Mills Observatory Advisory Group (MOrAG)

The Mills Observatory Advisory Group meets three to four times a year to discuss how to support the Mills Observatory in order to ensure its success in:

  • Making astronomy available to the general public
  • Involve all sections of the local community
  • Play a role in the scientific education of the people of Dundee and surrounding area.

Mills Observatory

The Mills Observatory in Dundee on the east coast of Scotland is the first purpose-built public astronomical observatory in the UK. It was built in 1935 with a distinctive 7 m dome, one of two made from papier-mâché to survive in the UK. It is the home of a Victorian refracting main telescope and other, more modern telescopes for public use. The building also features a multimedia 6 x 3m curved projection system for planetarium shows, seminars and interactive scientific public engagement events.


The Members of the Advisory Group

Rolf Black (Chair)

Rolf has been a member of MOrAG since 2015. He is a researcher at the University of Dundee, working in the field of Assistive Technology (AT) and Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC). He is the discipline lead in Public Engagement (PE) for Computing and is a founding member of the Outer Space | Inner Space project, a PE collaboration between the Mills and the University. He is specifically keen to ensure that the Mills and its programme are fully accessible to people of all abilities.

David Paterson (Vice-chair)

Rocket Scientist

June Gilchrist (Secretary)


Wolf Rossmann (Treasurer)

Wolf joined MOrAG shortly after its founding. He worked for many years as software engineer and software architect at NCR in Dundee and is now retired. He has a keen interest in Astronomy and wants to see the Mills to continue as a great resource for the public in Dundee and for visitors to the area.

John Brown

Professor Emeritus John Brown, 10th Astronomer Royal for Scotland since 1995,  has been a member of MOrAG for many years. He has had wide involvement in numerous observatory and planetarium facilities and activities and in organising public astronomy events, as well as giving frequent talks himself to diverse audience types and working closely with writers, poets, musicians and others. As a semi-pro magician, he often uses conjuring effects to demonstrate/simulate exotic cosmic phenomena. Until 2010 he held the 10th Regius Chair of Astronomy in Glasgow University, also holding many sabbatical research fellowships abroad, and publishing around 300 research papers in various areas of astrophysics. In 2012 he won the Royal Astronomical Society Geophysics Gold Medal for his research and in 2016 was made OBE for his services to astronomy and to science education. More info at

Aurora Sicilia-Aguilar

Aurora Sicilia-Aguilar is a Lecturer at the School of Science and Engineering at the University of Dundee. She works on observational astrophysics in the field of star and planet formation, using ground- and space-based telescopes to study young stellar clusters and protoplanetary disks. She also enjoys organising and getting involved in outreach activities to bring space science and astrophysics to young and not-so-young audiences. 


Giuseppe Lambertino

Mills Officer and Representative

Christine Millar

Section Leader, Learning & Engagement at Leisure and Culture Dundee

Billy Gartley

Head of Cultural Services at Leisure and Culture Dundee

Previous Members

Ken Kennedy

Ken been involved with Mills Observatory for many years, firstly as a member of the Dundee Astronomical Society which started to meet at the Mills in the 1960s. After retirement from the Department of Haematology at Ninewells Hospital, Ken was invited to take the post of part time astronomer at the Mills Observatory in 2004. He retired from this in 2008 after becoming Director of the Aurora Section of the British Astronomical Association and has a special interest in Noctilucent Clouds which involves many observers throughout Europe, and cooperation with Prof Cora Randall, chief investigator of NASA’s AIM satellite.