Plionis Manolis

Plionis Manolis


Plionis Manolis

Director and Chairman of the Governing Board of the National Observatory of Athens (NOA) and Professor of the Physics Department of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki/Greece.

He has been a member of the National Astronomical Committee for 3 terms, of the European Space Science Committee for 2 terms (2018-2023), a member of the Board of the NOHSIS Science Dissemination Center & Technology Museum for 2 terms (2016-2022), President of the Sectoral Scientific Council of Energy, Environment and Sustainable Mobility (2020-2022) and member of the Physics Sectorial Scientific Council (2017-2019). He is the Coordinator of the National Network for Climate Change – CLIMPACT and a member of the Scientific Committee of the International Consortium “The Ultimate XMM Extragalactic X-ray Survey (XXL)”. He was a founding member and elected member of the Board of the “Hellenic Astronomical Society” (for 3 two-year terms) and Vice-President of the Board for another term. He was a founding member and elected member of the Board of the “Hellenic Society for Gravity, Relativity and Cosmology” for one term.

He has published more than 240 scientific articles on Observational Cosmology, Large-Scale Structure of the Universe and Extragalactic Astrophysics as well as many popularization and science policy articles, while he has supervised many PhD and Master’s theses. His recent scientific interests extend to issues of Climate Change and related natural disasters.

One of the strategic goals during his term as President of NOA, was the establishment of NOA as a National Center for Research and Service Provision in the fields of Data Collection, Prevention and Adaptation to Climate Change, which was achieved through the establishment of the CLIMPACT National Network, of the Geosciences and Climate Change Observatory of Antikythera (PANGEA) as well as of the NOA-AEGIS Infrastructure regarding Security, Protection and Resilience to Disaster Risks, securing significant funding from the Recovery and Resilience Fund, the European Investment Bank and the Public Investment Program. Also, the existing scientific infrastructures of the research center were utilized, such as the Aristarchus telescope (Helmos Observatory), the largest telescope in the Balkans and the 2nd largest in mainland Europe, through the cooperation with the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Ministry of Digital Governance, for the development and application of new telecommunications technologies, which led to the Helmos Observatory becoming the first European ground station of ESA’s scylight program (which concerns secure communications using lasers between satellites and ground stations at extremely high speeds) and participant in the European quantum telecommunications infrastructure EuroQCI. At the same time, the Kryoneri telescope was used for Greece’s participation in the European Space Surveillance and Tracking program (SST), with NOA being the National Coordinator of the program. He also managed to expand the building infrastructures of NOA, securing funding for the construction of an amphitheater, knowledge dissemination centers, etc. The total funding achieved during his tenure from the European Investment Bank, the Recovery Fund, the National NSRF program and the Public Investments Funds amounts to approximately 75 million euros.

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