About me


Prof. Dr. Karl M. Menten

Executive Director
Max-Planck-Institut fuer Radioastronomie

Millimeter and Submillimeter Astronomy Division

Auf dem Huegel 69, D-53121 Bonn
Phone: +49 228 525 471

Here you find my CV and my bibliography

Dr. Karl Menten became the Director for Millimeter and Submillimeter Astronomy at the Max-Planck-Institute for Radio Astronomy (MPIfR) in Bonn, Germany in December 1996 and, since Febuary 2008, has been the institute’s Executive Director. From 2001 on, he has been a member of the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences of Bonn University.

At the MPIfR he works with these fantastic people and a very international group of students.

Dr. Menten earned his Dr. rer. nat. degree from Bonn University in 1987 after performing his dissertation work at the MPIfR. Thereafter, he became a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Radio and Geoastronomy Division of the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) in Cambridge, MA. He stayed at the CfA as a Research Associate (1989–1992), in 1992 was appointed Radio Astronomer and, finally, (in 1996) Senior Radio Astronomer. From 1995 on he also was a Lecturer on Astronomy at the Astronomy Department of Harvard University.

Most of Dr. Menten’s research involves radio and (sub)millimeter wavelength emission from dust and molecules in the Universe and their chemistry. Areas of concentration have included the formation of (in particular high-mass) stars in Giant Molecular Clouds, astrophysical masers and lasers, imaging radio emission from protostars, young stellar objects, and evolved stars, circumstellar envelopes, the central regions of our and other galaxies, atomic and molecular gas, dust and star formation at cosmological distances and gravitational lenses.

For his studies, Dr. Menten uses a variety of telescopes suited to different wavelengths, including the MPIfR Effelsberg 100m telescope, the 30 m telescope on Pico Veleta and the Plateau de Bure Interferometer operated by the Institute for Radio Astronomy at Millimeter Wavelenghts (IRAM) and, predominantly, the Very Large Array the  (VLA) and the Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) operated by the US National Astronomy Observatory (NRAO).

In 2001, he initiated and presently is Principal Investigator of the Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX), which, since 2005, operates a novel 12 meter diameter submillimeter wavelength telescope at 5100 meters altitude in Chile at the site on which the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) is presently being built. Most of the instrumentation his group uses at APEX, in particular large format bolometer and heterodyne receiver arrays together with the necessary digital electronics is developed by the MPIfR’s Division for Submillimeter Technology.

Dr. Menten has coauthored more than 220 refereed publications and has received various honors including two Smithsonian Institution career awards, a 2004 Philip Morris Research Prize, and, in 2007, the 42nd annual Karl G. Jansky Lectureship awarded by NRAO/the Trustees of Associated Universities, Inc. He is a member of the North-Rhine Westphalian Academy of Sciences and the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina.