Born in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, I was educated at
Ravenswood Primary School,
The Edinburgh Academy,
Imperial College, University of London (BSc Physics), and
St Andrews University (PhD -- Studies in Stellar Evolution).
Before moving to Armagh, I worked at the
Royal Observatory Edinburgh on ultraviolet astronomy and planetary atmospheres,
at the University of St Andrews as an SERC-funded research assistant on helium stars, the
Christian-Albrechts University at Kiel as a Royal Society European Research Fellow on pulsating helium stars, and again at
the University of St Andrews as a
senior research assistant (CCP7) on the analysis of astronomical spectra.
In 1996 I took up a position as senior research astronomer at the Armagh Observatory,
since when I have supervised over 15 PhD students, and taught Stellar Structure and Evolution to at least 12 cohorts of Trinity College Dublin
physics and astronomy students. I have served as secretary and chairman of the
Astronomical Science Group of Ireland, and as President of Commission G4 (Pulsating Stars) of
the International Astronomical Union. I led the construction of the Polar Bear Survey Telescope and the
Armagh Robotic Telescope. I can frequently be found on a sailing boat.