Professor Paul McKenna

Head Of Department


Personal statement

Paul McKenna's research interests focus on high power laser-plasma interactions. His present research topics include: laser-driven ion acceleration; fast electron generation and transport in dense plasma, and application to the development of advanced schemes for inertial fusion energy; high field physics at the focus of ultra-intense laser pulses; plasma optics; and, laser-driven nuclear physics. 
He is an EPSRC Leadership fellow since 2012 and a Professor of Laser-Plasma Physics at the University of Strathclyde since 2011. He received his PhD at Queens University Belfast in 2000, before becoming a postdoctoral fellow at the university of Glasgow from 2000-2002. From 2002-2005, he held a Royal Society of Edinburgh Personal Research Fellowship at the University of Strathclyde, and was appointed to a Lectureship at the university in 2006, and a Readership in 2008.


Laser produced electromagnetic pulses : generation, detection and mitigation
Consoli Fabrizio, Tikhonchuk Vladimir T, Bardon Matthieu, Bradford Philip, Carroll David C, Cikhardt Jakub, Cipriani Mattia, Clarke Robert J, Cowan Tom, Danson Colin N, De Angelis Riccardo, De Marco Massimo, Dubois Jean-Luc, Etchessahar Bertrand, Laso Garcia Alejandro, Hillier David I, Honsa Ales, Jiang Weiman, Kmetik Viliam, Krása Josef, LI Yutong, Lubrano Frédéric, McKenna Paul, Metzkes-Ng Josefine, Poyé Alexandre, Prencipe Irene, Rączka Piotr, Smith Roland A, Vrana Roman, Woolsey Nigel C, Zemaityte Egle, Zhang Yihang, Zhang Zhe, Zielbauer Bernhard, Neely David
High Power Laser Science and Engineering (2020)
Characteristics of ion beams generated in the interaction of ultra-short laser pulses with ultra-thin foils
McIlvenny A, Ahmed H, Scullion C, Doria D, Romagnani L, Martin P, Naughton K, Sgattoni A, Symes DR, Macchi A, McKenna P, Zepf M, Kar S, Borghesi M
Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion (2020)
Transport of kJ-laser-driven relativistic electron beams in cold and shock-heated vitreous carbon and diamond
Bailly-Grandvaux Mathieu, Kim Joohwan, Krauland C, Zhang Shu, Dozieres Maylis Manon, Wei Mingsheng, Theobald Wolfgang, Grabowski Paul E, Santos Joao Jorge, Nicolai Philippe, McKenna Paul, Desjarlais M P, Beg Farhat N
New Journal of Physics (2020)
High order mode structure of intense light fields generated via a laser-driven relativistic plasma aperture
Duff M J, Wilson R, King M, Gonzalez-Izquierdo B, Higginson A, Williamson S D R, Davidson Z E, Capdessus R, Booth N, Hawkes S, Neely D, Gray R J, McKenna P
Scientific Reports Vol 10 (2020)
Single cycle terawatt twisted light pulses at midinfrared wavelengths above 10μm
Zhu Xing-Long, Chen Min, Weng Su-Ming, McKenna Paul, Sheng Zheng-Ming, Zhang Jie
Physical Review Applied Vol 12 (2019)
Collimation of high current fast electrons in dense plasmas with a tightly focused precursor intense laser pulse
Xu H, Yang XH, Sheng ZM, McKenna P, Ma YY, Zhou HB, Yin Y, Ren C, Zhang J
Nuclear Fusion Vol 59 (2019)

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Professional activities

Program Committee meeting for the 47th European Physical Society Plasma Physics conference
Invited Talk at the First ELI-NP Users Conference
PI on Gemini experiment on relativistic transparency in ultrathin foils
Talk at the XFEL Workshop on Matter at Extreme Conditions
Invited Talk at 1st Nature Conference on Plasma Physics - Advances and Applications in Plasma Physics
External examiner for PhD thesis at Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai

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PANAMA: Plasma Accelerators for Nuclear Applications and Materials Analysis (panama) - National Nuclear User Facility Phase 2
Renshaw, Joanna (Principal Investigator) Jaroszynski, Dino (Co-investigator) Lunn, Rebecca (Co-investigator) McKenna, Paul (Co-investigator) Bots, Pieter (Research Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2019 - 30-Jan-2023
Doctoral Training Partnership 2018-19 University of Strathclyde | Dolier, Ewan
McKenna, Paul (Principal Investigator) Gray, Ross (Co-investigator) Dolier, Ewan (Research Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2019 - 01-Jan-2023
Doctoral Training Partnership 2018-19 University of Strathclyde | Goodman, Jack
McKenna, Paul (Principal Investigator) Gray, Ross (Co-investigator) Goodman, Jack (Research Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2019 - 01-Jan-2023
Advanced laser-plasma optics technology | Lofrese, Antonio
McKenna, Paul (Principal Investigator) Gray, Ross (Co-investigator) Lofrese, Antonio (Research Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2019 - 01-Jan-2022
Doctoral Training Partnership 2018-19 University of Strathclyde | Lofrese, Antonio
McKenna, Paul (Principal Investigator) Gray, Ross (Co-investigator) Lofrese, Antonio (Research Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2019 - 01-Jan-2022
Advanced laser-plasma optics technology
McKenna, Paul (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2018 - 31-Jan-2022

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