Christopher Nolan

What is your thesis topic or research interest?

I’m performing theoretical research into the mechanism linking the accretion of material onto a forming star and the launching of jets from the star.

Where have you come from to join this program?

I did my undergraduate study at the University of Newcastle, Australia, and before that I grew up on a farm on the Mid-North Coast of NSW.

How did you become interested in Astronomy?

I became inspired to do astronomy through a 3rd year Physics course on numerical simulations. From then on, all I wanted to do was design and run simulations and I thought that astronomy was a great area to pursue simulation work.

What experience have you gained while studying at Mt Stromlo?

I’ve become proficient at using many different numerical methods, learned a couple of coding languages, learned how to write research papers and present my research in writing or via presentations.

What has been the highlight of the program for you so far?

The fantastic team I’ve had to work with up at Mt Stromlo, and the satisfaction of planning and performing a research project well.

What do you see yourself doing upon completion of your PhD?

I’m planning to take a year off academic work and then apply for postdoctoral positions overseas.

Why would you recommend Mt Stromlo to others?

Mt Stromlo is a fantastic community of people, all willing to talk about their own research and help you out if you need it. The Professors are world class and you have many opportunities to go to overseas conferences.

What are the benefits of life in Canberra?

Canberra has many things to do for the active person, whether that’s bike riding (road or mountain bike), rock climbing, hiking or a host of other things. And if you’re a beach person, the coast is an easy couple of hours drive away.

What advice would you give to someone considering studying Astronomy?

I would say go for it! Even if you don’t continue in astronomy in the future, you will have learnt very sought-after skills which will give you the edge in the job market. The work is really interesting, and you can be sure that you will be helping further our understanding of this amazing universe!