About Me

I am a PhD graduate from the Institude for Astronomy of the University of Edinburgh. I worked on the topic of White Dwarf Luminosity Functions with the Pan-STARRS 3-pi Survey. A fast learner and self-taught programmer proficient in paralleling computing with Python using mpi4py. Excellent design and visualisation skills - strongly believe quality visualisation is the means to effective communication. Experienced tutor in Mathematics and Physical Sciences at University Level. Qualified A-Level examiner.

Currently working as a Scientific Software Developer at the Astrophysics Research Institute at the Liverpool John Moores University. Spending a small fraction of time on independent research in the topic of White Dwarfs in the solar neighbourhood using Pan-STARRS, Gaia, LT etc.


University of Edinburgh

PhD in Astrophysics 2012 - 2016

White Dwarf Luminosity Functions from the Pan-STARRS 3pi Survey

The maximum volume density estimator is generalised over a photometric and proper motion limited sample tested on a Monte-Carlo simulated WD catalogue. The method is applied to the Pan-STARRS 3pi Steradian Survey to construct white dwarf luminosity functions of the solar neighbourhood. Interstellar reddening correction with a three-dimensional dust map and detailed treatment of the varying survey depth as a function of positions are considered for the first time.

University of Cambridge

MSci in Natural Sciences (Astrophysics) MA (cantab) 2008 - 2012

An Infrared Hunt for the Nearest and Coolest Stars

Combining the near-infrared (NIR) data from VISTA and mid-infrared (MIR) from WISE stored in a PostgreSQL database to search for the nearest and coolest objects that were not identied due to their extreme faintness in the optical.


Astrophysics Research Institute, Liverpool John Moores University

Scientific Software Developer 2017 - Present

Currently working on the following projects:
(1) developing a Telescope Control System in collaboration with the National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand (NARIT).
(2) designing and developing a data pipeline for the Astroecology group at the ARI.
(3) developing a web-based astronomical image manipulation tool with the National Schools' Observatory.
(4) containerising the Liverpool Telescope data reduction pipeline with Docker.

Completed projects:
(1) Data Flow and Archiving for Robotic Operations Present and Future.

Cambridge International Examination

Examiner 2017 - Present

Assist Principal Examiner in marking A-Level Mathematics scripts and to provide feedback with a written report. Prior to the marking, the standardisation process has to be completed as specified.
(1) 9709/62 Mathematics Probability & Statistics 62 (GCE AS & A Level 2017) - Marked 742 scripts online in 3 weeks and provided feedback to the Principal Examiner.

School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Edinburgh

Teaching Assistant 2012 - 2017

Main responsibilities are to lead tutorial classes for groups of students to discuss key points from lectures through the use of practical equipment, experiments and exercises. During practical exercises, provide sufficient assistance and guidance when required, and be aware of any Health and Safety issue. In sessions with small groups, it is necessary to monitor student progress and to provide feedback to them either immediately or through feedback provided on marking of assignments.
(1) Observational Astronomy (3rd year course 2013-2017)
(2) Dynamics and Vector Calculus (2nd year course 2012-2013, 2016-2017)
(3) Mathematics for Physics (2nd year course 2016-2017)
(4) Linear Algebra and Several Variable Calculus (2nd year course 2012-2014, 2016-2017)
(5) Senior Honours Group Project (4th year course 2013-2016)
(6) Introductory Astrophysics (1st/2nd year course 2013-2014)
(7) Physics 1B: The Stu of the Universe (1st year course 2012-2013)
(8) Astronomy 1S: Stellar and Planetary Science (1st/2nd year course 2012-2013)


  • Survey Astronomy
  • Astrometry
  • Astrostatistics
  • White Dwarfs
  • Stellar Evolution
  • Wide Binaries
  • Variabile stars


  • Python (numpy/scipy/mpi4py/f2py)
  • LaTeX
  • Adobe Illustrator
  • SQL/ADQL (PostgreSQL/MySQL)
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • HTML5+CSS3
  • JavaScripts (AngularJS/jQuery/D3.js)
  • C/Fortran/Java


  • Numerical/Data Reduction/Data Analysis
  • Turoting/Marking
  • Organisation
  • Presentation

Selected Publications

Confirmation of Monoperiodicity Above 20 Seconds for Two Blue Large-Amplitude Pulsators

McWhirter, P R; Lam, M C; Steele, I A

First discovery of an ultra-cool white dwarf benchmark in common proper motion with an M dwarf

Lam, M C; Hambly, N C; Lodieu, N; Blouin, S; Harvey, E J; Smith, R J; Galvez-Ortiz, M C; Zhang, Z H

Automated SpectroPhotometric Image REDuction (ASPIRED)

Lam, M C; Smith, R J; Steele, I A

RASCAL: Towards automated spectral wavelength calibration

Veitch-Michaelis, J; Lam, M C

The white dwarf luminosity functions from the Pan-STARRS 1 3π Steradian Survey

Lam, M C; Hambly, N C; Rowell, N; Chambers, K C; Goldman, B; Hodapp, K W; Kaiser, N; Kudritzki, R-P; Magnier, E A; Tonry, J L; Wainscoat, R J; Waters, C

Maximizing survey volume for large-area multi-epoch surveys with Voronoi tessellation

Lam, M C

A maximum volume density estimator generalized over a proper motion-limited sample

Lam, M C; Rowell, N; Hambly, N C

Full publication list can be found on ADS, Google Scholar or Microsoft Academic.

Get In Touch.

Contact Details

Astrophysics Research Institute
Liverpool Science Park
146 Brownlow Hill
Liverpool L3 5RF