Scientific profile

Jose Carlos del Toro Iniesta was born in Cartagena, Spain, in 1960. He studied physics in the universities of Granada, Spain, (first three courses) and La Laguna, Spain, (major in astrophysics). He is a CSIC’s Research Professor at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía in Granada. He is a specialist on solar magnetic fields and, more specifically, on diagnostics of polarized light in the presence of a magnetic field, although he has eventually worked on subjects not strictly related to astrophysics like polarization optics or the history of science. He got a PhD degree from the University of La Laguna with a thesis supervised by Dr M Semel from Observatoire de Meudon (Paris, France) and has carried out a part of his career at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, including a sabbatical year at the Lockheed Palo Alto Research Laboratories (Palo Alto, California, USA). Since 1998 he belongs to the staff of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (IAA-CSIC). 

He has published some hundred and eighty papers on scientific journals and meeting proceedings, has been editor of two books, and author (2003) of another one entitled “Introduction to spectropolarimetry”, published by Cambridge University Press. 

He created the Solar Physics Group (SPG) at IAA-CSIC since no solar physics research was active when he joined the institute. The work of the group covers the three main pillars of modern solar physics: theory, observation and instrumentation development. With the SPG, he has led or co-led the development of several world-class instruments in collaboration with partners from Germany, the United States, and Japan (see below). Prof. Del Toro Iniesta is the leading coordinator of the so-called Spanish Space Solar Physics Consortium (S3PC), which embraces all the Spanish efforts in space solar physics, including the Instituto Nacional de Técnica Aeroespacial, the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, the Universitat de València, and the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias. 

He has been Principal Investigator of 14 projects and 5 contracts funded several agencies in open competitive calls. In total, he has got so far (November, 2021) 11.7 M€ so far in such competitive calls.

He has been invited to teach advanced undergraduate courses at the University of La Laguna and post-graduate courses at this very university, at the Kanzelhöhe Sonnenobservatorium (Austria), at the Institute of Space and Astronautical Sciences of Japan (Sagamihara, Japan), at the University of Kyoto (Japan), at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (Granada, Spain), at the Instituto Nacional de Técnica Aeroespacial (Madrid, Spain), at the Max-Planck-Institut für Sonnensystemforschung  and University of Göttingen (Göttingen, Germany), at the Mullard Space Science Laboratory (University College, London, UK), and at the High Altitude Observatory (Boulder, CO, USA). He has given more than fifty scientific talks in four continents and as many other popular talks and papers in Spain. He has supervised seven PhD theses and is supervising his eighth. Among them, one obtained the yearly extraordinary award of the University of La Laguna and another the biennial award to the best thesis in astronomy and astrophysics by the Spanish Astronomical Society.

He is a co-Investigator of the stratospheric balloon Sunrise mission, a collaboration between the German Max-Planck society, the North-American space agency (NASA), the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ), and the Spanish National Program for Research, Development, and Innovation. He is an associate investigator of the AIA instrument of the NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory mission. He is the co-Principal Investigator of the SO/PHI magnetograph for the European Space Agency’s Solar Orbiter mission. He is Principal Investigator of the TuMag magnetograph and co-Principal Investigator of the SCIP spectropolarimeter for the Sunrise III mission. He is co-Principal Investigator of the Photospheric Magnetic field Imager (PMI) for the ESA’s Lagrange mission. He is the leader of the international development group (Spain, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, and Sweden) of the Tunable Imaging Spectropolarimeters for the European Solar Telescope. 

He has been director of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (IAA-CSIC) from 2004 through 2007. He has been the Spanish National Coordinator for Space Research of the Spanish Research Agency from 2017 through 2019. © Jose Carlos del Toro Iniesta 2019