Professor Paul McKenna


Personal statement

Paul McKenna is a Professor of Laser-Plasma Physics. His research focuses on ultra-intense laser-plasma interactions, including the development and application of laser-driven particle and radiation sources, plasma optics and high field science.

He is a member of EPSRC's Capital Infrastructure Strategic Advisory Team since 2017 and a former member of STFC's Science Board (2017-20). He holds scientific advisory roles for several international high power laser facilities and held a visiting position at the Central Laser Facility at Harwell. He was an EPSRC Leadership Fellow from 2012-17 and was elected a Fellow of The Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2021.

Within the University, Paul is currently the Vice Dean Research in the Faculty of Science and a member of the Faculty Executive Team. He was Head of Department of Physics from August 2018 to July 2021. 


Absolute keV X-ray yield and conversion efficiency in over dense Si sub-petawatt laser plasma
Ryazantsev Sergey N, Martynenko Artem S, Sedov Maksim V, Skobelev Igor Yu, Mishchenko Mikhail D, Lavrinenko Yaroslav S, Baird Christopher D, Booth Nicola, Durey Phil, Döhl Leonard N K, Farley Damon, Lancaster Kathryn L, McKenna Paul, Murphy Christopher D, Pikuz Tatiana A, Spindloe Christopher, Woolsey Nigel, Pikuz Sergey A
Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion Vol 64 (2022)
Multi-parameter Bayesian optimisation of laser-driven ion acceleration in particle-in-cell simulations
Dolier E J, King M, Wilson R, Gray R J, McKenna P
New Journal of Physics Vol 24 (2022)
High order modes of intense second harmonic light produced from a plasma aperture
Bacon E, King M, Wilson R, Frazer T P, Gray R J, McKenna P
Matter and Radiation at Extremes (2022)
Absolute calibration of Fujifilm BAS-TR image plate response to laser driven protons up to 40 MeV
Martin P, Ahmed H, Doria D, Alejo A, Clarke R, Ferguson S, Fernández-Tobias J, Freeman R R, Fuchs J, Green A, Green J S, Gwynne D, Hanton F, Jarrett J, Jung D, Kakolee K F, Krygier A G, Lewis C L S, McIlvenny A, McKenna P, Morrison J T, Najmudin Z, Naughton K, Nersisyan G, Norreys P, Notley M, Roth M, Ruiz J A, Scullion C, Zepf M, Zhai S, Borghesi M, Kar S
Review of Scientific Instruments Vol 93 (2022)
Optimisation of multi-petawatt laser-driven proton acceleration in the relativistic transparency regime
Goodman J, King M, Wilson R, Gray R J, McKenna P
New Journal of Physics Vol 24 (2022)
Theoretical and computational studies of the Weibel instability in several beam-plasma interaction configurations
Davidson Conor, Sheng Zheng-Ming, Wilson Thomas, McKenna Paul
Journal of Plasma Physics Vol 88 (2022)

More publications

Professional activities

Program Committee member for the 2023 SPIE International Conference on Applications of Laser-Driven Particle Acceleration
Invited Talks (Lectures) at the ELI-Nuclear Physics autumn school 2022
External examiner for a PhD candidate at École Polytechnique, Palaiseau, Paris
SUPA Board of Directors - Member (External organisation)
External reviewer for an academic appointment at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, India (External organisation)
Extreme Light Infrastructure (ELI) - Nuclear Physics Program Advisory Committee (External organisation)

More professional activities


Optimisation and control of laser-driven radiation sources using machine learning
Gray, Ross (Principal Investigator) McKenna, Paul (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2022 - 31-Jan-2026
Industrial CASE Account - University of Strathclyde 2022 | Torrance, Ben
McKenna, Paul (Principal Investigator) Gray, Ross (Co-investigator) Torrance, Ben (Research Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2022 - 01-Jan-2026
The Laser-hybrid Accelerator for Radiobiological Applicatons
Whyte, Colin (Principal Investigator) Gray, Ross (Co-investigator) McKenna, Paul (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2022 - 30-Jan-2024
Doctoral Training Partnership 2020-2021 University of Strathclyde | Peat, Maia
McKenna, Paul (Principal Investigator) Gray, Ross (Co-investigator) Peat, Maia (Research Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2021 - 01-Jan-2024
Advanced laser-plasma optics technology | Alderton, Matthew
McKenna, Paul (Principal Investigator) Gray, Ross (Co-investigator) Alderton, Matthew (Research Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2021 - 01-Jan-2025
PhD Studentship for Characterising Laser-driven Particle Beams
Gray, Ross (Principal Investigator) McKenna, Paul (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2021 - 30-Jan-2025

More projects