A leading physicist and Chair of the United Nations space weather expert group is to join Northumbria University for one year after being awarded a Royal Society Wolfson Visiting Fellowship.
Professor Ian Mann is a Professor in Physics at the University of Alberta in Canada and is renowned for his research on the impact of space storms on the Earth.
Royal Society Wolfson Visiting Fellowships enable international researchers and their host organisation to develop ongoing collaborative research links, share ideas and practice.
Professor Mann is one of eight leading international academics to have been awarded the first fellowship or visiting fellowship since the Royal Society Wolfson Fellowships scheme was relaunched last year.
Professor Mann’s Fellowship will allow him to work with academics from Northumbria University’s internationally renowned Solar Terrestrial Science research group part time for a period of two years from July this year, including a one-year visit to the UK.
His research will focus on two of the most important outstanding questions in space weather science: What causes the acceleration of so-called “satellite killer” high energy electron space radiation? and What causes the explosive release of energy in near-Earth space?
The proposed research will advance fundamental understanding and have potentially important applications for the mitigation of space weather effects on technological infrastructure including satellites and the electric power grid.
Over the next two years, Professor Mann will support the work of Northumbria academics involved in the SWIMMR (Space Weather Instrumentation, Measurement, Modelling and Risk) project – a £20 million, four-year programme, announced by the Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the UN General Assembly in 2019, that will improve the UK’s capabilities for space weather monitoring and prediction.