Who Are We?
Head Of Department
Professor Mark Lester is Professor of Solar Terrestrial Physics.
His research interests are the plasma environments of the Earth and other planets, such as Mars, and how those plasma environments and planetary atmospheres are affected by the solar atmosphere and magnetic field.
He has used a variety of different data for this research including ground based radars, and other ground based instruments, such as auroral cameras and magnetometers, and space missions such as Cluster, IMAGE, Polar, Geotail and THEMIS.
Since 1997 Mark has been the PI for two of the radars which form the Super Dual Auroral Radar Network (SuperDARN) and from 2003 he has been the chair of the SuperDARN Executive Council.
Mark has published over 250 scientific papers in the refereed literature. He also has been involved in developing new radar techniques and novel instrumentation, such as space based auroral imaging instruments for future space missions.
Undergraduate Admissions Tutor
Dr Mervyn Roy is the Undergraduate admissions tutor with responsibility for dealing with applications to study within the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Leicester.
His primary research interests are in the theory of semiconductor nanostructures, including calculations of the electronic states of artificial atoms made from carbon nanotubes or graphene. Dr Roy also has long standing interests in scanning tunnelling microscopy and in X-ray absorption spectroscopy.
He is a lecturer within the department, teaching undergraduates courses on Waves and Fields, Quantum Mechanics, Numerical Methods, and Physics Special Topics.
Senior Undergraduate Tutor
Prof. Richard Willingale is the Senior Tutor of the Department of Physics and Astronomy.
He is an active research physicist with interests in; astronomical data analysis techniques, X-ray instrumentation design and testing , X-ray optics, computational physics, supernova remnants and the interstellar medium and has published many papers in these areas.
Prof. Willingale is a member of the X-ray and observational astronomy, Space instrumentation and Starlink groups at the university.
As well as these research interests, Prof. Willingale also teaches undergraduate courses. He lectures in the fields of; Mathematics, Probability and Statistics, Optics, Fractals and Chaos, Pulses and Waves, Computing and Physics Communication.
Postgraduate Admissions Tutor
Prof. Sergei Nayakshin is the Postgraduate Admissions tutor, with responsibility for dealing with applications to carry out PhD research in the Department.
Prof. Nayakshin received his PhD from the University of Arizona in 1998. He worked as a research associate in NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, Maryland, USA, and the Max-Planck Institute for Astrophysics, Garching, Germany.
Prof. Nayakshin's area of research is Theoretical Astrophysics, with specialisation in theory and simulations of accretion on supermassive black holes in galactic centres.