Dr Ioannis Kourakis


Dr Kourakis’s interests are in the areas of Plasma Physics and Nonlinear Dynamics.

His main research activity is in the field of plasma theory, as applied in laser-plasma interactions, and also in Space plasma physics and astrophysics. His research focuses on linear and nonlinear waves (solitary waves, solitons, shocks) of electrostatic/electromagnetic nature and their dependence on plasma configuration parameters.

Current projects include: high-density (quantum) plasmas, electrostatic solitary waves in Space, beam-plasma interactions in non-Maxwellian plasmas (kappa-distributions) in the solar wind, large amplitude excitations (extreme events, freak waves) in plasmas and in materials, and optical type instabilities (modulational instability), among other topics.

He has (co-)authored >155 publications in refereed journals, and >60 papers in Conference Proceedings and Book Chapters. He has attracted funding from UK EPSRC and from EU/FP7 (“Quantum Plasmas” network). 

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Open to PhD applications in the field of 

  • Plasma physics and nonlinear dynamics
  • Solitary waves, freak waves, shocks in plasmas
  • Beam plasma interactions; fluid plasma theory
  • Nonlinear PDEs as models for nonlinear phenomena (solitons, shocks, instabilities) in dispersive media, in materials science and in plasmas 
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School Of Mathematics And Physics

Dr Ioannis Kourakis


  • Editorial Board Member (EBM): Scientific Reports (Nature Publishing; EBM for Fluids and Plasma Physics); EBM since 05/2014
  • Associate Editor, Plasma (MDPI AG; Switzerland), 10/2017 - today
  • Evaluation Committee member, upon nomination: Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC),
    Discovery Grants Program, Physics Evaluation Group; three-year term, July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2017
  • UK EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council): Associate Peer Review
  • College membership, since 10/2016


Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences

School of Mathematics and Pyhsics

Research students

PhD title:  Nonlinear dynamics of multicomponent plasmas: localized modes, expansion, beam-plasma interaction effects 

Name: Ibrahem Sayed Elkamash
Years of Study: 2015 -2018 (funded by an Egyptian government 4-year fellowship under the project: “Energy and Charge Transport by Localized Pulses in Renewable Energy Production Schemes: the case of inertial confinement fusion”) 
Country: Egypt

PhD title: Computer simulations of shock dynamics in laser-plasma interactions 

Name: Spiros Thanasoulas
Years of Study: 2012 - Present (part/time, self-funded)
Country: Northern Ireland


Research Topic: Nonlinear dynamics of electron-hole plasma in semiconductors

Name: Fatima Areeb (6-month doctoral visitor, from COMSATS Institute of Information Technology Lahore, Pakistan)
Years of Study: 2018 (funded by the Higher Education Commission, Pakistan)
Country: Pakistan

Alumni: where are they now?

Dr Sharmin Sultana

PhD title: Solitary waves in multicomponent plasmas

Years of Study: 2008 - 2012
Country: Bangladesh
Current position: Assistant Professor of Physics at the Department of PhysicsJahangirnagar University, Bangladesh and Alexander Von Humbold Fellow, Ruhr University Bochum, Germany

Dr Gina Williams

PhD title:  Solitary Wave and Shock Dynamics in Non-Maxwellian Plasma Environments

Years of Study: 2011 - 2014
Country: UK
Current position: Senior Drug Safety Associate for Worldwide Clinical Trials


Dr Michael McKerr

PhD Title: Nonlinear Waves in Quantum Plasma

Years of Study: 2011 - 2016
Country: UK
Current position: Private Sector


Research at Queen's

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