UK Report

Daresbury Laboratory Family Access Day

Daresbury Laboratory in Warrington, part of the UK Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), held a ‘Supercomputing, Science and You’ Family Access Day on 24th October. More than 300 visitors were able to take a look behind the scenes of this world-class facility and meet some of the resident scientists and engineers. Hands-on demos and workshops included engineering in Virtual Reality, coding a robot and seeing a 3-D printer in action. To raise awareness of the SKA, we joined the activities with a stand where visitors had an opportunity to programme educational Bee-Bot floor robots and take a tour of the SKA Universe whilst learning about the Big Data challenges involved in the SKA project.

Daresbury Laboratory public access day. Credit: STFC

Daresbury Laboratory. Credit: STFC

ROE Open Doors event

The Royal Observatory Edinburgh again welcomed visitors to the iconic site on 29th and 30th September as part of the annual Edinburgh Doors Open event, organised by the Cockburn Association. More than 3,500 people visited the event, taking part in tours of the laboratories, making comets and talking to the scientists and engineers.

Staff working on the design of the SKA and who are based in the UK Astronomy Technology Centre at the ROE, hosted a stand which featured the SKA. Visitors were able to get a look at the electronics that will form part of the SKA Low Frequency Aperture Array (LFAA) antennas that will be located in Australia, while staff were on hand to answer questions and explain how the SKA will further our understanding of the Universe.

Royal Observatory Edinburgh. Credit: STFC


The Daresbury Laboratory is part of the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) and is located in the Sci-Tech Daresbury Science and Innovation Campus in Cheshire. It is also home to the Hartree Centre, which contains some of the most technically advanced high performance computing, data analytics and machine learning technologies in the UK.

The UK Astronomy Technology Centre is also run by STFC and is a national centre of excellence for the development of scientific instrumentation and facilities for ground- and space-based astronomy.

The Science and Technology Facilities Council is part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).


Report provided by Hilary Kay, UK SKA Outreach Officer