Homepage of Stefan Uttenthaler

Photo of Stefan Uttenthaler

Welcome to my homepage!
I am a Post-Doc working in astronomy at the Instituut voor Sterrenkunde at the University of Leuven (Belgium). My scientific interests are nucleosynthesis and mixing in RGB and AGB stars, the Galactic bulge and its (AGB) stellar population, infrared astronomy and instrumentation, optical and infrared spectroscopy, etc. You can browse my publications on ADS to find out more about my scientific interests and output so far.

Please find here my CV.

Find here a copy of my PhD thesis on "Nucleosynthesis and mixing processes in Galactic bulge AGB stars"!


This table lists some observing programs that I am or have been involved in:

Program Title Telescope, Instrument PI / CoI Observations started in
CRIRES-POP: A new high resolution near-IR spectral library VLT-UT1, CRIRES CoI October 2009
The evolutionary status of Mira stars with a changing pulsation period Mercator, Hermes PI July 2009
Confining lithium-rich phases on the RGB VLT-UT2, FLAMES-Giraffe CoI June 2009
Cool Bottom Processing in Li-rich Galactic bulge AGB stars? VLT-UT1, CRIRES PI June 2009
The variability of the lithium line in C-type AGB stars Mercator, Hermes PI April 2009
Technetium and Cool Bottom Processing in the Galactic S-star V441 Cyg (DDT) 2.2m on Calar Alto, FOCES PI June 2008
Tracing the AGB evolution and dust formation through high resolution near-infrared spectroscopy VLT-UT1, CRIRES CoI June 2008
The mass dependence of Fluorine synthesis in massive Galactic AGB stars VLT-UT1, CRIRES PI May 2008

To conduct science with these observations, I am collaborating with several other scientists, spread over this planet:

With other scientists, I have more informal contacts, which are not (yet) manifested in common observing projects or papers.


I am and have been involved in a few instrumentation projects. During my PhD thesis, partly carried out at ESO headquarters, I was involved in the CRIRES spectrograph project, in particular during commissioning and science verification runs. See also Chapter 6 of my thesis (link above) for my contribution to this spectrograph.

Recently, I became involved in the Phase A study of METIS (Mid-infrared ELT Imager and Spectrograph), the proposed mid-IR instrument for ESO's E-ELT. The documents of the Phase A study have been submitted to ESO on 17 November 2009. In particular, I contributed to the Operational Concepts definition document (calibration of the instrument and correction of observed spectra for telluric absorption lines, etc.).
Note that in my opinion we should actually re-name the E-ELT!


Since I am a non-native Dutch speaking person, I cannot teach courses at the K. U. Leuven (I do speak Dutch, but not good enough to teach courses...). Nevertheless, I am supervising students doing their Bachelor and Master research projects. To this end, I choose projects out of my scientific activities and interests. Projects and students that I have supervised so far:

Previously, I was also a tutor in laboratory exercises at the University of Vienna.

Public Outreach

One of the things that I like to do most is telling other people about the universe, and sharing my knowledge about it. Because of this, I have quite a record of public outreach activities.


In my spare time I like to do sports (mostly running, football, swimming, badminton, mountaineering, climbing [only indoors so far]), but I also like photography. You can enjoy some of the photos of green flashes that I took during sunsets on La Palma (#1, #2, #3), of the VLT platform on Paranal, or some of the 3D pictures I like to take: #1, #2, #3, #4 (you need red-blue glasses to see the 3D effect). These are just a few examples of the kinds of photos I like to take.