- Course: Physics and Astronomy MRes
- PhD title: Development in Africa with Radio Astronomy: Evolution of radio jets from massive young stellar objects
Developing Radio Astronomy in Africa
Evans, from Ghana, who is completing an MRes at Leeds, is one of the ‘privileged young scholars’ selected for the Development in Africa with Radio Astronomy (DARA) scholarship.
DARA is supported by the Newton Fund and Global Challenges Research Fund, and its wider goal is to equip these countries to work together to build the world’s largest multi-radio telescope: the Square Kilometre Array (SKA). More broadly, it will equip emerging bright young scientists in Africa with the skills to secure senior jobs and research posts, and will also mean they can inspire the generations who proceed from them.
Massive stars project ionized jets as they evolve
As high-mass stars (who are massive stars) evolve, they produce huge electrically charged jets which can be observed using specialised radio telescope equipment. Evans, who recently attended the annual DARA networking event at its industrial partner Goonhilly Earth Station, presented his research which includes investigating how the ‘ionized jets’ emerge from young massive stars.
“I am investigating how jets evolve from massive young stellar objects. My research looks for patterns and correlations that will offer clues into how these jets vary with mass and age.
“Radio telescopes can garner fascinating insight into these beautiful creations, but they require money to build. By backing the DARA project and the building of the Square Kilometre Array, the University of Leeds will help to build a community of knowledge which will spread resources throughout South Africa.”
Learning and teaching new skills internationally
As well as his research, Evans described what the DARA project means to him and other peers across the continent.
“Personally, DARA is of great importance to me because it has offered me the opportunity to acquire further studies outside my country hence, giving me international exposure and gaining cross-cultural knowledge.
Upon the successful completion of my MRes and possibly my PhD, I wish to use my knowledge and skills to research and improve on existing methods in solving challenges...
“Upon the successful completion of my MRes and possibly my PhD, I wish to use my knowledge and skills to research and improve on existing methods in solving challenges, thereby increasing the efficiency in the supply chain processes and effective use of resources.”
“I have acquired cutting edge scientific, entrepreneurial and socioeconomic skills needed in addressing today’s global challenges.
“Further to this, a country that her citizens are skilled in STEM-related areas leads to a prosperous country. Hence, my country stands to benefit from the new pool of scientific gems needed to solve the many issues we face as a nation.”
“DARA has established an excellent foundation for the development of radio astronomy in Africa, and I am a living testimony.”