Meet the CTA-South Site Manager, Volker Heinz

On 1 July 2019, Volker Heinz joined the CTAO as the CTA-South Site Manager. As a member of the CTA construction project, and later CTA operations, based in Chile, Volker has a key role in building up the CTA-South site team and leading and coordinating the on-site construction and operation of the observatory. Working closely with the CTAO Project Office, the ESO Project Coordination Office and external contributors involved in CTA, he will be responsible for a broad range of construction, logistics and operations matters.


After graduating from the University of Applied Sciences in Koblenz as a Mechanical Engineer in 1993, Volker worked in industry for eight years, mainly in the area of commissioning and field service for complex mechanical presses for automotive applications and steam turbines. In 2001, Volker joined ESO as the team lead of the mechanical group on Paranal in Chile, performing assembly, integration and verification work and organizing the telescope and facility maintenance. Following assignments for ALMA in Garching, Germany and as engineering team lead for the APEX project, Volker was in charge of the ALMA antenna station subproject, where he was responsible for 192 antenna foundations at the 5,000-meter altitude site in Chile. From there, he moved to the Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) as its project manager for technical infrastructure, where he managed transport and handling, mirror coating, power backup and distribution, cryogenics infrastructure and mirror in-situ cleaning.