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Peter H. Keys
Lecturer, Queen’s University Belfast
Astrophysics Research Centre
Queen’s University Belfast
University Road, BT7 1NN Belfast, N. Ireland, U.K.

Birth Place, Country:
Derry, N. Ireland

Academic Details:
• M. Sci. Physics with Astrophysics, Queen’s University Belfast, 2009
• Ph. D. Physics, Queen’s University Belfast, 2013

Career overview:
After finishing my Ph.D, I started a joint postdoc between Queen’s University Belfast and the University of Sheffield from 2013 to 2016. At Queen’s I worked on the first SOLARNET project as the instrument scientist for the ROSA instrument, responsible for running ROSA under service mode for the Transnational Access Scheme (in service mode – the first of its kind for solar ground-based observations) and developing the data reduction pipeline for ROSA to make it more user friendly. I then undertook a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship looking at small-scale magnetic fields on the Sun. Recently, I was appointed as a Lecturer at Queen’s with an emphasis on digital learning.

Current research/ job focus:
My current research looks at the dynamic properties of small-scale magnetic fields in the solar atmosphere as observed with ground-based facilities. As well as looking at the variation of properties, such as magnetic field, over time, I also look at waves and oscillations excited in these features and the propagation of these waves across different regions in the solar atmosphere.

Area of expertise:
Small-scale magnetic fields, magnetic bright points, ground-based instrumentation and data reduction.

Area of interests:
Automated feature tracking and wave identification tools.

I am collaborating with others on WP5 on near-real time image processing techniques. This will help in reducing the data volumes acquired during observations. I am also on the communication board for PRE-EST, which aims to increase the awareness of EST through various outreach activities.

What do you like to do when not doing science?
Besides science, I do a lot of distance swimming and swim competitively (which involves a good number of kilometres in the pool each week). I was heavily involved in triathlon in Ireland and competed at the World and European amateur championships for Ireland and have competed at all triathlon distances from sprint to Ironman. Triathlon is quite taxing on time and the wallet though, which is why I’ve cut it down to only doing distance swimming for the moment.

A dose of motivation:
There is a quote I like, from who exactly I can no longer remember, but it is paraphrased frequently in sport. It goes something like: everyone knows what they have to do to succeed, it’s just a case of doing the work. Be consistent to get results but don’t forget how important it is to take breaks too or you’ll burn out.

What motivated you to choose your field of study/ your professional field?>
I loved physics in school and was always interested in astrophysics in general. Solar physics interested me as we are able to get so much data for the Sun, and the idea of looking at how everything fits together fascinated me.

Social Media pages (e.g. LinkedIn, Twitter):
@mac_aoidh (twitter)
peter-keys (GitHub)