Prof. Hidayat was born in 1934 in Kundus, Central Java, Indonesia. He has two children. His wife (passed away in 1995) Estiti was a Professor of Biology.

He obtained his PhD from the Case Institute of Technology in Cleveland (USA) in 1965 in the field of Astrophysics, where he worked with Professors McCuskey and Blanco.

He became Assistant Professor (1968), Associate Professor (1974), and a full Professor (1976).  He was Director of the Bosscha Observatory (1968-1983).

Prof. Hidayat has been Chairman of the Indonesian-Japan Astronomy Programme (1980-1994), Chairman of the Indonesian-Dutch Astronomy Programme (1982-present), and Vice-President of the International Astronomical Union (1994-2000). He is a member of the following professional bodies: the American Astronomical Society, the Indonesian Astronomical Society (Founder, 1978), the Indonesian National Academy of Sciences (1991), the Indonesian Physics Society (Co-Founder), the International Astronomical Union, the Royal Commission of Ahl Al-Beit University, Jordan (1993), and the Royal Astronomical Society.

He has more than 50 scientific papers to his credit, as well as a number of textbooks on Astronomy.

Prof. Hidayat was elected as a Fellow of the IAS in 1992.