Professor Paul McKenna


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.


Diagnosis of Weibel instability evolution in the rear surface scale lengths of laser solid interactions via proton acceleration
Scott G G, Brenner C M, Bagnoud V, Clarke R J, Gonzalez Izquierdo B, Green J S, Heathcote R I, Powell H W, Rusby D R, Zielbauer B , McKenna P , Neely D
New Journal of Physics Vol 19, (2017)
X-ray spectroscopy of super-intense laser-produced plasmas for the study of nonlinear processes. Comparison with PIC simulations
Dalimier E., Ya Faenov A., Oks E., Angelo P., Pikuz T. A., Fukuda Yuji, Andreev A, Koga J., Sakaki H., Kotaki H., Pirozhkov A., Hayashi Y., Skobelev I. Yu., Pikuz S. A., Kawachi T., Kando M., Kondo K., Zhidkov A, Tubman Eleanor, Butler N. M. H., Dance R. J., Alkhimova M. A. , Booth N., Green J., Gregory C, McKenna P,, Woolsey N, Kodama R.
Journal of Physics Conference Series Vol 810, (2017)
Laser-plasma-based space radiation reproduction in the laboratory
Hidding B., Karger O., Königstein T., Pretzler G., Manahan G. G., McKenna P., Gray R., Wilson R., Wiggins S. M., Welsh G. H., Beaton A., Delinikolas P., Jaroszynski D. A., Rosenzweig J. B., Karmakar A., Ferlet-Cavrois V., Constantino A., Muschitiello M., Daly E.
Scientific Reports Vol 7, (2017)
Using X-ray spectroscopy of relativistic laser plasma interaction to reveal parametric decay instabilities : a modeling tool for astrophysics
Oks E., Dalimier E., Faenov A. Ya, Angelo P., Pikuz S.A., Tubman E., Butler N.M.H., Dance R.J., Pikuz T.A., Skobelev I. Yu., Alkhimova M.A. , Booth N., Green J., Gregory C., Andreev A., Zhidkov A., Kodama R., McKenna P., Woolsey N.
Optics Express Vol 25, pp. 1958-1972, (2017)
Intense terahertz radiation from relativistic laser–plasma interactions
Liao G Q, Li Y T, Li C, Liu H, Zhang Y H, Jiang W M, Yuan X H, Nilsen J, Ozaki T, Wang W M, Sheng Z M, Neely D, McKenna P., Zhang J
Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion Vol 59, (2017)
Pulsed X-ray imaging of high-density objects using a ten picosecond high-intensity laser driver
Rusby D. R., Brenner C. M., Armstrong C., Wilson L. A., Clarke R., Alejo A., Ahmed H., Butler N. M. H., Haddock D., Higginson A., McClymont A., Mirfayzi S. R., Murphy C., Notley M., Oliver P., Allott R., Hernandez-Gomez C., Kar S., McKenna P., Neely D.
Proceedings of SPIE 7982, Smart Sensor Phenomena, Technology, Networks, and Systems 2011 Vol 9992, (2016)

more publications

Professional activities

STFC - Central Laser Facility
Visiting researcher
CHILI-2016 Conference on High Intensity Lasers and attosecond science
Invited speaker
Invited talk at the 2nd International Symposium on High Power Laser Science and Engineering (HPLSE2016).
Invited speaker
Invited talk - 17th International Conference on Laser-Optics 2016
Invited speaker
Creativity at Home workshop
Invited seminar (Plasma Physics Group) at GSI, Darmstadt
Invited speaker

more professional activities


Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP 2016-2017 University of Strathclyde) | Carnell, Katie
McKenna, Paul (Principal Investigator) Gray, Ross (Co-investigator) Carnell, Katie (Research Co-investigator)
Period 01-Oct-2016 - 01-Oct-2019
Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP 2016-2017 University of Strathclyde) | Davidson, Zoe
Gray, Ross (Principal Investigator) McKenna, Paul (Co-investigator) Davidson, Zoe (Research Co-investigator)
Period 01-Oct-2016 - 01-Apr-2020
Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP 2016-2017 University of Strathclyde) | Jarrett, Jonathan
McKenna, Paul (Principal Investigator) Gray, Ross (Co-investigator) Jarrett, Jonathan (Research Co-investigator)
Period 01-Oct-2016 - 01-Apr-2020
Industrial Case Account 2015 | Zemaityte, Egle
McKenna, Paul (Principal Investigator) Gray, Ross (Co-investigator) Zemaityte, Egle (Research Co-investigator)
Period 01-Oct-2015 - 01-Oct-2019
Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP - University of Strathclyde) | Wilson, Thomas
Sheng, Zheng-Ming (Principal Investigator) McKenna, Paul (Co-investigator) Wilson, Thomas (Research Co-investigator)
Period 01-Oct-2015 - 01-Apr-2019
iCASE studentship with DSTL
McKenna, Paul (Principal Investigator)
Period 01-Oct-2015 - 30-Sep-2019

more projects