Research Interests

Sirius A and B
Image of the Sirius binary system. The brighter, overexposed object is Sirius A while the white dwarf, Sirius B, is the faint star to the lower left, just below the diffraction spike. This image was obtained using the Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 on board the Hubble Space Telescope.

I have been involved for many years in international programmes studying hot White Dwarfs, the Local Interstellar Medium and coronally active stars through the analysis and interpretation of ground and space based observations in optical, UV, EUV and X-ray wavebands. Complementing this has been an active programme of theoretical studies of the white dwarf atmospheres.



I have been involved in the development and operation of micro-channel plate (MCP) detectors in the UV, EUV and X-ray spectral ranges. I carried out his PhD research by developing a rocket-borne wide-field EUV payload utilizing MCPs and then served as Detector Scientist for the ROSAT Wide Field Camera. In this role I was responsible for detector calibration and testing. From 1997 to 2008 I was Leicester PI in the development of a novel high spectral resolution, high throughput normal incidence EUV spectrometer for flight on a NASA sounding rocket. I am also closely involved in the ESA Gaia mission to survey more than 1 Billion stars in our Galaxy and lead the Leicester contribution. Have worked on the Hubble Space Telescope since its launch in 1990, sitting on many of its support and oversight committees. I was closely involved in the SM4 servicing mission in 2009 and currently chair the Space Telescope Institute Council. This Council also has oversight of preparations for the launch an operation of the James Webb Space Telescope.

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