Latest News

Latest News

Queen’s astronomer explains how to find new worlds

Dr Chris Watson from the Astrophysics Research Centre at Queen’s University Belfast will have a starring role on BBC Two's Horizon programme on Tuesday, 3 March, when he describes how astronomers find planets around other stars. Dr Watson explains how observations of planets orbiting other stars has transformed our views about how our own solar system was born and evolved. These new planets are breaking all the rules, and point to a tale of chaos. Set against the backdrop of the observatories on La Palma in the Canary islands, Dr Watson prepares to observe another new extrasolar planet system, and describes how weird these new worlds really can be. Our Sun has eight planets and five dwarf planets orbiting it. For many years astronomers dreamt of finding planets around other stars. Yet the immense distance to even the nearest stars makes this task incredibly difficult. It was only 20 years ago that the first planet was found orbiting the nearby star 51 Peg. Located 50 light-years from Earth, this is a world the size of Jupiter, orbiting so close to its parent star that its atmosphere is 1000 degrees hot. Since that first world was discovered, over 1,800 other exoplanets have now been found, with over 3,000 waiting to be confirmed. As will be explained in the BBC Horizon programme, this is revealing new insights into the birth and history of our own Earth. Dr Chris Watson and colleagues at Queen’s University have been at the forefront of exoplanet discovery for many years. First was the SuperWASP instrument in the Canary Islands, which with its sister instrument in South Africa has found over a hundred exoplanets in the past decade. “SuperWASP has been a tremendous success” said Dr Watson. “Yet it was only sensitive to the largest exoplanets like 51 Peg, and we want to go down in size to find potentially habitable places.” The answer to this quest is the Next Generation Transit Survey, which started operating last month in Chile. Run by an international consortium including Queen’s astronomers, they will be hunting for smaller Neptune-sized planet and even Super-Earths – rocky exoplanets only slightly larger than our own Earth. “We’re still at the very start of cataloguing all the Solar systems in our small part of the Milky Way” explained Dr. Watson. “We’ve already found a bewildering variety of planets in all sorts of solar systems. Who knows what we’ll find in the next ten years?” Dr Chris Watson is featured in Horizon on BBC 2 at 9pm on Tuesday 3 March, 2015. The trailer for the show can be viewed at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02kskfn Media inquiries to Andrew Kennedy, Queen’s Communications Office, on andrew.kennedy@qub.ac.uk or 028 9097 5384.  

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Queen’s student wins prestigious FameLab Northern Ireland competition

A medical student from Queen’s University Belfast has been announced as the winner of the revered Famelab Northern Ireland science competition. Emer Maguire, who is currently studying for a Masters in Clinical Anatomy at Queen’s, was one of nine young scientists who gathered at Belfast’s Black Box venue last night to take part in the competition, which aims to discover charismatic scientists who inspire people to see the world from a new perspective. The participants, from across Northern Ireland, each gave three-minute presentations on topics ranging from the power to eat grass, to golden jellyfish and bad blood. With such a competitive field it proved a difficult task for the FameLab judges, but the panel took the unanimous decision to award Emer the title for her talk on the science of kissing and why we smooch, focusing on immune systems, saliva and chemical cocktails. She will now head to the FameLab UK final in April, which will include an intensive two-day communication masterclass. Speaking after the competition, Emer, from Strabane, who also works as a Speech and Language Therapist, said: “I’m still in shock. I can’t believe I’ve actually won, but I’m absolutely delighted and can’t wait to see where FameLab takes me. Tonight has been an unbelievable, but really enjoyable experience. When I walked into the Black Box this evening my initial reaction was to turn and run as I was ridiculously nervous, but once I got onto the stage I was fine and raring to go.” Professor David Jones, Pro Vice Chancellor for Education and Students at Queen’s University Belfast, said: “At Queen’s we are committed to providing high quality education and developing talented students with a willingness to explore new ideas, advance knowledge and benefit society. “Emer is a student with charisma and drive and I would like to congratulate her on winning this prestigious award. She is a talented scientist and outstanding communicator who has a big future ahead of her.”  Organised by British Council Northern Ireland, in partnership with the Cheltenham Science Festival and the inaugural Northern Ireland Science Festival, FameLab Northern Ireland helps scientists acquire valuable skills to communicate their work to a non-scientific audience and the media. FameLab is an initiative of Cheltenham Festivals started in 2005, and has quickly grown into arguably the world’s leading science communication competition. A partnership with the British Council since 2007 has seen the competition go global with more than 5500 young scientists and engineers having participated from over 30 different countries. You can watch Emer’s presentation at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ppLMEgaj9eA The event was part of the NI Science Festival which runs until this Sunday, March 1. For more information visit http://www.nisciencefestival.com. Media inquiries to Andrew Kennedy, Queen’s Communications Office, on andrew.kennedy@qub.ac.uk or 028 9097 5384.    

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Queen’s researchers in bid to develop world’s fastest super computers

Researchers at Queen’s University Belfast are creating ground-breaking computer software which has the potential to develop some of the world’s fastest super computers. The software, developed by researchers in the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Queen’s, will increase the ability of supercomputers to process masses of data at higher speeds than ever before. The breakthrough, which comes as part of a major research project between the University of Manchester and the STFC Daresbury Laboratory in Cheshire, has the potential to combat major global issues including climate change and life threatening diseases by simulating detailed models of natural events and then processing new levels of data at greater speed than ever before. By simulating detailed models of natural phenomena such as ocean currents, the blood flow of a human body and global weather patterns, scientists could use the information they produce to help address some of the big global challenges including sustainable energy, the rise in global temperatures and worldwide epidemics. The Scalable, Energy-Efficient, Resilient and Transparent Software Adaptation (SERT) project has just been awarded almost £1million from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. The project’s Principal Investigator, Professor Dimitrios Nikolopoulos from the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Queen’s University Belfast, said: “This new software which is known as Exascale computing means that complex computing simulations which would take thousands of years on a desktop computer will be completed in a matter of hours. This research has the potential to give us insights into how to combat some of the biggest issues facing humanity at the moment.  It is such an exciting project to be a part of and is further evidence of how Queen’s researchers are advancing knowledge and changing lives.” Professor Jack Dongarra, from the University of Manchester, said:  “This project sheds valuable insight on how to use many core based systems effectively, proving major benefits for a wide range of scientific endeavours that depend on large-scale simulations.” Queen’s University is one of the UK’s leading research-intensive universities, and has recently been placed in the top ten in the UK for research intensity in the recent Research Excellence Framework assessment exercise. The SERT project is due to start in March 2015. It will be funded by EPSRC under the Software for the Future II programme, and the project will partner with the Numerical Analysis Group (NAG), Cluster Vision and the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC). Media inquiries to Andrew Kennedy, Queen’s Communications Office, on andrew.kennedy@qub.ac.uk or 02890975384 Notes to Editors Professor Dimitrios Nikolopoulos is available for interview. Interview bids to Andrew Kennedy Queen’s Communications Office.

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Queen’s spin-out Titan IC named among UK’s most exciting start-ups

A pioneering cyber security business developed as a spin-out from Queen’s University Belfast has been named as one of the UK’s 12 "most exciting" technology start-ups and has pitched their business at Number 10 Downing Street. Titan IC Systems – a spin-out business of Queen’s University’s Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT) – is a world leader in developing silicon technology for faster and safer internet data processing. Titan was selected to take part in Pitch 10, which launched last year as an initiative “to shine a spotlight on the breadth of innovation in the UK” and to help connect early-stage growth businesses with prospective partners.  The companies chosen for this year’s Pitch 10, produced in association with Tech City UK and Tech Nation, were selected by a panel of industry experts including Eileen Burbidge of Passion Capital, Gerard Grech of Tech City UK, and Baroness Martha Lane-Fox, co-founder of Lastminute.com. The pitches took place at Number 10 last Friday, 20 February, with businesses taking part in  a roundtable session to discuss TechNation and the tech clusters hosted by Gerard Grech, TechCity UK CEO and Daniel Korski, Special Adviser to the Prime Minister. Each company gave a three-minute pitch to an audience of VCs, investors and corporate representatives. Godfrey Gaston, CEO of Titan IC, said: "With the Pitch 10 invite, it is great to see that cyber security is being considered as exciting and innovative from a UK-wide perspective, and that Titan IC and the strength of the work being done in CSIT is being recognised”. Media inquiries to Andrew Kennedy, Queen’s Communications Office, on andrew.kennedy@qub.ac.uk or 028 9097 5384. Notes to editors: Titan IC Systems (www.titanicsystems.com) is based in the ECIT building in Titanic Quarter Belfast.  The company was formed in 2007 as a spin-out of cutting-edge research in silicon technology for faster and safer internet data processing in Queen’s University’s Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology Centre (ECIT) by Dr Gaston and other members of the research team, Professor Sakir Sezer and Dr Dwayne Burns. Titan IC is supported by Invest NI through the European Regional Development Funds.   

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Queen’s medical student wins international Innovator Award

A medical student from Queen’s University Belfast has received a prestigious international innovation award for creating an online tool to boost knowledge and benefit society. David Carroll, who is currently on placement at Daisy Hill Hospital, a Queen’s University teaching hospital in Newry, has received the SPARC Innovator Award for developing the Open Access Button, an online tool to improve access to expensive research documents.  The Open Access Button increases access for members of the public, students and academics to publicly funded academic documents which normally require payment to use, or have access restrictions.   The SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) Innovator Award, which has previously been won by Harvard University and the World Bank, recognises individuals, institutions, or groups that challenge the status quo in scholarly communication for the benefit of researchers, libraries, universities, and the public. David, from Camlough, who developed the tool with a friend from London, said: “The Open Access Button connects users with freely accessible copies of the research articles they need, and tracks how often people are denied access to research because of cost barriers. “If the Open Access Button helps users get access to research, they can then make progress with their work. If not, the data and stories collected by the Button will be used for advocacy to make progress to a system in which everyone can access academic research. In one year, the tool has tracked over 12,000 instances of users hitting pay walls, many with powerful stories of why those people needed access to the research publications.”  Congratulating David on his award, Professor Pascal McKeown, Director of the Centre for Medical Education at Queen’s University Belfast, said: “At Queen’s we are committed to providing high quality education that develops talented students with a willingness to explore new ideas, advance knowledge and change lives. “David is clearly a student with outstanding passion, commitment, and a drive to succeed. The innovative online tool he has created will help to improve access to important publications and make a real and lasting difference to society.” Medical Director for the Southern Health and Social Care Trust, Dr John Simpson, said: “As both Daisy Hill and Craigavon Area are Queens University Hospitals, we are fully committed to fostering the development of medical students and are absolutely delighted that one of our undergraduates has been recognised for this inspiring invention. “Research and development is crucial to the provision of safe, high quality care and we are totally committed to ensuring continuous improvement so that patients in the Southern Trust get the very best treatments. Access to the latest academic studies is central to continuous improvement, so not only does the Open Access Button benefit students but it will also help all of us working in health and social care in ensuring that we are up to date with the latest developments.”  For more information on the Open Access Button: https://openaccessbutton.org/about  For more information on Open Access: http://sparc.arl.org/issues/open-access For further information on the SPARC Innovator Award: http://www.sparc.arl.org/initiatives/innovator/former  Media inquiries to Andrew Kennedy, at Queen’s University Communications Office, call 028 9097 5384 or email comms.officer@qub.ac.uk

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Queen's University helping Japan counter cyber security attacks

Queen's University Belfast is partnering with a top Japanese research institute to help reduce the threat of cyber-attacks. The Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT) at Queen’s, a UK Cyber Security Academic Centre of Excellence, has signed a ‘Memoranda of Understanding’ with the Network Security Laboratory of the Japanese National Institute of Communications and Technology (NICT). The agreement will see the institutions work in partnership on ground-breaking ideas and technologies to protect computers and data from cyber-attacks. The partnership between Queen’s, Lancaster University, Imperial College London, and the NICT, the sole Japanese national laboratory dedicated to information and communications technology research, was brokered through the Science and Innovation Network (SIN). Commenting on the agreement, Vice-Chancellor of Queen’s University Belfast, Professor Patrick Johnston, said: “This cyber security collaboration is the latest example of our growing reputation as a powerhouse of world-class research, promoting innovation, advancing knowledge and supporting the needs of society.” Dr Godfrey Gaston, Director of Operations at the Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT) at Queen’s, said: "The threat to our cyber security respects no borders and is truly global in its reach. This is an exciting opportunity for us to work with Japan’s premier Cybersecurity Research Institute and reflects CSIT's growing reputation as a global innovation hub for cyber security research." Further evidence of Queen’s commitment to leading research can be seen in its recent placement in the top ten in the UK for research intensity in the Research Excellence Framework assessment exercise. In this exercise, 93% of the research conducted by CSIT academics was adjudged to be world-leading or internationally excellent. Dr Gaston, along with colleagues from Lancaster University and Imperial College London, attended the signing in Tokyo. Media inquiries to Andrew Kennedy, at Queen's University Communications Office, call 028 9097 5384 or email comms.officer@qub.ac.uk  

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Executive Director of Food at Marks & Spencer delivers IGFS annual lecture

Steve Rowe, Executive Director of Food at Marks & Spencer, was keynote speaker at the annual lecture of Queen’s Institute for Global Food Security (IGFS), delivered to a packed audience in Riddel Hall on Thursday 5 February.  Now in its second year, the lecture aims to highlight the world-class research being conducted at the Institute.  Opening the event which was attended by over 130 academics, industry leaders and local food suppliers, Queen’s President and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Patrick Johnston welcomed Mr Rowe and spoke about the University’s vision for the future. Referring to the world-leading research conducted at Queen’s, Professor Johnston also acknowledged and congratulated Professor Chris Elliott, Director of the IGFS and his team on the recent Research Evaluation Framework (REF2014) results. Aptly named ‘Adventures in Integrity’, Mr Rowe’s lecture addressed the main issues of concern currently facing the food industry. He explained the measures being undertaken by Marks and Spencer to ensure the integrity and quality of the food sold in their stores, the need to act responsibly toward suppliers and customers, and the use of innovation to carve a niche in a very competitive market. “It’s no coincidence that integrity is one of Marks & Spencer’s four guiding values. It’s also no coincidence that I’m talking about it here today at the Institute for Global Food Security,” said Mr Rowe. In a well-received lecture, Steve reflected on Marks and Spencer’s presence in Northern Ireland, opening their first store in the late 1960s and now employing 2,500 staff in 20 stores province-wide and spending in excess of £100 million every year with local suppliers. He also praised Professor Elliott on the Institute’s REF2014 achievements, where the results confirmed Queen’s as one of the top ranked UK universities for Agriculture, Veterinary and Food Science research. Present on behalf of the Agri-Food Strategy Board, Owen Brennan from Devenish Nutrition,highlighted the work which the Institute had carried out in developing the Food Fortress strategy for Northern Ireland. Outlining a vision for a sustainable, profitable and integrated agri-food supply chain, Mr Brennan said: “We have developed a ‘best in class’ animal feed traceability and assurance scheme, which will benefit agriculture as whole. Independent testing and analysis is the core driver of this service. Over 99% of the feed tonnage produced in Northern Ireland is now covered by the Food Fortress initiative. In turn, this will give local agriculture a competitive advantage moving forward.” In the final part of the evening, Professor Chris Elliott spoke about how the Institute wanted to build on its recent success in the rankings to deliver benefits for all. He said: “Our objectives are to make a real difference when it comes to addressing the challenge of feeding the extra two billion people that will make up the world’s population in just thirty years’ time. “There is also the challenge of enhancing and communicating the role which diet can play in delivering lifelong health benefits.” Turning to the local sector, Professor Elliott continued: “The fundamental challenge facing agriculture in Northern Ireland is that of developing a sustainable future against the backdrop of markets that are becoming truly international. As a consequence, we must produce food of greater quality. “In addition, the farming and food industries must become more consumer-focussed.” The evening was compered by Queen’s graduate and supporter, BBC reporter, Mark Simpson (BA Modern History, 1989) and closed with a small presentation to Steve Rowe. For further information on the Institute for Global Food Security visit: http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/InstituteforGlobalFoodSecurity/ 

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Queen’s Vice-Chancellor receives prestigious accolade

Vice-Chancellor of Queen’s University Belfast, Professor Patrick Johnston, has been awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RSCI). Founded in 1784, the RSCI is a world renowned medical institution, providing extensive education and training in the healthcare professions for students in Ireland. The award, the highest distinction the RSCI bestows, was presented to Professor Johnston in recognition of his contribution to cancer research. A globally-recognised cancer specialist over the last 20 years, Professor Johnston, from Derry, has also led the development of a world-leading Institute of Health Sciences at Queen’s University. His research has resulted in a number of prestigious landmark publications, over 20 patents and almost £100 million in grants being secured from research and philanthropic bodies. Professor Johnston was presented with the award by RCSI President, Declan J Magee, at a conferring ceremony at RCSI in Dublin, on February 7, 2015. Commenting on the distinguished accolade, Professor Johnston said: “I am delighted to have received an Honorary Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. It is a privilege to have received this honour and to have had my contribution to cancer research recognised in this way.” Media inquiries to Andrew Kennedy, at Queen’s University Communications Office, call 028 9097 5384 or email comms.officer@qub.ac.uk

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Get a taste for science at Queen’s as part of first ever NI Science Festival

Queen’s University is hosting a range of vibrant and educational science events as part of this year’s first ever NI Science Festival programme. The inaugural 11-day Science Festival starts on 19 February and will offer a range of workshops, talks and activities for young people, parents and schools focusing on the wonders of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. A number of academics and staff from Queen’s are involved in the Science Festival and lots of venues across the Queen’s campus and in Belfast will be used for a diverse range of events including:   Celebrating Science at Queen’s When: Thursday 19 February Where: Riddel Hall, Stranmillis Road An open day giving visitors a taste of the world-leading scientific research we carry out here at Queen’s, from nanotechnology and aerospace engineering to robots and treatment of diabetes. Four scientists from the University will give short presentations on their work and our researchers will be on hand throughout the day to answer questions you may have. The day is open to all members of the public and no booking is required. To see all the events for the day, please look through the Celebrating Science programme. Further info: http://www.nisciencefestival.com/event.php?e=112   Electrifying Taster Days When: Thursday 19 – Friday 20 February Where: School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Ashby Building, Stranmillis Road & ECS1, Elmwood Avenue The School is opening its doors for two days and giving secondary school students the opportunity to get a feel for its degrees and find out about its work in areas such as cyber security and connected health. Recommended for Year 13 students, the Taster Days will also give students a flavour of the range of careers that a degree from the School can offer. Further info: www.nisciencefestival.com/event.php?e=171    The Art and Science of Sound When: Saturday 21 February (11am - 5pm) Where: Sonic Arts Research Centre, Cloreen Park The Sonic Arts Research Centre will open its doors on 21st February from 11am - 5pm as part of a large sound and science showcase entitled “The Art and Science of Sound”. There will be dedicated listening, recording and sound exploration workshops. Other activities include sound installations, ad hoc performances, robots, and demo tables. Pre-registration for workshops is required Further info: http://www.nisciencefestival.com/event.php?e=119 http://www.qub.ac.uk/schools/SchoolofCreativeArts/nisciencefestival/    Science Superheroes When: Saturday 21 February Where: W5, Odyssey Complex, Queens Quay As part of Bodyworks at W5, Queen’s University Centre for Cancer Research & Cell Biology will be offering a variety of activities and fun lab experiments such as extracting DNA from a strawberry and making some toothpaste for elephants. Further info: http://www.nisciencefestival.com/event.php?e=114   Archaeological Burials, Bones and Bodies When: Sunday 22 February Where, The Black Box, Hill Street Archaeologists from Queen’s will explain some of the methods they use and what information can be gleaned from the bodies they encounter. Including plastic skeletons and a skeleton jigsaw for the younger members of the audience, we will also look at the differences between males and females and between the skeletons of babies, children and adults. Further info: http://www.nisciencefestival.com/event.php?e=168   The Sir Bernard Crossland Lecture: Alligator, Sex and Scars – Unexpected Scientific Discoveries and their Commercial Exploitation When: Wednesday 25 February (6pm-7.30pm) Where: Riddel Hall, Stranmillis Road This year’s speaker is Professor Mark Ferguson, the Chief Scientific Advisor for Ireland & Director General for Science Foundation Ireland. Professor Ferguson will talk about how unexpected discoveries open up new scientific and commercial opportunities. This lecture will appeal to a wide audience, and is not limited to those with a passion for engineering! Free admission, but registration required Further info: http://www.nisciencefestival.com/event.php?e=173   Forensics Workshop for Teachers When: Wednesday 25 February Where: Queen’s main campus, University Road This forensics workshop is being run by the Association for Science Education for Continuing Personal Development purposes. It will cover DNA, film chromatography, fingerprints, footprints in the sand, comparing paint samples, fibre analysis and blood typing. Strictly limited to 20 places. Registration of interest required Further info: http://www.nisciencefestival.com/event.php?e=219   Into The Future We Go When: Thursday 26 February Where: School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, ECS1, Elmwood Avenue QUB engineering students have converted a DeLorean into an electric car, and invite secondary school pupils along to learn the science behind the project, test their own design skills and  - above all - try out the car! Ideal for students in Years 11 and 12, especially those studying Physics Further info:http://www.nisciencefestival.com/event.php?e=172   Sun Watch at Queen’s When: Saturday 28 February (11.30am - 4.30pm) Where: Queen’s main campus, University Road At the front of the Lanyon Building, near the War Memorial, a series of telescopes will enable members of the public to see sun spots, prominences and other features of the Sun, with the help of Queen’s astronomers. There will also several talks, including one on how to safely view the upcoming solar eclipse. Further info: http://www.nisciencefestival.com/event.php?e=174   Playspace When: Saturday 28 February & Sunday 1 March Where: Queen’s Film Theatre, University Square Queen’s gaming society, Dragonslayers, will host a big-screen gaming tournament as well as screenings of documentaries and classic films such as the 1982 cult classic Tron. Further info: http://www.nisciencefestival.com/event.php?e=162   I’m a Psychologist, Get Me Out Of Here When: Saturday 28 February Where: School of Psychology, Queen’s main campus, University Road This interactive workshop lets young people investigate and understand how their minds work. They will learn about the science of emotion, memory and communication by undertaking experiments with the help of Queen’s researchers. Further info: http://www.nisciencefestival.com/event.php?e=166    Open Learning Laboratory (OPAL) Roadshow When: Monday 23 - Friday 27 February Where: Secondary schools in the Greater Belfast area The School of Education, as a partner in the OPAL (Open Learning Laboratory) project, is hosting an OPAL Roadshow for the Northern Ireland Science Festival. Working with the Field Studies Council we will visit schools to carry out OPAL surveys with Key Stage 3 groups during the week of 23rd to 27th February.   Find out more about these events at: http://www.nisciencefestival.com/   Media inquiries to Andrew Kennedy, at Queen’s University Communications Office, call 028 9097 5384 or email comms.officer@qub.ac.uk  

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Queen’s University Belfast plays leading role in construction of the world’s biggest solar telescope

Queen’s University Belfast and Belfast business Andor Technology are playing a leading role in the construction of the world’s biggest and most revolutionary solar telescope. Queen’s University is leading a consortium of eight UK universities and associated businesses to build the cameras for the $344 million super-telescope, which will be situated in Hawaii. The Daniel K Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST), which will be launched in 2019, is being constructed by the US National Solar Observatory on Haleakala mountain in Maui, Hawaii. With a four-metre diameter primary mirror, the telescope will be able to pick up unprecedented detail on the surface of the Sun – the equivalent of being able to examine a £1 coin from 100 kms away. It is hoped that DKIST will address fundamental questions at the core of contemporary solar physics. It will do this via high-speed (sub-second timescales) spectroscopic and magnetic measurements of the solar photosphere, chromosphere and corona. DKIST is funded by the US National Science Foundation with £2.5m of funding provided by the Science and Technology Facilities Council. Professor Mihalis Mathioudakis of the Astrophysics Research Centre at Queen’s University Belfast, Principal Investigator of the UK consortium, said: “The Sun is the most important astronomical object for humankind with solar activity driving space weather and having profound effects on global climate and technology-based communications. To understand solar activity we need to observe and model the physical processes in the solar atmosphere on their intrinsic spatial and temporal scales so that, among other questions, we can reliably forecast this activity in space. “Scientific discoveries demand technological innovation and play a major role in economic growth. DKIST will be a revolutionary instrument for ground-based solar physics, which is a growth area in the UK. It will be in a position to explore key questions regarding solar magnetic field generation and dissipation, solar variability, atmospheric structure and dynamics. Our consortium will deliver key equipment that will allow DKIST to achieve these scientific goals and it’s another example of how Queen’s research impacts on society, both locally and internationally.” DKIST Director, Dr Thomas Rimmele said: “We are excited to have the UK consortium on board as partners. DKIST will be the world's most powerful solar telescope. The scientific and technological expertise represented by the Queen's University Belfast-led consortium is a great asset to the project.” Dr Donal Denvir, Technical Director at Andor Technology, said: “Andor will play a central role in the design and manufacture of state-of-the-art detectors for this high-profile, solar-physics initiative. The technology will provide an innovative combination of high-performance specifications that simply do not exist today, a solution that will prove enabling not only for next-generation solar studies, but for the wider professional astronomy community and beyond.” The consortium of UK institutes in DKIST is led by Queen's University Belfast and includes Armagh Observatory, Northumbria University, University College London, and the Universities of Glasgow, Sheffield, St. Andrews and Warwick. The consortium will partner with Belfast company and Queen’s University spinout Andor Technology and the Science and Technology Facilities Council. The consortium will oversee the development and delivery of the cameras, and take the lead in supporting the UK solar physics community in their use of DKIST by providing a set of processing tools for DKIST data, synthetic observations to validate diagnostic approaches, and support for developing observing proposals. For more information contact the Queen’s University Communications Office on 0044 (0)28 9097 5320 (Mon-Wed) or 0044 (0)28 9097 5310 (Thurs-Fri) or email comms.officer@qub.ac.uk

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