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.


Self-referencing, spectral interferometric probing of the onset time of relativistic transparency in intense laser-foil interactions
Williamson SDR, Wilson R, King M, Duff M, Gonzalez-Izquierdo B, Davidson ZE, Higginson A, Booth N, Hawkes S, Neely D, Gray RJ, McKenna P
Physical Review Applied (2020)
Towards terawatt-scale spectrally-tunable terahertz pulses via relativistic laser-foil interactions
Liao Guoqiang, Liu Hao, Scott Graeme G, Zhang Yi-Hang, Zhu Bao-Jun, Zhang Zhe, Li YuTong, Armstrong Chris, Zemaityte Egle, Bradford Philip, Rusby Dean R, Neely David, Huggard Peter G, McKenna Paul, Brenner Ceri M, Woolsey Nigel C, Wang Wei-Min, Sheng Zheng-Ming, Zhang Jie
Physical Review X (2020)
TOF diagnosis of laser accelerated, high-energy protons
Scuderi V, Milluzzo G, Doria D, Alejo A, Amico AG, Booth N, Cuttone G, Green JS, Kar S, Korn G, Larosa G, Leanza R, Martin P, McKenna P, Padda H, Petringa G, Pipek J, Romagnani L, Romano F, Russo A, Schillaci F, Cirrone GAP, Margarone D, Borghesi M
Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment Vol 978 (2020)
Relativistic mid-wavelength infrared pulses generated in intense-laser mass-limited target interactions
Qu J F, Liu P, Liu X Y, Gray R J, McKenna P, Li X F, Kawata S, Kong Q
New Journal of Physics (2020)
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 Vol 8 (2020)
Extremely brilliant GeV γ-rays from a two-stage laser-plasma accelerator
Zhu Xing-Long, Chen Min, Weng Su-Ming, Yu Tong-Pu, Wang Wei-Min, He Feng, Sheng Zheng-Ming, McKenna Paul, Jaroszynski Dino A, Zhang Jie
Science Advances Vol 6, pp. eaaz7240 (2020)

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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

More professional activities


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 | Goodman, Jack
McKenna, Paul (Principal Investigator) Gray, Ross (Co-investigator) Goodman, Jack (Research Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2019 - 01-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
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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