Jeremy Mould completed his PhD at Mount Stromlo in 1977, before working in some of the world’s most prestigious Observatories – Greenwich (UK), Las Campanas (Chile) and Kitt Peak (USA). Mould brought ‘big science’ to Mount Stromlo – astronomers focussed their efforts on understanding the fundamental ideas of our Universe – its size and age, its origin and its fate. Using the Hubble Space Telescope, Mould and his colleagues measured variable stars to determine the ‘Hubble Constant’ and thus the age of the Universe – 13.7 billion years.
Mould also pushed for the commercialisation of the Research School’s technical skills. One of the Observatory’s biggest contracts was to design and manufacture a $4.5 million Near-infrared Integral-Field Spectrograph (NIFS) for Hawaii’s Gemini North Telescope (which sadly, was destroyed in the 2003 bushfires, just months from completion). Mould’s directorship oversaw some of the Observatory most internationally recognized research – Ken Freeman’s work on the formation of galaxies, Brian Schmidt’s discovery of an accelerating universe, and the determination of the age of the Universe.