Employed at QUB as a lecturer since 1999, promoted to reader in 2005. PhD obtained at Imperial College London in 1998.
Broad research interests are in the area of laser-plasma interaction, with particular attention to the ultra-high intensity regime. This is a field of great physical interest due to the many non-linear and relativistic phenomena involved, and their important applications. Present research includes: The laser- driven acceleration of proton beams. Currently leading a large UK project (LIBRA, funded by EPSRC) aiming to develop reliable, high-repetition sources of high energy ions for a range of applications in science, technology and medicine, including cancer radiotherapy. Detection of large, transient electric and magnetic fields excited by high-intensity laser-matter interactions, and fields associated to the propagation of relativistic electrons through dense matter. This research is relevant to the Fast Ignitor scheme for Thermonuclear Energy production. Ion-matter interaction and creation of Warm Dense Matter of astro/geophysical interest via sudden heating of solid matter with short-duration ion bursts Diagnosis of non-linear plasma phenomena of possible interest for fusion and space physics.
This research has been presented in several invited talks at international conferences (~3 plenaries and 11 invited since 2001) and has been carried out at both National and International facilities, with beamtime often obtained as principal investigator. Future activities will be also in house using the EPSRC-funded TARANIS facility.
External activities has included membership of several advisory boards, including PETAL European panel (2007), advisory board for the Kakenhi Project, funded by MEXT ((Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sport, Science and Technology); refereeing for various funding bodies, including EPSRC (Peer Review College membership from 2002), NSERC (National Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada), FOM (Netherlands Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter) and DOE (Department of Energy, USA); frequent refereeing for Physical Review Letters, Nature Physics and other 13 scientific journals; Conference organization activity including membership of programme committee for the EPS Plasma Physics Conference 2007, scientific committee of the International Symposium on Laser-Driven Relativistic Plasmas Applied for Science, Industry and Medicine, Japan (2007), and of Laser and Plasma Acceleration Workshop (LPAW) 2003, and working group coordination for LPAW 2007. Collaboration with industrial partners has resulted in funding of a Dorothy Hogdkin postgraduate Award (EPSRC/ ANDOR Technology) and of a CAST award (DEL/ AWE plc).