University Education

◉ Ph.D. in Astrophysics (Dr. rer. nat).    

Friedrich-Schiller-Universität, Jena - Germany (2004) 

Thesis title: “Unveiling the hidden life of stellar embryos”, under the supervision of Prof Dr. A. Hatzes  and Dr. J. Eislöffel (TLS-Tautenburg, Germany).

◉ Magister Scientiae in Fundamental Physics. 

Universidad de Los Andes (ULA),  Mérida - Venezuela (2000)

Thesis title: “Estimation of the age of Globular Clusters from Color-Magnitude Diagrams”, under  the supervision of Dr. G. Bruzual (CIDA, Venezuela).

◉ Bachelor of Science (Licenciate) in Physics. 

Universidad Simón Bolívar (USB), Caracas - Venezuela (1996)

Thesis title: “Caustics of plane curves on Hydrodynamic Waves studies” under the supervision of Prof. Dr. G. Da Costa (USB, Venezuela).

Professional Experience 

Current Occupation 

◉  Senior Scientist (researcher since 2007)   /  (Jupiter ICy moon Explorer (JUICE)/SWI (Submillimetre Wave Instrument)  Documentation and Configuration Management Head  (since 2013). JUICE/SWI Scenario Operator (since 2023).

Max-Planck-Institute für Sonnensystemforschung. Göttingen. Germany

Past  Occupations 

◉  High-technology senior engineering Consultant for the Jason-CS Programme (May 2017 – January 2018)

Senior Consultant to European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT). Solenix GmbH. Darmstadt. Germany

◉  Herschel-Heterodyne Instrument for the Far-Infrared (HIFI Calibration Scientist)  (offsite) (April 2014 – April 2016)

Senior Consultant to European Space Astronomy Centre (ESAC). Madrid. Spain. Vega Telespazio UK & BeOne Hamburg GmbH, Germany.

◉  Researcher /  Herschel-Heterodyne Instrument for the Far-Infrared (HIFI) Calibration Scientist (July 2007 – December 2014)  

Max-Planck-Institute für Sonnensystemforschung. Göttingen. Germany.

◉  Max-Planck Post-doctoral Research Fellow (October 2005- July 2007)

Max-Planck-Institut für Sonnensystemforschung. Katlenburg-Lindau. Germany. Supervisor: Dr. Michael Küppers / Dr. Uwe Keller

◉  Post-doctoral Visitor Research Associate (March 2005 – May 2005 )

European Southern Observatory (ESO). Garching. Germany. Supevisor: Dr. Fernando Comerón

◉  Post-doctoral Research Fellow (June 2004 – October 2004) 

Thüringer Landessternwarte Tautenburg. Tautenburg. Germany. Supervisor: Dr. Jochen Eislöffel / Prof. Dr. Artie Hartzes

◉  German Research Foundation (DFG) Research Fellow  (August 2000 – August 2003) 

Thüringer Landessternwarte Tautenburg. Tautenburg. Germany. Supervisor: Dr. Jochen Eislöffel / Prof. Dr. Artie Hartzes

◉  CONICIT (Council National of Scientific and Technological Research) Research Fellow  (September 1997 – September 1999) 

Centro de Investigaciones de Astronomía (CIDA). Mérida, Venezuela. Supervisor: Dr. Gustavo Bruzual. 

◉  Physics Teacher for Research and Development (October 1995 – March 1997)

Fundación Centro Nacional para el Mejoramiento de la enseñanza de la Ciencia (Fundación CENAMEC). Physics Department. Caracas, Venezuela.

◉  Physics Teacher Assistant (January 1994 – December 1995) 

Simón Bolívar University. Physics Coordination and Physics Department. Caracas-Venezuela.

Awards & Prizes

◉Physicist of the Week 2020. Recognizion by the Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft (DPG)

Recognition for valuable participation in the III Career Exposition. Physics Career Award. Universidad Simón Bolívar. Caracas, Venezuela (1995)

◉ Best academic average during the studies (Diplom). U.E.N. Juan de Escalona. Caracas, Venezuela (1989)

◉ Medal “Honor al Mérito” for academic studies. U.E.N. Juan de Escalona. Caracas, Venezuela (1989)

◉ Best Thesis Project (Diplom). U.E.N. Juan de Escalona. Caracas,  Venezuela (1989)

◉ The highest excellence in the studies (Diplom). U.E.N. Juan de Escalona. Caracas, Venezuela (1987)

◉ The highest excellence in the studies (Diplom). U.E.N. Juan de Escalona. Caracas, Venezuela (1983)

Research & Travel Grants

◉ Max-Planck Research Fellowship at Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research (MPS). Germany (2005 - 2007). Supevisors: Dr. Uwe Keller and Dr. Michael Küppers

 Post-doctoral Visitor Research  grant  (March 2005 – May 2005). European Southern Observatory (ESO). Garching. Germany. Supevisor: Dr. Fernando Comerón

◉ Research honorarium by DFG (German Research Foundation) at TLS Tautenburg/Uni Jena. Germany (2003)

◉ PhD Research grant by Friedrich-Schiller Universität. Germany (2003). Advisors: Prof. Dr. Artie Hatzes and Dr. Jochen Eislöffel / Prof. Dr. Ralp Neuhäuser

◉ Research grant by DFG (German Research Foundation) at TLS Tautenburg. Germany (2000 - 2003). Prof. Dr. Artie Hatzes and Dr. Jochen Eislöffel

◉ Research grant by German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) at the Max-Plank-Institut für Extraterrestrische Physik MPE, Germany (1998). Advisors: Prof. Dr. Ralp Neuhäuser & Dr. Matilde Fernández

◉ Research grant- credit by CONICIT (Council National of Scientific and Technological Research) at ULA & CIDA, Venezuela (1997 - 1999). Advisor: Prof. Dr. Gustavo Bruzual.

Travel grant by the German Astronomical Society (AG) to attend the IAU Symposium 207 “Extragalactic Star Clusters”,Chile, 2001

◉ Travel grant by IRAM to attend the Summer School in mm techniques, Spain, 2001

◉ Travel grant by ESO to attend the workshop “The first stars” in Germany, 1999

◉ Travel grant by IAC to attend the X Canary Islands Winter School of Globular Clusters, Spain, 1998

Research Funds

◉ PI. Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) in the framework of  the Priority Programme “Exploring the Diversity of Extrasolar Planets” (SPP 1992) (300K €). Project: “The key physical-chemical processes determining the Composition and Temperature of (exo)planetary atmospheres”. 2017-2023

Memberships/ Networks

International Astronomical Union (IAU)

Astronomische Gesellschaft (German Astronomical Society)

American Astronomical Society. Division for Planetary Sciences

European Geosciences Union (EGU)

Asia Oceania Geosciences Society (AOGS)

NASA Lunar Science Institute (NLSI)

German Network for Lunar Science and Exploration

Minerva FemmeNet - Mentoring programme of the Max Planck Society offering support to all female scientists

LeadNet, community of senior researchers in the Max Planck Society

Member of the directory of women referents of Venezuelan digital media for the spokesperson and authorized sources in journalistic contents

Executive Council and Boards

Vice-President of the IAU Commission Organising Committee F2, Exoplanets and the Solar System (2021-2024)

Chief Editor of the Planetary Science section of Frontiers in Astronomy and Space Sciences (since 2020)

◉Deputy Chairperson of the Commision Planets and Smal Bodies  of the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Extraterrestrische Forschung (AEF) / Extraterrestrische Physik (EP) of the Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft (DPG) (since 2021)

 Ariel Complementary Scientist, Member of the Ariel Science Advisory Team at ESA (since 2021)

Expert evaluator of “Ramón y Cajal” Program, Ministerio de Ciencias e Innovación, Spain 2022

 ◉ALMA Science Assesor, ALMA Review Panel 2019, 2021

Expert evaluator of proposals for the Horizons 2021 Space, 2022, European Commision 

Expert evaluator of proposals for the H2020 Space 2018, European Commision 

◉Member of examination committees for PhD thesis in Astrophysics at the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Germany. Since 

◉Expert evaluator of research candidates to promote/appoint to research faculty ranks in American academic/research institutions (since 2018)

◉Expert evaluator of other diverse projects (DFG, DiRAC Resource, etc.)

◉Expert evaluator of NASA Postdoctoral Program Proposals (2016-2022).    

Scientific Evaluation member panel of the French ARN (the French National Research Agency) program (since 2014)   

ESA's X-ray space observatory XMM-Newton member panel (2014)

European Southern Observatory (ESO) Observing Programmes Committee (OPC) member panel (Panel C). (2011-2012, 2020, 2021)

Member of the thesis advice committee of students of the International Max Planck Research School (IMPRS) (since 2010)

International Time Allocation Committee (ITAC) for the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope (JCMT) (2008)

Herschel/HIFI Editorial Board - Herschel (2008-2017)

Member of the Scientific Committee for assistance to the XVIII National Meeting of Amateur Astronomy (ENA). Humboldt Planetarium. Caracas, Venezuela (1998)

Conference Organization

◉ SOC of the session for the inter-commission B2-B5 WG meeting for Busan IAU GA, 2022

◉ Convener of the Asia Oceania Geosciences Society (AOGS) session: “Isotope Ratios Across The Solar System: Origin And Evolution Of Planetary Bodies” - China (2016)

◉ Convener of the Asia Oceania Geosciences Society (AOGS) session: Studies of Small Bodies in the Solar System and Insights into Planetary System Formation – Japan (2014)

◉ Convener of the Asia Oceania Geosciences Society (AOGS) session: Studies of Small Solar System Bodies and Insight into Planetary System Formation – Australia (2013)

◉ Convener of the European Geosciences Union (EGU) session: 'Dwarf planets and TNOs’, Austria (2010)

◉ Organizer of several Herschel Solar System Observations (HssO) meetings  (since 2009)

Refereeing Duties

New Astronomy


Open Astronomy

Planetary and Space Science

Advances in Geosciences

Astrophysical Journal Letters


Acta Astronautica

Observational Experience

Awarded observing time at major observatories as PI and Co-I for several cycles. Some approved programs lead as Principal Investigator:

◉SOFIA Cycle 7 project "Investigating the composition of Titan's stratosphere with SOFIA: time variability & intriguing unidentified signatures” . Follow-up

◉SOFIA Cycle 4 project "Investigating the composition of Titan's stratosphere with SOFIA: time variability & intriguing unidentified signatures” 

◉ALMA Cycle 0 project 2011.0.00897.S  "Physical properties of two special trans-neptunian objects and a retrograde Centaur",  ranked as "filler" project

◉ESO APEX E-089.C-0984A-2012:  HCN Submm Remote sensing of the Titan Atmosphere in support of a Guaranteed Key Program on Herschel

◉IRAM30m/EMIR (145-10): HCN Submm Remote Sensing of the Titan Atmosphere in support of a Guaranteed Key Program on Herschel”

 ESO, APEX/APEX-2 and T2 (085.C-0910(A)): HCN Submm Remote sensing of the Titan Atmosphere in support of a Guaranteed Key Program on Herschel

◉ESO, APEX/APEX-1 (081.F-9812(A)): Exploration of the atmosphere of Titan in preparation for Herschel: vertical distribution of CO, HCN, HC15N, C2H2 AND HC5N

◉ARO, SMT/2mm and 1mm JT SIS, 345 GHz SIS, 460 GHz SIS, ALMA band -9: Venus Temperature and Wind measurements in support of Venus Express (2nd ground-based campaign)

◉ESO, SEST/IRAM 115 and 230, SESIS 100 and 150: Testing the Kinematics of the Internal Structures of Class 0 sources


Conducted observation with the following telescopes/instruments:


Herschel HIFI, PACS, and SPIRE, including HIFI calibration

APEX, instruments: APEX-1, APEX-2, APEX-T2, CHAMP+, FLASH

ARO, SMT, instruments: SIS ALMA 1.3mm, SIS 2mm, 345 SIS receivers

OSIRIS/NAC and WAC (instrument in the ESA Rosetta mission) during Deep Impact and the subsequent scientific data analysis that includes the performance verification and calibration of OSIRIS.

SCUBA at the 15-m JMCT on Mauna Kea, Hawaii (jiggle and scan modes)

Swedish-ESO Submillimetre Telescope (SEST) at La Silla, Chile,  heterodyne receivers

30-m telescope (IRAM, Spain), MAMBO bolometer and the heterodyne receivers.

1-m Schmidt telescope at the Venezuelan National Astronomical Observatory using a large-area CCD Camera (the camera is optimized for drift-scan photometry and objective-prism spectroscopy).

2.2-m telescope on Calar Alto, Spain

◉2-m Schmidt telescope at the TLS Landessternwarte Tautenburg using the Coudé spectrograph.

Software and Data reduction

Operating Systems: UNIX (Linux), Windows 2000/XP/Vista, Mac OS X

◉Familiarity with radio-astronomy reduction packages (HIPE (Herschel Interactive Processing Environment), GILDAS/CLASS) and with general astronomy reduction packages (MIDAS, IRAF)

◉Experience in data analysis of large data, and management and archiving of data inside scientific programs

◉Experience in data analysis focused on Herschel/HIFI calibration (responsabilities include test software campaigns, creation and maintenance of documentation for astronomers, and investigations of quality assessment of final products with HIFI)

◉Experience is the design of observations focused on Herschel for Solar System Observations

◉Programming and word processing experience/Languages: FORTRAN, IDL, Python, HTML, LaTeX

◉Scientific packets (e.g Mathematica and supermongo). 

◉Knowledge in Internet systems. 

◉Experience with research project web-sites creation and maintenance. Examples:


       TNOs are Cool:


◉Experience with radiative transfers codes (e.g. MOLIERE, MC3D, TauRex), inverse problems and statistical analysis (community codes and own programming ).  


 Herschel Data Processing 'hands-on' Workshop, ESAC, Madrid. Spain., 24-25 March 2009

Herschel Pre-Launch Data Processing Workshop; ESAC, Madrid. Spain. 4-5 December 2008.

Herschel Space Observatory, Calibration Workshop 2 CSIC, Madrid, Spain, 6-8 February 2008;

IRAM Summer School 2001 "mm Observing Techniques and Applications". Sierra Nevada. Spain. September 2001.

V Venezuelan School of Relativity, Fields and Astrophysics. Universidad de Los Andes, Mérida, Venezuela. November 1999

X Canary Islands Winter school of Astrophysics “Globular Clusters”. Tenerife, Canary Islands. Spain. November 1998.

III Venezuelan School of Relativity, Fields and Astrophysics. Universidad de Los Andes, Mérida, Venezuela. November 1997.

II Venezuelan School of Relativity, Fields and Astrophysics. Universidad de Los Andes, Mérida, Venezuela. November 1996.

I Venezuelan School of Relativity, Fields and Astrophysics. Universidad de Los Andes, Mérida, Venezuela. October 1995.

Experience in the field of space engineering/Instrument calibration scientist/Industry

◉Performing scenario operations for JUICE/SWI.

 Performing instrument monitoring and calibration for ESA Herschel/Heterodyne Instrument for the Far-Infrared (HIFI) & Rosetta/Infrared Remote Imaging System (OSIRIS)

Developing and maintaining instrument specific software and procedures for generating observations and for processing of the data generated – HIFI/Herschel

Testing of software and validating products - Herschel

Creating and maintaining technical documents /documentation for astronomers - Herschel

Providing astronomer support (helpdesk, workshops, webinars) - Herschel

Investigating quality assessment of final products with HIFI/Herschel

Documentation and Configuration Management Head of the Submillimetre Wave Instrument  (SWI) on JUICE - JUpiter ICy moons Explorer. Retrieving, archiving and distributing of Programme contractual documents and deliverables from and to Agency owned databases and applications. Reviewing and approving documents of JUICE/SWI on internal database and contributing to configuration baseline. 

Participating in the preparation (scientific and technical assessments) of several space mission proposals

End-to-End mission performance allocations and budgeting, instrument data processing specifications, on-ground data processing chains and end-user product validation, for all mission instruments of Sentinel-6


Personal Competences/Skills


Spanish, English, German


Experience in Research and Development projects:  time schedule, organization, and effective communication. Strategic Planning.

Certification on “Fundamentals of Project Planning and Management” (University of Virginia, September 2015)

◉Experience as Configuration & Documentation Manager, managing document workflows and approvals. Tools: MS Office, eclipse and other databases.

Experience in creation and contribution of preparatory studies and documents of ESA missions

◉Ability to work as a goal or a team player


Participation in the Workshop: “Training for Doctoral Supervisors”, MPS, Göttingen, June 2018


◉Experience in international environments for more than fifteen years, with different teams at many industrial partners, universities, research institutes and international agencies. Understanding of the challenges in multi-competence and multi-national environments


Excellent interpersonal and communication skills with the ability to work effectively within a team

◉Media training Course, MPS Göttingen, 2019 © Miriam Rengel 2017