Linda Smith

Head, Instruments Division
Linda Smith

As the head of the instruments division, Dr. Linda Smith is responsible for more than 160 scientific and technical staff who work to achieve the best possible science from the instruments onboard the Hubble Space Telescope and, after it launches, the James Webb Space Telescope. She has served as an astronomer for the European Space Agency (ESA) at the institute since 2009. Over the years, she has led several teams, including the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) and the Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2) team, and the ACS Servicing Mission Observatory Verification (SMOV) team.

Before arriving at the institute, Dr. Smith was a full professor at University College London in England, where she ran a research team and taught, supervised, and mentored undergraduate and graduate students in astronomy and physics. After earning her doctorate, she received the HSW Massey Research Prize for Postgraduate Studies in University College London’s Department of Physics and Astronomy. She was awarded an eight-year Advanced Research Fellowship (now a Rutherford Fellowship) by the United Kingdom’s Science and Engineering Research Council, which she held at University College London before becoming a member of its faculty.

Dr. Smith has published more than 300 articles, which have appeared in the Astronomical Journal, the Astrophysical Journal, and the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. She has presented at the American Astronomical Society Meeting, the Astronomical Society of the Pacific Conference Series, and IAU (International Astronomical Union) Symposia. She continues to contribute to many Hubble programs, including the Legacy Extragalactic UV Survey (LEGUS), which is designed to investigate star formation in nearby galaxies to quantify how the clustering of star formation evolves in space and time.


PhD in Astronomy, University College London
BSc in Astronomy, University College London


Research Interests:

Evolved massive stars, interactions with the interstellar medium, young massive star clusters