Broad area: Theoretical and computational atomic physics relevant to astrophysical and plasma modelling applications.
There is a huge demand at present for high quality atomic data for interpreting astronomical spectra. The need for such data has increased primarily due to the numerous satellite missions such as SOHO, HST, EUVE and more recently Chandra, XMM, Fuse, Solar-B and Hinode. This entire observational effort relies heavily on the availability of highly acurate atomic data such as transition probabilities, collisional rates, photoionization cross sections and recombination rates for many thousands of transitions. Recent advances in Massively Parallel Computing as well as the development of the new parallel R-matrix codes PRMAT and PFARM, has facilitated the evaluation of accurate collision cross sections and excitation rates for the very important low-ionised species in the near neutral iron-peak region. These exciting calculations have been impossible until now due to the complexity of dealing with open-d shell ions and the numbers of open channels involved. In particular calculations for the Fe II and Fe III species have been completed and have opened up enormous opportunities to the astrophysics and plasma physics communities.
Until recently all experimental and theoretical photodetachment studies have been concerned with the phtodetachment of outer and near-outer electrons only. For deep inner shells, such as the 1s shell, however, photodetachment cross sections whether experimental or theoretical are much more scarce. To explore the differing effects of correlation in inner as opposed to outer shell photodetachment pioneering calculations for photodetachment across the K-shell threshold are in progress.
Honours include a PPARC Advanced Fellowship award (2000-2006) and an honorary Reader at Queen's University (conferred July 2003). In addition I am a member of the International Iron Project and was elected co-ordinator for the year 2005-2006.