Matthew John West

Address:
Solar Physics Group,
Royal Observatory of Belgium,
Ringlaan -3- Avenue Circulaire,
B-1180 Brussels, Belgium
Tel (UK): On request
Tel (Bel): On request
Email: matthew.west[@]observatory.be
PhD DIC MPhys(Hons) AMInstP FRAS
Nationality: British
Born: 4th May 1980

RESEARCH INTERESTS

I am interested in both the small and large-scale solar coronal magnetic field, specifically in the context of how energy can be liberated through solar eruptions, magnetic reconnection and can drive space weather. I have worked on both modeling and observations in these fields. My long-term goal is to develop new methods to probe previously unmeasurable coronal properties using new observational, theoretical and numerical techniques. I also have strong interests in coronal loop physics, space weather forecasting and how solar flares, EUV waves, dimmings and coronal mass ejections (CMEs) fit together, and more specifically how coronal dimmings can be used as a reliable diagnostic for estimating CME mass and direction.

EDUCATION

PhD. Imperial College London, UK Oct 2003 - Jan 2008
  • Dissertation: Energy Budget and Dynamics of the Solar Corona - Advisor: Prof. P. J. Cargill
  • Developed a versatile analytical/numerical non-linear, non-local heat conduction model for coronal loops
  • Assessed the detectability of jets produced by small scale magentic reconnection events in the Suns atmosphere
  • Investigated the detection of magnetic reconnection through spectral signatures
Mphys Exchange Program, University Courses on Svalbard, Norway Jan 2002 - May 2002
  • Investigated the influence of the Sun on Earths ionosphere using multiple instruments
Mphys - Physics with Planetary & Space Physics, University of Wales, Aberystwyth, Wales Sep 1998 - Jan 2002
  • Thesis: Analysis Techniques Used in the Measurement of the Solar Wind Velocity - Advisor: Prof. A. R. Breen

APPOINTMENTS

SCOPE (Prototype Compact Wide Angle Coronagraph) Mission Royal Observatory of Belgium Technical Lead, Royal Observatory of Belgium, Belgium Jan 2016 - Present
  • Leading development of onboard scientific software for the prototype coronagraph.
  • Planned and coordinated analysis of space weather forecaster requirements for the coronagraph.
  • Supervised support scientists.
PROBA2 Technical Coordinator, Royal Observatory of Belgium, Belgium Jan 2016 - Present
  • Led calibration and development of PROBA2 instruments observing the solar atmosphere.
  • Planned and coordinated observations, operations, and analysis of spacecraft data.
  • Supervised support scientists.
PROBA2 Liaison Scientist, Royal Observatory of Belgium, Belgium Jan 2013 - Present
  • Used instruments on the PROBA2 spacecraft to investigate large scale coronal dynamics
  • Investigated the influence of the EUV Sun on Venus' induced ionosphere
  • Performed observational, theoretical and numerical research into post-flare giant arches
  • Responsible for the PROBA2 Guest Investigator Program and budget, and management of the PROBA2 web servers, monthly and weekly operations, operators and Guest Investigator budget
  • Wrote heat conduction models in Python to investigate emission cooling through different EUV bandpasses
Postdoctoral Researcher, Solar Influences Data Center, Belgium Jun 2008 - Dec 2012
  • Developed a coronal seismology technique to estimate the coronal magnetic field strength using EUV waves
  • Used the STEREO satellites to investigate the solar atmosphere and solar eruptions from multiple viewpoints
  • Investigated the cross-sectional properties of coronal flux tubes
Cluster PEACE Instrument Operator, Mullard Space Science Laboratory, UK Jan 2008 - May 2008
  • Investigated and developed software in C++ and Perl to improve the PEACE instrument calibration
Undergraduate Research Assistant, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, USA Oct 2002 - Oct 2003
  • Program: Living With a Star - Supervisor: Dr. B. J. Thompson
  • Investigated the association between coronal dimmings and high-density plumes trailing CMEs using IPS measurements, and instruments from the SOHO mission
  • Operations manager for the EIT instrument on board SOHO
Undergraduate Summer Research Position, NASA GSFC, USA Jul 2001 - Sep 2001
  • Project: Tracking CMEs using multiple satellites and ground-based radars using IPS techniques - Supervisors: Dr. N. Gopalswamy and Dr. G. Lawrence

AWARDS, FELLOWSHIPS & OTHER HONOURS

  • Stefan Hepites prize Award from the Romanian Academy of Science for contribution to Romanian science (2013)
  • Aberystwyth University Physics Department Award for highest undergraduate 2nd year core grades (2000)
  • Roxburgh award from the city of Bath: "highest achievement in a science subject" (1999)
  • Diploma Imperial College

ADMINISTRATIVE & SERVICE EXPERIENCE

  • Space Weather Forecaster (Dec 2014 - Present)
  • Responsible for the PROBA2 Guest Investigator Program: Organizing committee (chair), budget, logistics, and performing research with guest investigators
  • In charge of the Science Working Team meetings, bi-weekly operations meeting and performing satellite monthly maintenance to monitor the satellite health and data product
  • Responsible for PROBA2 monthly maintenance and Project Scientist reporting to ESA, ESTEC, NL
  • Manager of solar activity monitoring and PROBA2 operations work package at the Solar Influences Data Center, Royal Observatory Belgium

EDUCATION & PUBLIC OUTREACH ACTIVITIES

  • Completed an Institute of Physics (UK) media outreach course (2014)
  • Responsible for the PROBA2 webpage and wrote regular news releases and public outreach articles about PROBA2 science for the PROBA2 website
  • Presented the PROBA2 mission to different audiences through conferences, invited talks and seminars
  • Represented Aberystwyth University Physics department at the annual Student Skills competition (2000)

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION & PERSONAL INTERESTS

Professional Societies:
  • Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society
  • Associate Member of the Institute of Physics
  • Member of American Geophysical Union
Committees, Teams and Review Panels:
  • Royal Observatory of Belgium representative at the scientific and technical advisory committee STAC of the European Meteorological Network - EUMETNET - (2013)
  • Royal Observatory of Belgium representative as a space weather Regional Warning Center (RWC) to the International Space Environment Service (ISES), (2013)
  • A member of the ISES and World Meteorological Organization Information System Pilot project to incorporate space weather services in the World Meteorological Organization metadata system (2013)
  • A member of the ISES and World Meteorological Organization Information System Pilot project to review and revise the ISES documents on Basic Functions, Constitution, and Organizational Structure for review by ISES members (Action 3 in the ISES annual meeting review) (2013)
  • Invited member of the Living With a Star flux ropes proposal review panel (2013)
  • Invited chairperson for Solar-Terrestrial sessions at AOGS conference (2015)
  • Peer-reviewer for several journals
  • Part of the EUI data center design team at the Royal Observatory Belgium
  • Member of the SCOPE coronagraph design document team at the Royal Observatory Belgium
  • Associated Scientist for the PROBA-3 ASPIICS instrument
Supervising & Mentoring:
  • Martin Reiss (PhD student) and Stefan Hofmeister (Master student), University of Bucharest (Royal Observatory of Belgium Summer Students; 2014)
Grants:
  • As PROBA2 Liaison Scientist: together with the PROBA2 instrument PI's we wrote the successful PROBA2 mission extension proposal (2014)
  • Part of the Royal Observatory Belgium representation in a successful international bid for the Space Situational Awareness Program P2-SWE-1, Space Weather Expert Service Centers: Definition and Development proposal
  • Aberystwyth University Physics Department Award for highest undergraduate 2nd year core grades
Youth Education:
  • 10 General Certificate of Secondary Education awards (GCSEs; 14-16 years of age): A-C (English Lit/Lan, Maths, Double science, Humanities)
  • General Certificate of Education Advanced Level studies (GCE A-Levels;16-18 years of age): Physics, Biology, GCE AS-Level Mathematics
  • Aberystwyth University Physics Department Award for highest undergraduate 2nd year core grades
Software Development Skills:
  • Python & SunPy, IDL, C++, LaTeX, PHP & SQL, Perl, Unix & OS X, R, CSS & HTML
Languages:
  • English - Native speaker
  • Italian - Basic receptive, advanced spoken and reading skill
  • French - Basic receptive and spoken skill, intermediate reading skill
Personal Interests:
  • Climbing: Part-time coach
  • Art: exhibited at L'Ecole des Arts d'Uccle (2015)
  • Volleyball: University of Aberystwyth representative at the European HAJRAA competition
  • Completed Sadlers Wells Theatre Beginners, intermediate and improves acting courses, 2013-2015. Performed as character: Martin Dysart, in a performance of Equus

REFERENCES

  • Available on request

PUBLICATIONS

  • SWAP Observations of Post-flare Giant Arches in the Long-Duration 14 October 2014 Solar Eruption
    M. J. West, D.B. Seaton
    ApJL, 801, L6, 2015
     
  • Solar activity and its evolution across the corona
    F. Zuccarello, L. Balmaceda, G. Cessateur, H. Cremades, S. L. Guglielmino, J. Lilensten, T. Dudok de Wit, M. Kretzschmar, F. M. Lopez, M. Mierla, S. Parenti, J. Pomoell, P. Romano, L. Rodriguez, N. Srivastava, R. Vainio, M. J. West, F. P. Zuccarello
    JSWSC, 3, A18, 2013
     
  • Estimating travel times of coronal mass ejections to 1 AU using multi-spacecraft coronagraph data
    E. Kilpua, M. Mierla, L. Rodriguez, A.N. Zhukov, N. Srivastava, M. J. West
    SoPh, 279, 477, 2012
     
  • Time delays in quasi-periodic pulsations observed during the X2.2 solar flare on 2011 February 15
    L. Dolla, C. Marque, D.B. Seaton, T. Van Doorsseleare, M. Dominique, D. Berghmans, C. Cabanas Parada, A. De Groof, W. Schmutz, A. Verdini, M. J. West, J. Zender, A.N. Zhukov
    ApJ, 749, L16, 2012
     
  • Linking remote-sensing and in situ observations of coronal mass ejections using STEREO
    L. Rodriguez, M. Mierla, A.N. Zhukov, M. J. West, E. Kilpua
    SoPh, 270, 561, 2011
     
  • Coronal seismology using EIT waves: estimation of the coronal magnetic field strength in the quiet Sun
    M. J. West, A.N. Zhukov, L. Dolla, L. Rodriguez
    ApJ, 730, 122, 2011
     
  • Cluster-PEACE In-flight Calibration Status
    A. Fazakerley, A. Lahiff, I. Rozum, D. Kataria, H. Bacai, C. Anekallu, M. J. West, A Åsnes
    ASSP, 281, 2010
     
  • Linking remote-sensing and in situ observations of coronal mass ejections using STEREO
    L. Rodriguez, M. Mierla, A.N. Zhukov, M. J. West, E. Kilpua
    SoPh 270, 561, 2011
     
  • On the 3-D reconstruction of Coronal Mass Ejections using coronagraph data
    M. Mierla, B. Inhester, A. Antunes, Y. Boursier, J. P. Byrne, R. Colaninno, Joe Davila, C. A. de Koning, P.T. Gallagher, S. Gissot, R.A. Howard, T. A. Howard, M. Kramer, P. Lamy, P. Liewer, S. Maloney, C. Marque, R.T.J. McAteer, T. Moran, L. Rodriguez, N. Srivastava, O.C.St. Cyr, G. Stenborg, M. Temmer, A. Thernisien, A. Vourlidas, M. J. West, B. E. Wood, A.N. Zhukov
    AnGeo, 28, 203, 2010
     
  • PEACE Data in the Cluster Active Archive
    A. Fazakerley, A. Lahiff, R. Wilson, I. Rozum, C. Anekallu, M. J. West, H. Bacai
    ASSP, 129, 2010
     
  • On the Lifetime of Hot Coronal Plasmas Arising from Nanoflares
    M. J. West, S. J. Bradshaw, S. J., P. J. Cargill
    SoPh, 252, 89, 2008
     
  • On the Possibility of Detecting Small-Scale Reconnection Jets in the Solar Corona
    M. J. West, P. J. Cargill
    ESASP, 617, 85, 2006
     

SELECTED PRESENTATIONS

  • Coronal Seismology Using EUV Waves: Estimation of the Coronal Magnetic Field Strength in the Quiet Sun
    M. J. West, A.N. Zhukov, L. Dolla, L. Rodriguez
    Asia Oceania Geosciences Society conference, Singapore, 2015
     
  • PROBA2 a Space Weather Tool (Invited)
    M. J. West
    Science from an Operational Mission: An L5 Consortium Meeting, UK, 2015
     
  • SWAP Observations of Post-Flare Giant Arches and the Effects of Background Coronal Conditions
    M. J. West, D.B. Seaton
    Asia Oceania Geosciences Society conference, Singapore, 2015
     
  • SWAP & IRIS Observations of Post-Flare Giant Arches
    M. J. West, D.B. Seaton
    IRIS-4 workshop, USA, 2015
     
  • SWAP Observations of Post-flare Loops and the Effects of Background Coronal Conditions
    M. J. West, D.B. Seaton
    Coronal Loop Workshop VII, UK, 2015
     
  • PROBA2 a Space Weather Tool (Seminar)
    M. J. West
    NOAA, US, 2015
     
  • The PROBA2 Mission and Five Years of Observations: What Have we Learned?
    M.J. West
    AGU, US, 2014
     
  • Evolution and Dynamics of a failed eruption: Analysis from Multi-instrument Observations
    M. J. West, D.B. Seaton, F. P. Zuccarello, M. Mierla, L. A. Rachmeler, R. Vansintjan
    ESPM 14, Ireland, 2014
     
  • Sun Watcher using Active Pixel System detector and Image Processing - SWAP
    M. J. West
    eHeroes 3rd General Meeting, Switzerland, 2014
     
  • The SWAP EUV imager onboard PROBA2: 3 years of observations
    M. J. West, D. Berghmans, D.B. Seaton
    40th COSPAR Scientific Assembly, Russia, 2014
     
  • Coronal Seismology Using EIT Waves: Estimation of the coronal magnetic field strength in the Quiet Sun
    M. J. West, L. Rodriguez, A.N. Zhukov, L. Dolla
    40th COSPAR Scientific Assembly, Russia, 2014
     
  • Cross-Sectional Properties of Coronal Loops
    M. J. West, A.N. Zhukov, J.A. Klimchuk
    40th COSPAR Scientific Assembly, Russia, 2014
     
  • PROBA2 a Space Weather Monitor
    M. J. West, D.B. Seaton, M. Dominique, D. Berghmans, J. Zender, K. Stegen, E. Pylyser
    ESWW10, Belgium, 2013
     
  • The PROBA2 Mission and Five Years of Observations: What Have we Learned?
    M. J. West
    AGU, Fall Meeting, US, 2014
     
  • Comparing radiative signatures of cooling in coronal loops
    S. Parenti & M. J. West
    International Space Science Institute (ISSI) meeting on “Coronal Heating—Using Observables”, Bern, Switzerland., 2013
     
  • Cross-sectional properties of coronal loops
    M. J. West & A.N. Zhukov
    Sixth Coronal Loops Workshop, Belgium, 2013
     
  • PROBA2 a Space Weather Monitor
    M. J. West, D.B. Seaton, M. Dominique, D. Berghmans, J. Zender, K. Stegen, Erik Pylyser
    ESWW10, Belgium, 2013
     
  • Annual activity report from RWC Belgium for ISES
    M. J. West
    Space Weather Workshop, US, 2013
     
  • Space Weather Services at Space Pole
    M.J. West
    STAC EUMETNET meeting, Austria, 2013
     
  • Space Weather and Particle Effects on the Orbital Environment of PROBA2
    M. J. West, D.B. Seaton, M. Dominique, D. Berghmans, B. Nicula, Erik Pylyser, K. Stegen, J. De Keyser
    EGU General Assembly 2013, Austria, 2013
     
  • EUV Dimmings: Formation Mechanisms and Associated Phenomena
    B. Thompson, M.L. Mays & M. J. West
    AGU Fall Meeting, US, 2012
     
  • The Effects of Non-Local Heat Conduction on Impulsively Heated Loops, (Invited)
    M. J. West, S. Parenti, P. Cargill, S.J. Bradshaw
    Eugiene Parker Workshop, ROB, Belgium, 2012
     
  • Comparing Radiative signatures of conductive heating in coronal loops
    M. J. West & S. Parenti
    39th COSPAR Scientific Assembly, India, 2012
     
  • Coronal seismology using EIT Waves: Estimation of the coronal magnetic field in the quiet Sun
    M. J. West, A.N. Zhukov, L. Dolla, L. Rodriguez
    Spectroscopy of the Dynamic Sun Workshop, UK, 2012
     
  • EIT Waves - Dimmings - CMEs, (Invited Seminar)
    M. J. West, A.N. Zhukov, L. Rodriguez, B. Thompson, L. Dolla
    Reading University, UK, 2012
     
  • Coronal seismology using EIT Waves; Estimation of the coronal magnetic field in the quiet Sun
    M. J. West, A.N. Zhukov, L. Dolla, L. Rodriguez
    BUKS Workshop, Spain, 2011
     
  • Coronal Observations in 2 parts: EIT Waves - Dimmings - CMEs (Invited Seminar)
    M. J. West, A.N. Zhukov, L. Rodriguez, B. Thompson, L. Dolla
    Imperial College London, UK, 2011
     
  • Bimodal physical nature of EIT waves revealed by STEREO observations
    A. N. Zhukov, M. J. West, L. Rodriguez, I.S. Veselovsky
    38th COSPAR Scientific Assembly, Germany, 2010
     
  • Using EIT Waves For Coronal Seismology
    M. J. West, A.N. Zhukov, L. Dolla, L. Rodriguez
    STEREO Science Working Group, Ireland, 2010
     
  • STEREO and SOHO observations of white light CME shock formation
    M. J. West, A.N. Zhukov, L. Rodriguez
    STEREO-3 / SOHO-22 Workshop, UK, 2009
     
  • The Detectability of Coronal Magnetic Reconnection (Invited Seminar)
    M. J. West, P. J. Cargill, S. J. Bradshaw
    Royal Observatory Belgium, Seminar, Belgium, 2008
     
  • An Assessment of Heat Conduction Models in Loop Cooling
    M. J. West, S. J. Bradshaw, P. J. Cargill
    UKSP Meeting, UK, 2006
     
  • An Investigation Of Plasma Cooling Times In Coronal Loops
    M. J. West, S. J. Bradshaw, P. J. Cargill
    SoHO 15, UK, 2004.
     
  • The Detectability of Coronal Magnetic Reconnection (Seminar)
    M. J. West, P. J. Cargill
    Imperial College London, UK, 2007
     
  • EIT Observataions of CME related SEPs
    M. J. West, A. Title
    SHINE Meeting, US, 2002
     
  • A Coronal Dimming Catalog (Seminar)
    M. J. West, B.J. Thompson
    NASA GSFC, US, 2002