Tribute to astronomer Stanislav Stefl

12 June, 2014

The ALMA Observatory is saddened and deeply shocked by the unexpected loss of one of its staff members, Mr. Stanislav Stefl, Operation Astronomer, who died in a car accident in Santiago, Chile, on June 11. Stan was very well liked and highly respected by his colleagues and a renowned astronomer in his field.

Stan arrived to Chile in 2004 at the Science Operation Department of the La Silla Paranal Observatory. In November 2012 Stan was reassigned by the European Southern Observatory (ESO) to ALMA Science Operations to work as Astronomer on Duty at the ALMA Operations Support Facility (OSF) and the ALMA offices in Santiago for research and data processing and data quality control. He quickly acquired the necessary expertise in planning, ensuring and quality of observations as well as in integrating antennas into the array. Based on this solid ALMA training and knowledge Stan was ready return to his home country, the Czech Republic, to lead the ALMA Regional Centre node in Ondrejov.

Stan will be fondly remembered by his colleagues and friends at ALMA as a hard-working and committed professional with a consistently positive approach to his work. But Stan was far more than an astronomer and a friend, he was also a fearless and passionate mountaineer, whose love of the mountains was lived to the full while living in Chile.

All of us who work at the ALMA Observatory express our sincere condolences to his family and friends.


Valeria Foncea 
Education and Public Outreach Officer
Joint ALMA Observatory
Santiago, Chile
Tel: +56 2 467 6258
Cell: +56 9 75871963