Meet our Fellows
Our research success depends on the talent of our people, working collaboratively to tackle major scientific and societal challenges.
Research leaders of the future
We are committed to recruiting, developing and supporting outstanding early career researchers to focus on their research, advance their careers and achieve their potential as future research leaders.
The School has 47 researchers and a vibrant community of Fellows. Please see some of our Fellowship profiles below.
Dr McQuaid is one of 101 research and innovation leaders of the future from universities and businesses across the UK to be named a fellow.
Dr McQuaid will be investigating how a new type of reconfigurable nanomaterial called ‘domain walls’ can be used to control the flow of heat at the nanoscale.
These experiments will be carried out at the Centre for Nanostructured Media at Queen’s with input from a network of collaborators across Europe, including Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology, University of Santiago de Compostela, Institute of Material Sciences Barcelona and Tyndall National Institute.
Dr Milligan's research on Modelling and Multi-wavelength Observations of Solar Flare Heating employs a combination of state-of-the-art numerical modeling with observations taken with our most advanced space-based solar satellites.
Solar flares are explosive releases of energy in the Sun’s atmosphere that can have far-reaching consequences across the solar system. Energy that is stored in the Sun’s magnetic field gets liberated and converted into heating and particle acceleration. Precisely how this conversion takes place remains an open question, but the answer is likely to lie in the chromosphere where much of the energy that is released in the corona (believed to be in the form of relativistic particles) gets deposited. This energy deposition results in the heating, and therefore, expansion, of the ambient plasma in the chromosphere, which manifests itself as increased radiation across much of the electromagnetic spectrum.
The extreme-ultra violet component in particular has a direct influence on the dynamics and composition of the Earth’s atmosphere, and those of other planets. Similar releases of energy on other stars are just as likely to impact potentially habitable exoplanets. The overarching goal of Dr Milligan's fellowship is therefore to use the diagnostic information contained in the radiation emitted during solar flares to understand the underlying energy release and transport processes, and how this leads to enhancements of the Sun’s most geoeffective emission. This in turn can provide insights into similar processes at work across the universe.
X-ray data from missions such as NASA’s RHESSI spacecraft can tell us a lot about the energetic particles believed to be responsible for driving increased emission in the chromosphere, which we can then study using data from SDO, Hinode, GOES, IRIS, as well as the MAVEN satellite in orbit around Mars. These data can be used to guide and constrain numerical simulations, such as RADYN, which can reveal the underlying physics.
Dr Wu is a Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) Daphne Jackson Fellow hosted by the Centre for Plasma Physics at Queen's University.
Dr Wu's research project will look at solar heating and is titled Magnetic reconnection in astrophysical plasmasRead more Read less
Dr Wilkin's current research focus is on the development and application of machine-learning and atomistic simulation methods to understand the properties of aqueous systems, with a particular focus on dynamics and nonlinear optical effects in interfacial water.
He is a developer of symmetry-adapted Gaussian process regression (SA-GPR), which allows the prediction of material and molecular properties that transform as tensors, including dielectric responses (e.g., dipole moments, polarizabilities).
For further information on the Illuminate Fellowship Scheme click here.
Dr Belenchia is currently a visiting scholar at the School of Mathematics and Physics at Queen's University, where he has been a Marie Curie Research Fellow from 2018 until the end of 2020, and a postdoctoral associate at the University of Tuebingen (Germany).
Dr Belenchia's research focuses on how to employ to the fullest quantum technologies for fundamental physics investigations. He is interested in the interplay between quantum mechanics, gravity, and thermodynamics and in ways to test their interplay by way of table-top, quantum experiments.
Professor Paternostro is the Head of School in Mathematics and Physics and a Royal Society Wolfson Fellow. His research focuses on quantum information and quantum technology. He has worked on the foundations of quantum mechanics and the design of quantum technologies for all of his academic career and his work has pioneered the fields of cavity optomechanics, quantum communication, quantum thermodynamics, and the foundations of quantum mechanics.
In 2017, Professor Robert Bowman was appointed the Seagate Technology - Royal Academy of Engineering Research Chair in Advanced Materials for Data Storage at Queen’s University Belfast. The Academy’s Research Chairs and Senior Research Fellowships scheme strengthens the links between industry and academia by supporting exceptional academics in UK universities to undertake use-inspired research for five years, co-sponsored by an industrial partner.