Scott Roberts

Roles and responsibilities

Leadership of ~70 staff including scientists and engineers in research and development of world-class astronomical instrumentation and observatories, covering the spectrum of optical and radio wavelengths.  Delivery of new observing capabilities based on the prioritization of the Canadian astronomy research community.

Current research and/or projects

  • Design and development of astronomical instrumentation
  • Research and development, design and implementation of complex instruments, opto-mechanical systems and mechanisms, including:
    • Design of precision mechanisms, machines and optical mounts
    • Design and analysis of mechanical structures
    • Numerical computing, programming, modeling and analysis of integrated mechanical, optical and control systems
    • Robotics
    • Integration and testing of systems
    • Metrology
  • Systems engineering of complex systems
  • Science and engineering team leadership and management in research and development environments and in large international projects

Research and/or project statements

Systems Engineering of the Thirty Meter Telescope

Integrated modeling of opto-mechanical systems, including segmented mirror telescopes, and optical instrumentation


Master of Applied Science, Mechanical Engineering, University of British Columbia, 1991

Bachelor of Applied Science, Mechanical Engineering, University of British Columbia, 1987

Professional activities/interests

Board Member, Victoria Innovation and Advanced Technology Entrepreneurship Council (VIATEC)

Member at Large, Vancouver Island Branch, Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia (EGBC)



Member of the Canadian Astronomical Society (CASCA)


National Research Council of Canada Outstanding Achievement Award for the development of a Canadian concept for the next generation of optical telescopes, 2004


Registered Professional Engineer (P.Eng.) in the Province of British Columbia

Inventions and patents

Mechanism for transmitting movement in up to six degrees-of-freedom, United States Patent 6543740

Key publications

1. Roberts, S.; McConnachie, A.; Chalmers, D., Are we there yet? Science-based roadmaps for astronomy technology research and development. SPIE: 2020; Vol. 11450.

2. Roberts, S.; Rogers, J.; Thompson, H.; Vogiatzis, K.; MacMartin, D.; Wilde, E.; Troy, M.; Seo, B.-J.; Nissly, C. In Systems engineering of the Thirty Meter Telescope for the construction phase, Modeling, Systems Engineering, and Project Management for Astronomy VI, International Society for Optics and Photonics: 2014; p 91500V.

3. Roberts, S. In NRCIM integrated opto-mechanical analysis toolset for the Thirty Meter Telescope, Integrated Modeling of Complex Optomechanical Systems, International Society for Optics and Photonics: 2011; p 83360A.

4. Roberts, S. In Systems engineering of the Thirty Meter Telescope through integrated opto-mechanical analysis, Modeling, Systems Engineering, and Project Management for Astronomy IV, International Society for Optics and Photonics: 2010; p 773818.

5. Roberts, S. C. In Development of a Canadian large optical telescope, Photonics North 2004: Photonic Applications in Astronomy, Biomedicine, Imaging, Materials Processing, and Education, International Society for Optics and Photonics: 2004; pp 29-39.

Previous work experience

January 2013 - January 2018: TMT International Observatory: Systems Engineering Group Leader, Pasadena, CA

November 1994 to January 2013: Herzberg Astronomy and Astrophysics, National Research Council Canada: Research Council Officer, Victoria BC

July 1991 to January 1994: Range Vision Incorporated, Burnaby, B.C.

International experience and/or work

  • Provide leadership of the technical development of the Thirty Meter Telescope across all project groups and partner countries, including Canada, USA, Japan, China and India (2013-2018)
  • Lead Editor, Manager and Technical Lead of major TMT project funding proposal documents:
    • National Science Foundation Proposal (2011)
    • TMT Construction Proposal (2007)

Scott Roberts

Director, Research and Development
Herzberg Astronomy and Astrophysics
5071 West Saanich Road
Victoria, British Columbia V9E 2E7
Preferred language: English
Telephone: 250-363-8314


Information Technology, Computer programming, Simulation, Sciences, Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Structural Engineering, Space sciences, Astronomy, Observational astronomy, Technology, Prototyping, Robotics, Simulation & Numerical Modelling