circuit (VLSI) chip
  • a correlator for the Australia Telescope Long Baseline Array, a set of widely separated telescopes that work together using a technique called Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI)
  • correlators for multibeam receiving systems, including the groundbreaking 13-beam receiving system built for CSIRO's Parkes radio telescope in the 1990s
  • correlators for millimetre and submillimetre spectral-line receivers
  • in 2009, the Compact Array Broadband Backend, which provides a large increase in bandwidth and sensitivity for the Australia Telescope Compact Array and suppresses radio-frequency interference.

Dr Wilson is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers.

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