A photograph of Christopher Dillon, wearing a blue shirt

Dr Chris Dillon

I did an astrophysics PhD (with biomedical applications) at Queen's University Belfast. You can check out my academic profile here. I did a stint as a Research Fellow at Queen's, developing bespoke image feature recognition software for Randox Laboratories. This was a continuation of the biomedical applications I developed during my PhD. I'm now working as a Data Scientist at Christie’s Direct, Europe's largest e-commerce retailer of pet grooming supplies.

My PhD project title was Observations and Modelling of Intensity Time series for Biomedical and Astrophysical Applications .

In my PhD I studied nanoflares which are individually low energy flare events, (around a billionth that of a larger flare) but they occur much more frequently. Theoretically, hundreds or even thousands of nanoflares could be occurring per second over an entire stellar surface. This means nanoflares are capable of being a major component of the solar energy budget and are often touted as a possible answer to the coronal heating mystery. And nanoflares are mysterious - Due to their individually low energy, they're not possible to observe directly. My work involved statistical studies of quiet stellar (and sometimes solar) data, to extract any underlying signal due to the multitude of nanoflares therein. These signals were then be compared to simulations, to try and constrain the nanoflaring parameters in the sun and in other stars. I also adapted these techniques to analyse and enhance low-intensity signals for use in bio-marker imaging applications with Randox Laboratories. These techniques are explained in more detail in the publications Jess et al (2019) and Dillon et al (2020)

I really enjoy getting to develop data analysis code, especially at the intersection of industrial and academic applications. I enjoy playing around with computers in my spare time, and writing bits of code to automate or speed up tasks.

Outside of work, I can usually be found reading. You can check out my goodreads to see what I've been up to.