International graduate, Slawomir Bucki, has been an amateur stargazer since his teenage years. He decided to take advantage of our distance-learning degree in Astronomy to improve his knowledge in the field.
With an interest in astronomy from a young age, Slawomir chose to study BSc (Hons) Astronomy at the University of Central Lancashire. Prior to starting his degree at UCLan, Slawomir had 25 years professional experience from working in engineering and project management within commercial business.
After graduation, Slawomir worked as an Engineering Group Manager for Large Binocular Telescope Observatory, one of the largest and most advanced astronomical telescopes in the world. His role involved leading and managing a team of ten engineers who support ongoing operations and projects at the telescope. Following this, Slawomir became the Head of Engineering at the Large Binocular Telescope Observatory, where he worked for two years.
Currently, Slawomir is working as a Mechanical Engineering Manager at the NSF-NOIRLab (National Optical-Infrared Astronomy Research Laboratory) in Tucson, Arizona. As part of this role, he provides engineering support to the Gemini North observatory in Hawaii, the Kitt Peak National Observatory in Arizona, and the Gemini South and Cerro Tololo Interamerican Observatories in Chile.
"I don't think I would’ve got a job in professional astronomy without my degree. It helped to convince my employer that I am serious about working in astronomy."— Slawomir Bucki, BSc (Hons) Astronomy graduate
Speaking about his experience at UCLan, Slawomir said: “I enjoyed the opportunity to learn about astronomy at Higher Education level at my own pace and from a distance, whilst working full-time. The tutors were great, very knowledgeable and approachable.”
Talking about how his degree has had a positive impact on his life, Slawomir said: “Since graduating from the UCLan Astronomy Distance Learning programme in 2015, I have been able to transition from amateur to professional Astronomy realm.”
He continued: “I don't think I would’ve got a job in professional astronomy without my degree. It helped to convince my employer that I am serious about working in astronomy.”
When asked about what advice he would give to those wanting to do something similar, Slawomir said: “Pursue your passion, be patient and take advantage of opportunities. Don't wait for the perfect job and don't stick to a rigid plan. Instead, be agile and flexible and grab every opportunity life throws at you.”