Dr Christian HillCurriculum Vitae

Personal Details

NameChristian Hill
Email addresschristian.hill@ucl.ac.uk
Telephone[Available on request]

Current Positions

2016 – 2017: Senior Scientific Software Engineer, Quantemol.

Quantemol is a spin-out company from UCL providing software tools and consultancy for industrial plasma simulations. I was the lead developer of QDB, a database and online infrastructure for collisional process data. I directed the full-stack development of this web application as part of a small team of programmers and data specialists.

2009 – 2017: Research Fellow, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University College London.

As part of the EU-funded Virtual Atomic and Molecular Data Centre (VAMDC) consortium, I am an active developer for XSAMS, a project co-ordinated by the IAEA that has developed an XML Schema for the interoperable communication of atomic and molecular data.

I was also a member of the ExoMol group, a 5-year ERC-funded project creating high-temperature molecular line lists for exoplanet and cool star spectroscopy. In addition to research in molecular spectroscopy, I created and maintain the ExoMol website and its relational database backend.

For more details see my research pages.

At UCL, I co-ordinated a course on scientific programming for graduate students, and taught the Python component of this course.

2008 – 2017: Stipendiary Lecturer in Physical Chemistry at Somerville College, University of Oxford.

I taught Physical Chemistry to undergraduates in the first three years of their M.Chem. degree as part of the Oxford University tutorial system. I also set college exams (collections) and conducted admissions interviews with prospective candidates.

More details are available at my online tutorial resources page.


2013 – 2016: Data Storage and Exchange for the ALADDIN collisional cross sections database at the Atomic and Molecular Data Unit of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

December 2013: Data Standards and Exchange for the Data Center for Plasma Properties at the South Korean National Fusion Research Institute.

Former Positions

2014 – 2015: Visiting Scientist, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

During a one-year sabbatical funded by the NASA Earth Observing System and Planetary Atmospheres Program I was a member of the HITRAN group which curates and develops the HITRAN spectroscopic database which is widely-used to model radiative transmission in the atmosphere. I developed HITRANonline, an entirely new web-based interface to HITRAN, accessing a flexible and extensible relational database backend.

2000 – 2009: Research Fellow, Physical and Theoretical Chemistry Laboratory, University of Oxford.

Recent spectroscopic work has included the first complete determination of the hyperfine parameters of both nuclei in the NH+ ion-radical and a fit to a very high-quality FT-IR spectrum of BiH.

Experimental projects have involved high-resolution laboratory studies of molecular oxygen, water vapour and NO, and their van der Waals complexes in order to better understand their impact on the radiative properties of the atmosphere. The spectroscopic techniques used include Laser Magnetic Resonance (LMR), Fourier-Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FT-IR), and Fourier-Transform Microwave Spectroscopy.

2004 – 2009: Fellow and Senior Tutor for Chemistry at Corpus Christi College, University of Oxford.

At Corpus Christi, I was a member of the college's Governing Body and Academic Committee and was Personal Tutor and Director of Studies to the college's undergraduate chemists. With the other college tutors, I conducted admissions interviews with prospective candidates.

2005 – 2009: Stipendiary Lecturer and Personal Tutor at St. Hilda's College, University of Oxford.

2001 – 2006: Stipendiary Lecturer in Physical Chemistry at New College, University of Oxford.


1996 – 2000: Ph.D. Atmospheric Chemistry, Christ's College, University of Cambridge.

"Active and Passive Remote Sensing of the Troposphere: Broadband Lidar Measurements of NO2 and Studies of Anomalous Atmospheric Absorption" – Laser remote sensing of tropospheric pollution with a novel ground-based LIDAR instrument, developed at the Cambridge University Chemical Laboratory.

1993 – 1996: BA(Hons) Chemistry, Class I, Christ's College, University of Cambridge.

Recent Articles

A complete publication list is available here.

  1. S. N. Yurchenko, F. Sinden, L. Lodi, C. Hill, M. N. Gorman, J. Tennyson, "ExoMol line lists XXIV: A new hot line list for silicon monohydride, SiH", Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (in press) (2017).
  2. I. E. Gordon, L. S. Rothman, C. Hill et al., "The HITRAN 2016 molecular spectroscopic database", Journal of Quantitative Spectroscopy and Radiative Transfer (in press) (2017). [link to article]
  3. E. J. Barton, C. Hill, M. Czurylo et al., "The ExoMol pressure broadening diet: H2 and He line-broadening parameters", Journal of Quantitative Spectroscopy and Radiative Transfer (in press) (2017). [link to article]
  4. J. Tennyson, S. Rahimi, C. Hill et al., "QDB: a new database of plasma chemistries and reactions", Plasma Sources Science and Technology 26, 055014 (2017). [link to article]
  5. E. J. Barton, C. Hill, S. N. Yurchenko, J. Tennyson, A. S. Dudaryonok, N. N. Lavrentieva, "Pressure-dependent water absorption cross-sections for exoplanets and other atmospheres.", Journal of Quantitative Spectroscopy and Radiative Transfer 187, 453-460 (2016). [link to article]


My book, Learning Scientific Programming with Python was published by Cambridge University Press on 4 February 2016 (in the UK) and in the US in March 2016.

Additional Skills


  • OS: Linux/UNIX and Mac OS X
  • Languages: Python / NumPy / SciPy / Matplotlib, Fortran, C
  • Databases: MySQL, PostgreSQL, HDF5
  • Typesetting: LaTeX
  • Website development: HTML, XML, CSS, Django, Mezzanine, JavaScript / JQuery.

I created and maintain the official websites for HITRANonline, the ExoMol project, my book (scipython.com) and for Natalie Haynes, a successful columnist and author.

Outdoor Activities

Hiking, trekking, running, rock-climbing (to F6b, sport), and mountaineering (to Alpine AD).

More details: mountains.


[Details available on request]