Dr. Matthew Allen


Cardiff University (2012-2016) – PhD in Astrophysics

Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) funded research PhD in Astrophysics, entitled ‘The study of sub-millimetre galaxies with the Herschel Space Observatory’. 

Cardiff University (2007-2011) – MPhys Astrophysics – Awarded 2:1

Combined BSc and MSc in Astrophysics. Modules include Computing, Practical Mathematics, Advanced Mathematics, Galaxy Evolution, Quantum Mechanics and Astronomical Techniques. Supervisor Professor Derek Ward-Thompson.

Secondary School (2000-2007)

A Levels – Mathematics, Physics, ICT.

AS Levels – Business Studies.

GCSEs – Maths, Science, English, History, ICT, German, Business Studies.

Employment and Postgraduate History

Science Made Simple and Faulkes Telescope Project (2016-present) – Science Communicator

  • Development of educational resources to be used in workshops and distributed to schools.
  • Educational app development, including virtual reality, augmented reality and 360-degree virtual tours. This includes app design, building, marketing and publishing.
  • Design, creation, delivery and evaluation of school workshops.
  • Grant writing – successfully awarded 2 public engagement grants from the Royal Astronomical Society and 2 public engagement grants from the Institute of Physics. This includes management of said grants, development, budget management and evaluation.
  • Project management – managing a Science and Technology Facilities Council ‘Large Award’ grant.
  • Writing regular blog posts and news stories for Science Made Simple and Faulkes Telescope websites.
  • Teacher CPD delivery.
  • Basic website design and building.
  • Marketing and promotional material design and printing liaison.
  • Social media account creation and maintenance.
  • Event organisation.

Cardiff University (2012-2016) – PhD in Astrophysics

  • PhD entitled ‘Studying sub millimetre galaxies with the Herschel Space Observatory’.
  • Analysing astronomical images.
  • Development of computer code (FORTRAN, Python) to analyse data.
  • Statistical analysis of results.
  • Experience working with LaTeX and Word to write up scientific work.
  • Event organisation, including the inaugural Physics Early Career Research Conference and the UCMMT conference 2015.

European Space Agency (2011-2012) – Young Graduate Trainee

  • 1 year fixed contract graduate trainee scheme, based in Leiden, Netherlands.
  • Testing of software and algorithms on board the Gaia Satellite (FORTRAN).
  • Development of simulated astronomical data.

UKAstroNut (2013 – present) – Founder

  • Multimedia communication platform focused on developing and publishing science themed articles through YouTube, smartphone Apps and social media.

Honours and Awards

  • Winner of the inaugural Elsevier Researchers Choice Communication Award, 2015. Awarded in recognition of excellence in science communication.
  • Cardiff University, Bessy Jones Postgraduate Bursary. Awarded for outstanding postgraduate research, 2015.
  • Cardiff University, Speaking of Science – People’s Choice, Oral Presentation, 2014.
  • Cardiff University Physics, Josephson prize. Awarded for outstanding contribution to outreach and public engagement, 2014.
  • Institute of Physics, 3 minute wonder, finalist.

Meetings and Conferences

  • National Astronomy Meeting, 2015. Presentation on ‘Virtual Reality in Astronomy Outreach’.
  • National Astronomy Meetings 2013 & 2014.
  • Robotic Telescope conference, 2016. Presentation on the Faulkes Telescope Project.


Public Engagement

  • History of successful grant awards – 2 public engagement grants from the Royal Astronomical Society and 2 from the Institute of Physics since 2015.
  • Design, creation, delivery and evaluation of educational school workshops.
  • Extensive experience engaging with the public and students at high profile public events, including Cheltenham Science Festival and the Big Bang Fair.
  • Numerous public talks, several as an invited speaker.
  • Several appearances in the media, both in radio interviews and invited written articles.
  • Extensive experience in blog writing.
  • Experience of running a YouTube channel, providing science themed videos to over 750 subscribers.
  • Self funded media training.

Educational app development and coding

  • 3 years experience developing apps and software for educational purposes, including virtual and augmented reality.
  • Five published apps on the Google Play Store.
  • Experience in website maintenance and content creation in HTML.
  • Extensive experience using WordPress platform
  • Experience utilising API’s with Python.

Project and Event Management

  • Running four public engagement grants as the principal investigator.
  • Managing a large (£100k) public engagement grant from the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC).
  • Supporting organiser for the ‘Museum After Dark’ event in Cardiff 2016.
  • Science Cafe Cardiff organising committee 2014-2016.

Computer skills

  • Accomplished in Microsoft Office Suite, including Word, Excel, Powerpoint and Publisher.
  • Accomplished using Windows, iOS and Unix systems.
  • Accomplished using graphical editing software, including GIMP and Photoshop.
  • Accomplished using WordPress and Google Sites.
  • Accomplished using video editing software Adobe Premier.
  • Experienced using MailChimp, Eventbrite and Google Analytics.
  • Accomplished using social media platforms for the promotion of engagement organisations, events and news.


  • ‘Aspiring Noddy Holders take note – scientist cracks formula for sure-fire Christmas hit’, Daily Express – December 2013.

  • Several live appearances on BBC Radio Wales, discussing Astronomy and Space related news stories.
  • Winner of the BBC Radio Wales Christmas science quiz 2014.

Academic Publications

Detecting stars, galaxies, and asteroids with Gaia. J.H.J. de Bruijne, M. Allen, S. Azaz, A. Krone-Martins, T. Prod’homme, D. Hestroffer. 2015.

H-ATLAS/GAMA: Quantifying the Morphological Evolution of the Galaxy Population Using Cosmic Calorimetry. Stephen Eales, Andrew Fullard, Matthew Allen, et al. 2015.

The Herschel-ATLAS: a sample of 500μm-selected lensed galaxies over 600 square degrees. M. Negrello, S. Amber, A. Amvrosiadis, Z.-Y. Cai, A. Lapi, J. Gonzalez-Nuevo, G. De Zotti, C. Furlanetto, S. Maddox, M. Allen, et al. 2016.