Prof. David B. Jess

I am currently a Professor at Queen’s University Belfast, and I work within the Solar Physics research group. Previously, I was employed as the “ROSA Instrument Scientist”, and was part of the team responsible for assembling, testing and commissioning the ROSA instrument at the National Solar Observatory, Sacramento Peak, USA, back in 2008. Following on, I was an STFC Post-Doctoral Fellow (QUB; 2009-2012), a Marie Curie Fellow (KU Leuven, Belgium; 2012-2013), and an advanced STFC Ernest Rutherford Fellow (QUB; 2013-2018). I was made permanent academic staff at QUB in 2013, promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2017 and Reader in 2019, before being made a Professor in 2021.

My main studies of the Sun concern its lower atmosphere which can be seen in optical wavelengths. I am predominantly interested in how the Sun’s energy travels through its atmosphere, both in the form of flares and waves. To study this, I utilise a wide range of instruments, including the Queen’s University developed ROSA camera system, as well as the Royal Society funded Hydrogen-Alpha Rapid Dynamics camera (HARDcam), of which I am the Principal Investigator. I am also a founding member of the Waves in the Lower Solar Atmosphere (WaLSA; www.WaLSA.team) consortium, which is dedicated to promoting international collaborative research efforts linked to wave studies in the Sun’s atmosphere.

I am also the UK’s main point of contact for the upcoming Indian National Large Solar Telescope (NLST), which will be a 2m class facility in the Merak region of Northern India. I am currently building a fibre-fed, near-UV hyper-spectropolarimetric imager for the NLST, which will operate as a first-light instrument on this observatory once construction is complete.

During my research career I have also supervised many successful PhD students within the Solar Physics group, including:

  • Dr Peter Keys
  • Dr David Kuridze
  • Dr Samuel Grant
  • Dr Ondrej Prochazka
  • Dr Scott Houston
  • Chris Dillon (4th year PhD student)
  • Caitlin Gilchrist-Millar (3rd year PhD student)
  • Conor MacBride (2nd year PhD student)
  • Will Bate (1st year PhD student)
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