Extension of appointments to the Management Committee of Armagh Observatory and Planetarium

Date published: 27 November 2018

The Department for Communities has extended the first terms of appointment of Mr Stan Brown, Professor Louise Harra and Mr Patrick McGurgan from 1 November 2018 to 30 April 2019.

All three have been members of the Armagh Observatory and Planetarium Management Committee since 1 November 2014.

Notes to editors: 

  1. Armagh Observatory and Planetarium is a statutory body as set out in the Armagh Observatory and Planetarium (NI) Order 1995.
  2. The Management Committee was established under Schedule 1 of the Armagh Observatory and Planetarium (NI) Order 1995 and the letter of 5 December 1984 from the Department of Education which requires the AOP to set up a Management Committee. It was set up to strengthen and support professional astronomers, and to act as a focal point for astronomy within NI by contributing to public information and education in conjunction with the Planetarium.
  3. Management Committee member positions are not remunerated but attract travel and subsistence allowance. Member posts require a commitment of up to four meetings per year.
  4. The extensions to the terms of appointment have been made in accordance with the Commissioner for Public Appointments for NI (CPA NI) Code of Practice.
  5. All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, CPA NI requires the political activity of appointees to be published.
  6. Biographical details of appointees:

Mr Stan Brown

Mr Brown is the Chief Executive and Accounting Officer for Forensic Science NI, having previously been the Acting Chief Executive of Ordnance Survey NI.  His prior career was in Business Development with multinational providers of specialist technical services to the Food and Beverage manufacturing industry across Europe.  He holds a Degree in Chemistry and a Professional Diploma in Management and brings governance, strategy development and technical marketing skills and experience to the Committee. He was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, 2018 for services to Science & Justice. He holds no other public appointments and has not undertaken any political activity in the past five years.

Professor Louise Harra

Professor Harra is a solar physicist at UCL-Mullard Space Laboratory. She is Principal Investigator of the Hindoe space mission EUV imaging Spectrometer and a co-Principal Investigator of the EUV Imagers on Solar Orbiter. She brings experience and knowledge of astronomy and astrophysics to the Committee. She holds no other public appointments and has not undertaken any political activity in the past five years.                               

Mr Patrick McGurgan

Mr McGurgan was previously the Managing Director of a legal practice, having been qualified as a solicitor for 20 years. He was also previously the Chairman of the Board of Governors of a Primary School in Armagh and the Chair of the NI Social Care Council Conduct and Registration Committees. He brings mediation and negotiation skills and experience to the Committee. He holds no other public appointments and has not undertaken any political activity in the past five years

7. Media enquiries to DFC Press Office on 028 9082 3532 or email:
    press.office@communities-ni.gov.uk. Out of office hours please contact      the Duty Press Officer on 028 9037 8110.

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