MPhys Astrophysics, University of Sussex, UK (2003) Upper 2nd Class
PhD 'On the origin of Lithium-Rich Stars in Open Clusters: Detailed Spectroscopy using the Very Large Telescope', Keele University, UK (2008)
I joined the astrophysics discipline of the School of Physical Sciences at the Open University in October 2013 on a three year part-time Daphne Jackson Research Fellowship. This represents a return to research after a 6 year career break. Since then I have moved to a dedicated Public Engagement role within the School of Physical Sciences (SPS) representing and supporting all disciplines.
My current role, Citizen Science Research Associate and Odgen Science Officer, comprises three main strands of activity. The first is supporting and promoting the work of COAST (Completely Autonomous Telescope), a state of the art telescope, unique in its ability to respond rapidly to events. I am currently working on a free BOC (Badged Open Course) which will be freely available for use by the general public and schools with the objective of teaching participants how to use the telescope as well as providing broader astronomical education.
The second strand of my activity is working with SEPnet (South East Physics Network) a consortium of physics departments in nine universities, including the OU which aims to deliver excellence in Physics. I am keen to coordinate, support and promote the outreach work of OU academics in this important field and I have expertise in running successful outreach and engagement events across the country.
The third strand is ASTERICS2020 an EU Horizon 2020 Funded project which is bringing together the astronomy, astrophysics and particle astrophysics communities, again, my role here includes dissemination of information and engagement with the public.
Though my current role is full and varied at the heart of all I do is the idea that as the Open University we should be opening up fascinating and sometimes complex subject areas and the associated opportunities for the benefit of all.
November 2015: Open University 'Going the Extra Mile Award' in recognition of significant contributions to PIRATE.
March 2014: Royal Astronomical Society Grant to upgrade the hard drives storing the science output of the PIRATE facility in preparation for my research.
October 2013 - September 2016: Daphne Jackson Research Fellowship for 3 years on a 0.5 FTE basis.
September 2005: Place at the UK GRAD School for personal and career development
September 2003 - August 2006: PPARC (now STFC) Funded PhD Studentship at Keele University
August 2002 - September 2002: Nuffield Foundation Research Bursary
As part of the Open University's nationwide team I have previously presented S104 Exploring Science, S282 Astronomy & S382 Astrophysics at undergraduate level to students around the world. This role required me to present tutorials and seminars both face-to-face and via an on-line interactive learning environment, support students by e-mail, on forums and on the phone as well as providing feedback on their submitted work.
In addtion to working for the Open University I work with the Institute of Nuclear Physics, Polish Academy of Sciences as the Project Imprementation Lead on the Cosmic Ray Extremely Distruibuted Observatory (CREDO) project.
In addition to teaching on Open University modules our academics are engaged in ground breaking research that benefits individuals and society.
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