Amina Helmi received her PhD from Leiden University in 2000 with a dissertation on The formation of the Galactic Halo for which she was awarded the Christiaan Huygens Wetenschapsprijs in 2004. Her scientific interests include the formation and evolution of the Galaxy, and the nature of dark-matter, which are, of course, intimately linked to Gaia's science case. She is a core member of the radial velocity working group, where her main task has been to provide scientific guidance. One of the key issues that has occupied the group in the last couple of years was to determine the spectrograph's resolution (which translates into radial velocity accuracy) that is required to achieve the goal of recovering the formation history of the Galactic halo.
Amina is currently also involved in the scientific preparations of the Gaia mission, working with three graduate students and one postdoc to build up a realistic model of the Galaxy in a cosmological context. The goal will then be to compare this model to the Gaia database, once the satellite starts to operate, and to determine the evolutionary history of the Milky Way.
Amina left Gaia in 2006.
[Published: 25/10/2004 | Updated: 09/09/2008]
Gaia people archive