Photography by Katie O'Neill
Teresa Anderson MBE is a British physicist and the director of the University of Manchester's Jodrell Bank Centre for Engagement. She is a professor at the University of Manchester and the curator of science at the Bluedot Festival.
Teresa was born in Durham in 1962 and moved to Manchester in 1981 to study at the School of Physics at the University of Manchester. She continued her studies, earning a Masters in Instrumentation and Analytical Science and received a PhD in Electrical Engineering. She also holds a Master's degree in Fine Art.
After graduating she went on to work for Practical Action, a charity which uses technology to challenge poverty in developing countries. Teresa returned to the UK to work with the Science Policy Research Unit and the University of Warwick on Renewable Energy and Climate Change Policy. Teresa spent three years Co-creating the UK Café Scientifique network with which has now established a significant national and international reputation.
Manchester has always been the home of science and innovation, from Jeremiah Horrocks in the 1600s, through Bernard Lovell, the Manchester Physicist who founded Jodrell Bank, to our amazing Graphene Nobel Prize winners and our valiant scientists in the Tyndall Centre fighting Climate Change today. I’m humbled and proud to have contributed a small part to the recognition and celebration of Manchester’s unique brand of scientific creativity.
Professor Teresa Anderson MBE
In 2006, Teresa joined Jodrell Bank Observatory and four years later began to set up the Centre for Engagement. Today she is Director of the centre with a mission to “inspire the scientists of the future”. The centre welcomes over 185,000 visitors per year. The Jodrell Bank schools programme started in 2012 and sees 26,000 school children visit per year.
She has spearheaded the development and opening of The outstanding ‘First Light Pavilion’ which opened in June 2022. The stunning new building is at the heart of a £21.5m project, supported by DCMS and the National Lottery Heritage Fund. The pavilion includes a state-of-the-art permanent exhibition on the history of Jodrell Bank Observatory and is also home to the centre’s Space Dome - an immersive auditorium.
Teresa has developed engaging events including the Bluedot festival, a cultural music and science event which has featured bands such as The Flaming Lips, New Order, Elbow and Jean Michel Jarre.
Teresa led the team that secured Jodrell Bank as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2019, one of her proudest achievements.
She was recognised for her services to Astrophysics in 2013, when the Queen awarded her an MBE. The same year, she was awarded the Institute of Physics Kelvin Prize for Public Engagement with Physics along with Tim O’Brien.
The Bluedot Festival (Photo: www.discoverthebluedot.com)
Inside the First Light Pavilion's Space Dome
THE SHOOT: Jodrell Bank Observatory
The University of Manchester owned World Heritage Site - the Lovell Telescope & the First Light Pavilion
Student reflection: Katie O'Neill
I have been involved in a number of Greater Mancunians shoots, but none have been at such a spectacular location. We met Teresa in the shadow of Jodrell Bank Lovell Telescope, she was really friendly and interested in the project. I began by photographing Teresa against the imposing telescope. This was challenging to say the least because of its sheer scale, but I think I managed to get the shot I wanted.
We then walked, talked and photographed as we made our way over to the newly opened First Light Pavilion. The weather was perfect for the outdoor photography - hazy sunshine - but inside the pavilion it was low ambient light. Fortunately we brought our trusty LED light wand which I adjusted to photograph Teresa without losing the background detail inside the pavilion’s spectacular Space Dome.
I have always had an interested in space, so this was a fascinating shoot. Teresa was really patient and accommodating and although the photography was technically challenging, I am very pleased with the final results.