October 29, 2001
Fellowship supports graduate student working on astronomical instrumentation
By Tim Stephens
A new fellowship at UCSC designed to support graduate work in astronomical instrument-building
may be the first of its kind. The fellowship is funded by the recently established
Henry Bachmann Endowed Chair for Astronomical Instrumentation.
Joseph Miller, director of UC Observatories/Lick Observatory, is the first Bachmann
Professor. His student Andrew Sheinis, who has designed and built instruments for
the Keck Telescopes, is the first graduate student recipient of the accompanying
|Henry Bachmann, circa 1900. Photo: Courtesy of the Mary
Lea Shane Archives of the Lick Observatory.
The story behind the endowment starts in 1997, when Sally Bachman Allen made a small
donation to UCSC after reading an article in her local paper about the need for repairs
to the historic dome housing the oldest telescope at Lick Observatory on Mt. Hamilton.
With her contribution, she included a note saying that her grandfather, Henry Bachmann,
had been an instrument maker for the observatory in the early 20th century.
This information prompted university development officers to do some research. They
turned up, among other relics, a spectrograph built by Bachmann, photos, and people
who had known him and Allen's father, who grew up on the mountain. Inspired by these
finds, Allen and her banker husband, C. Donald Allen, decided to endow a chair for
astronomical instrumentation to honor Bachmann's achievements.
The Allens' $350,000 gift includes the annual graduate fellowship. "I wanted
to do something that would honor both my father and my grandfather, and hopefully
attract graduate students that have talent but not necessarily funding," Allen