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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.


Near-100 MeV protons via a laser-driven transparency-enhanced hybrid acceleration scheme
Higginson A., Gray R. J., King M., Dance R. J., Williamson S. D. R., Butler N. M. H., Wilson R., Capdessus R., Armstrong C., Green J. S., Hawkes S. J., Martin P., Wei W. Q., Mirfayzi S. R., Yuan X. H., Kar S., Borghesi M., Clarke R. J., Neely D., McKenna P.
Nature Communications Vol 9, (2018)
Enhanced laser-energy coupling to dense plasmas driven by recirculating electron currents
Gray R. J., Wilson R., King M., Williamson S. D. R., Dance R. J., Armstrong C., Brabetz C., Wagner F., Zielbauer B., Bagnoud V., Neely D., McKenna P.
New Journal of Physics, (2018)
Radiation pressure-driven plasma surface dynamics in ultra-intense laser pulse interactions with ultra-thin foils
Gonzalez-Izquierdo Bruno, Capdessus Remi, King Martin, Gray Ross J., Wilson Robbie, Dance Rachel J., McCreadie John, Butler Nicholas M. H., Hawkes Steve J., Green James, Booth Nicola, Borghesi Marco, Neely David, McKenna Paul
Applied Sciences, pp. 1-18, (2018)
Efficient ion acceleration and dense electron-positron plasma creation in ultra-high intensity laser-solid interactions
Del Sorbo D., Blackman D. R., Capdessus R., Small K., Slade-Lowther C., Lou W., Duff M. J., Robinson A. P. L., McKenna P., Sheng Z.-M., Pasley J., Ridgers C. P.
New Journal of Physics, pp. 1-19, (2018)
Experimental evidence of radiation reaction in the collision of a high-intensity laser pulse with a laser-wakefield accelerated electron beam
Cole J. M., Behm K. T., Gerstmayr E., Blackburn T. G., Wood J. C., Baird C. D., Duff M. J., Harvey C., Ilderton A., Joglekar A. S., Krushelnick K., Kuschel S., Marklund M., McKenna P., Murphy C. D., Poder K., Ridgers C. P., Samarin G. M., Sarri G., Symes D., Thomas A. G. R., Warwick J., Zepf M., Najmudin Z., Mangles S. P. D.
Physical Review X Vol 8, (2018)
Escaping electrons from intense laser-solid interactions as a function of laser spot size
Rusby Dean, Gray Ross, Butler Nicholas, Dance Rachel, Scott Graeme , Bagnoud Vincent, Zielbauer Bernhard, McKenna Paul, Neely David
EPJ Web of Conferences Vol 167, pp. 1-5, (2018)

more publications

Professional activities

EPSRC, Swindon (External organisation)
External examiner for PhD candidate at Ecole Polytechnique, Paris
External Examiner
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

more professional activities


Harwell Imaging Partnership project | Frazer, Timothy
McKenna, Paul (Principal Investigator) Sheng, Zheng-Ming (Co-investigator) Frazer, Timothy (Research Co-investigator)
Period 01-Oct-2017 - 01-Apr-2021
Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP 2016-2017 University of Strathclyde) | Frazer, Timothy
McKenna, Paul (Principal Investigator) Sheng, Zheng-Ming (Co-investigator) Frazer, Timothy (Research Co-investigator)
Period 01-Oct-2017 - 01-Apr-2021
EPSRC Global Challenges Research Fund Institutional Sponsorship Award 2017 (GCRF) / R171051-106
Hidding, Bernhard (Principal Investigator) Jaroszynski, Dino (Co-investigator) McKenna, Paul (Co-investigator) Sheng, Zheng-Ming (Co-investigator)
Period 01-Jul-2017 - 31-Mar-2018
Nonlinear Optics and Dynamics in Relativistically Transparent Plasmas
McKenna, Paul (Principal Investigator) King, Martin (Research Co-investigator)
Period 01-Aug-2017 - 31-Jul-2021
Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP 2016-2017 University of Strathclyde) | Carnell, Katie
McKenna, Paul (Principal Investigator)
Period 01-Oct-2016 - 01-Sep-2020
Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP 2016-2017 University of Strathclyde) | Davidson, Zoe
McKenna, Paul (Principal Investigator) Sheng, Zheng-Ming (Co-investigator) Davidson, Zoe (Research Co-investigator)
Period 01-Oct-2016 - 01-Apr-2020

more projects