Welcome to my web page

“We burn with desire to find solid ground and ultimate sure foundation whereon to build a tower reaching to the infinite, but our whole ground work cracks, and the earth opens to abysses.” 

                                                                                                                                 Blaise Pascal

About me

I am an astrophysicist with broad general scientific knowledge and special interest in atmospheres of planets, in astronomy in the far-infrared and sub-millimetre (spectroscopy and photometry), and in planet and star formation. My primary focus is atmospheres of solar and extrasolar planets and atmospheric remote sensing of solar system objects. The infrared and submm range offers the unique possibility of probing and characterising the neutral atmospheres of solar system and exo-planets, and allowing for thermal studies of small bodies and research on dusty envelopes around protostars. I carry out observations for my research using numerous observatories and facilities, both ground and space-based, and develop and implement radiative transfer codes to interpret the data and retrieve parameters. 

Born in Caracas, Venezuela, I was always very curious and knew I was going to be a scientist. I got my Bachelor of Science on Physics in 1996 from the Universidad Simón Bolívar (Caracas, Venezuela), received my Magister Scientiae In Fundamental Physics in 2000 from the Universidad de Los Andes (Mérida, Venezuela) with a thesis at the Centro de Investigaciones de Astronomía "Francisco J. Duarte" (CIDA) (Mérida, Venezuela), and got my PhD in 2004 from the Friedrich-Schiller-Universität (Jena, Germany) with a thesis at the Thüringer Landessternwarte Tautenburg (Tautenburg, Germany). During my studies and postdoctoral experiences I have been research visitor  at  the Max-Plank-Institut für Extraterrestrische Physik (MPE) (Garching, Germany) and  at the European Southern Observatory (ESO) (Garching, Germany). Since 2005 I conduct research at the Max-Planck-Institut für Sonnensystemforschung (Göttingen, Germany). 

Linked to my research activities, I have also a substantial track-record of involvement in astrophysical, planetary, and Earth missions and instrumentation,  and I supported the Herschel, Rosetta, Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer (JUICE) and Sentinel-6 missions in different phases: conceptual studies, development, commissioning, verification, science demonstration, routine operations and post-operations. I have vast experience in the full development lifecycle of on-board instrumentation and their related data processing elements and retrieval of products, including assessment of data product quality. My interest in alliance between research, industry and society  has been reflected in my roles as Physics Teacher for Research and Development at Fundación Centro Nacional para el Mejoramiento de la enseñanza de la Ciencia (Fundación CENAMEC, Caracas, Venezuela) during 1995-1998, and as a high-technology senior engineering consultant for the European Space Agency (ESA) and for the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorolical Satellites (EUMETSAT) during 2014-2017.   

rengel@mps.mpg.de © Miriam Rengel 2017