• Room 02.017 - New Physics

    United Kingdom

1991 …2020

Research output per year

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Personal profile

Interests

Member of Astrophysics Research Centre

Hot stars, interstellar medium, solar physics, atomic physics, plasma physics.

I was Head of School of Mathematics and Physics from 2004 to 2015, during which time I tried to fit in research whenever time permitted. My PhD was on the study of OB-type stars and the interstellar medium at high Galactic latitudes, and I still work in this area over 30 years later, in collaboration with Philip Dufton (QUB) and Jonathan Smoker (European Southern Observatory). 

Another of my research fields is solar physics, including the assessment of UV, EUV and X-ray line ratio diagnostics. In collaboration with Mihalis Mathioudakis, I work on high-cadence solar imaging - we built the state-of-the-art solar imager ROSA (Rapid Oscillations in the Solar Atmosphere), which is a common-user instrument on the US National Solar Observatory at Sacramento Peak. More recently we are involved in a project with Andor technology PLC, plus other UK institutes, to build cameras for the new 4-metre DKIST solar telescope, due to have first-light in Hawaii in 2019. 

Linked to my work on solar physics is a collaboration with Cathy Ramsbottom and Connor Ballance of the Centre for Theoretical Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics at QUB on the calculation of atomic data for applications in astrophysics and plasma physics.

I also work with colleagues in the Centre for Plasma Physics at QUB (Dave Riley and Gianluca Sarri) on the creation of plasmas in the laboratory which mimic those found in astrophysics. 

Robert Ryans and myself have produced presentations for schools and the general public, which use clips from films and tv shows to illustrate how accurate the science is in science-fiction movies and shows such as Star Trek and Star Wars. These has proved to be a lot more popular than any of our research talks.

Particulars

Employment history

1982 - 1986: Postdoctoral Research Assistant, Queen's University Belfast (QUB)

1986 - 1989: SERC Advanced Research Fellow, QUB

1989 - 1991: Lecturer in the School of Mathematics and Physics, QUB

1991 - 1994: Reader in the School of Mathematics and Physics, QUB

1994 - present: Professor in the School of Mathematics and Physics, QUB

1995 - 1996: Royal Society Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Professor

1997 - 2004: Head of Astrophysics and Planetary Science Research Division, QUB

2003 - 2011: William Penney Research Professor, QUB

2004 - 2015: Head of School of Mathematics and Physics, QUB

2017 - present: Director of Astrophysics Research Centre, QUB

 

Research Statement

My research interests span a number of different areas in astronomy and physics, including the investigation of the UV, EUV andX-ray spectral emission of the Sun and other cool stars;spectroscopy of hot (B-type) stars; gaseous nebulae and the interstellar medium; tokamak plasma and X-ray laser physics;the calculation of atomic data for astrophysical and laboratory plasmas. To date, I have published over 400 papers ininternational refereed journals.

Teaching

I have a wide experience of teaching and curriculum development within both the Physics & Astronomy and Applied Mathematics & Theoretical Physics Teaching Departments in the School of Mathematics and Physics.

I have always obtained excellent Teaching Evaluation Questionnaire (TEQ) returns for the courses I have taught. For example, I had a TEQ score of 4.6 (out of a possible 5.0) for the course I taught on Applicable Mathematics. This is a 1st-year support course (for scientists including chemists and physicists), and very high TEQ scores are unusual for these. I have also obtained excellent peer-review teaching evaluations by my academic colleagues in the School. These included an excellent evaluation by the Head of Physics Teaching.

 

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Projects

Research Output

An investigation of the L-shell x-ray conversion efficiency for laser-irradiated tin foils

Bailie, D., Hyland, C., Singh, R. L., White, S., Sarri, G., Keenan, F. P., Riley, D., Rose, S. J., Hill, E. G., Wang, F., Yuan, D., Zhao, G., Wei, H., Han, B., Zhu, B., Zhu, J. & Yang, P., 13 Jan 2020, In : Plasma Sources Science and Technology. 22, 4, 7 p., 045201.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • A Search for High-Frequency Coronal Brightness Variations in the 21 August 2017 Total Solar Eclipse

    Rudawy, P., Radziszewski, K., Berlicki, A., Phillips, K. J. H., Jess, D. B., Keys, P. H. & Keenan, F. P., 01 Apr 2019, In : Solar Physics. 294, 15 p., 48.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
    File
  • 85 Downloads (Pure)

    Overview of the JET preparation for deuterium–tritium operation with the ITER like-wall

    Joffrin, E., Aggarwal, K., Keenan, F. & + 1259 co-authors, 30 Aug 2019, In : NUCLEAR FUSION. 59, 11, 25 p., 112021.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
    File
  • 18 Citations (Scopus)
    21 Downloads (Pure)

    Population modelling of the He II energy levels in tokamak plasmas: I. Collisional excitation model

    Lawson, K. D., Aggarwal, K. M., Coffey, I. H., Keenan, F. P. & O'Mullane, M. G., 01 Feb 2019, In : Journal of Physics B: Atomic Molecular and Optical Physics. 52, 4, 21 p., 045001.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 1 Citation (Scopus)

    Towards converged electron-impact excitation calculations of low-lying transitions in Fe II

    Smyth, R., Ramsbottom, C., Keenan, F., Ferland, G. & Ballance, C., 11 Feb 2019, In : Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 483, 1, p. 654-663 10 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
    File
  • 4 Citations (Scopus)
    145 Downloads (Pure)

    Datasets

    Production of photoionized plasmas in the laboratory using X-ray line radiation

    Riley, D. (Creator), White, S. (Creator), Keenan, F. (Creator), Irwin, R. (Creator) & Warwick, J. (Creator), Queen's University Belfast, 20 May 2018

    Dataset

    File

    Prizes

    Royal Astronomical Society Group Achievement Award

    Keenan, Francis (Recipient), 2010

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

  • Royal Society Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellowship

    Keenan, Francis (Recipient), 1995

    Prize: Fellowship awarded competitively

  • Science and Engineering Research Council (SERC) Advanced Fellowship

    Keenan, Francis (Recipient), 1986

    Prize: Fellowship awarded competitively

  • Vice-Chancellor's Annual Award (University of Wroclaw)

    Keenan, Francis (Recipient), 2000

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

  • William Penney Research Fellowship

    Keenan, Francis (Recipient), 2003

    Prize: Fellowship awarded competitively

  • Activities

    • 4 Membership of peer review panel or committee

    Liverpool John Moores University (External organisation)

    Francis Keenan (Chair)

    2011

    Activity: Membership typesMembership of peer review panel or committee

    Science & Technology Facilities Council (External organisation)

    Francis Keenan (Member)

    19982001

    Activity: Membership typesMembership of peer review panel or committee

    Science & Technology Facilities Council (External organisation)

    Francis Keenan (Member)

    1998

    Activity: Membership typesMembership of peer review panel or committee

    Science & Technology Facilities Council (External organisation)

    Francis Keenan (Chair)

    19982001

    Activity: Membership typesMembership of peer review panel or committee