Brian Schmidt is a Federation Fellow at Mount Stromlo Observatory (part of the Australian National University) near Canberra, Australia.
Raised in Montana and Alaska, he studied astronomy and physics at the University of Arizona and earned his PhD at Harvard University in 1993.
The very next year he jumped into the cosmic expansion debate, forming the High-z Supernova Search Team, which brought together 20 leading astronomers from around the world and revealed the accelerating expansion of the universe.
The team’s co-discovery of the accelerating expansion jointly won for it (along with Saul Perlmutter’s team) Science magazine’s Breakthrough of the Year for 1998. Schmidt has been awarded many prizes and accolades for his work, including jointly winning the prestigious Shaw Prize in 2006 (along with colleague Adam Riess and Saul Perlmutter).
He’s still involved with supernova research, and is currently heading up the SkyMapper project, a new super-sophisticated telescope being built at Siding Spring Observatory in New South Wales.