Bernard Toner (Assistant Groundsman) continued to work with Shane Kelly (Grounds and Meteorological Officer) under a placement administered by Wade Training.
Three new PhD students arrived in late September and early October 2004, namely Ms Antoaneta Antonova, who completed her first degree in the Department of Astronomy at the University of Sofia, Bulgaria, and will work with Gerry Doyle on coronal radio emission from brown dwarfs; Mr Timur Sahin, who completed his first degree in the Department of Physics, Akdeniz University, Antalya, Turkey, and will work with Simon Jeffery on a project involving the late stages of stellar evolution; and Mr Anthony Moraghan (the first Lindsay Scholar, joint with DIAS), who completed his first degree from Trinity College, Dublin, and will work with Michael Smith on the propagation of jets in astrophysical environments. A fourth external student (John Giannikakis, of the Astrophysics Section of the Department of Physics, University of Athens, Greece) has also started work with Gerry Doyle on a self-funded PhD programme together with E. Antonopoulou and G. Tsiropoula (University of Athens) on a solar physics project involving the evolution of spicules and related disk features.
In addition, a third-year undergraduate (David Morgan; firstname.lastname@example.org) at the University of Surrey arrived at the Observatory on 1 September 2004 as part of a 10-month work-experience placement to work with Simon Jeffery on the development of stellar spectra fitting software, funded by the PRTLI CosmoGrid project.
PhD student Babulakshmanan Ramachandran passed his differentiation review towards the end of 2003, and will study pulsations and oscillations in sdB stars and other astrophysical environments under the supervision of Michael Smith and Simon Jeffery. Bebe Ishak and Natalie Behara both passed their differentiation reviews on 9 June 2004. They will continue their studies on `The Importance of Small-Scale Dynamic Features in the Heating of the Outer Solar Atmosphere' and `The Atmospheres of Hydrogen-Deficient Stars', working under the supervision of Gerry Doyle and Simon Jeffery respectively.
One student, namely Ignacio Urra Ugarte passed his PhD oral examination on 2 December 2004, the thesis topic being ``Brightness and Magnetic Evolution of Solar Coronal Bright Points''. He will leave the Observatory in Spring 2005 for a post-doctoral position at the Naval Research Laboratory, Washington DC, to work on the Solar-B mission, scheduled to be launched in September 2005.
Several PDRAs arrived and left the Observatory during the year: Drs Lidong Xia and Eoghan O'Shea arrived on 5 January 2004 to work with Gerry Doyle on six-month and two-year PDRA positions respectively, funded by the PRTLI CosmoGrid project from 1 January 2004; Dr Ibrahim Abdalla came to the Observatory for approximately two months (30 January to 31 March 2004), to work with Michael Smith on computational fluid dynamics problems concerning jets in radio galaxies; and Dr Jinzeng Li, from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, visited the Observatory for two months from 23 March to 31 May 2004, also to work with Michael Smith. Finally, although Professor Bill Napier formally left the Observatory on 30 April after an association with Armagh lasting slightly more than 8 years, he continues to collaborate with members of the solar system group.