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.


Study of backward terahertz radiation from intense picosecond laser-solid interactions using a multichannel calorimeter system
Liu H, Liao G-Q, Zhang Y-H, Zhu B-J, Zhang Z, Li Y-T, Scott G G, Rusby D, Armstrong C, Zemaityte E, Bradford P, Woolsey N, Huggard P, McKenna P, Neely D
High Power Laser Science and Engineering Vol 7 (2019)
An optically multiplexed single-shot time resolving probe of laser-plasma dynamics
Davidson Zoe, Gonzalez Izquierdo Bruno, Higginson Adam, Lancaster Kate, Williamson Samuel, King Martin, Farley Damon , Neely David, McKenna Paul, Gray Ross
Optics Express (2019)
Sub-femtosecond electron sheets from a Laguerre-Gaussian laser interaction with micro-droplets
Hu Li-Xiang, Yu Tong-Pu, McKenna Paul, Shao Fu-Qiu
2018 International Conference Laser Optics (ICLO) 18th International Conference on Laser Optics

, pp. 251-251 (2018)
Novel scintillator-based x-ray spectrometer for use on high repetition laser plasma interaction experiments
Rusby D R, Armstrong C D, Brenner C M, Clarke R J, McKenna P, Neely D
Review of Scientific Instruments Vol 89 (2018)
Experimental signatures of the quantum nature of radiation reaction in the field of an ultraintense laser
Poder K, Tamburini M, Sarri G, Di Piazza A, Kuschel S, Baird C~D, Behm K, Bohlen S, Cole J M, Corvan D J, Duff M, Gerstmayr E, Keitel C H, Krushelnick K, Mangles S P D, McKenna P, Murphy C D, Najmudin Z, Ridgers C P, Samarin G M, Symes D, Thomas A G R, Warwick J, Zepf M
Physical Review X Vol 8 (2018)
Cherenkov radiation-based optical fibre diagnostics of fast electrons generated in intense laser-plasma interactions
Liu H, Liao G-Q, Zhang Y-H, Zhu B-J, Zhang Z, Li Y-T, Scott G G, Rusby D, Armstrong C, Zemaityte E, Carroll DC, Astbury S, Bradford P, Woolsey N, McKenna P, Neely D
Review of Scientific Instruments (2018)

more publications

Professional activities

SUPA Scottish Universities Physics Alliance (External organisation)
PhD thesis examination at Queens University Belfast
Invited Talk / Lecture at the Culham Plasma Physics Summer School 2018
Invited Talk at the International Conference on Laser-Optics 2018
International Conference on Laser-Optics 2018
Invited Talk / Tutorial at the 2nd International Conference on Nuclear Photonics

more professional activities


Industrial CASE Account - University of Strathclyde 2018 | Horne, Alana
McKenna, Paul (Principal Investigator) Gray, Ross (Co-investigator) Horne, Alana (Research Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2018 - 01-Jan-2022
Advanced laser-plasma optics technology
McKenna, Paul (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2018 - 31-Jan-2022
Harwell Imaging Partnership project | Frazer, Timothy
McKenna, Paul (Principal Investigator) Sheng, Zheng-Ming (Co-investigator) Frazer, Timothy (Research Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2017 - 01-Jan-2021
Accelerating the Middle East -- EPSRC GCRF Institutional Sponsorship
Hidding, Bernhard (Principal Investigator) McKenna, Paul (Principal Investigator) Sheng, Zheng-Ming (Principal Investigator) Jaroszynski, Dino (Principal Investigator)
Compact plasma accelerators for applications e.g. in life and space sciences with sustainable socio-economic benefit for Turkey and the Middle East are being developed.
01-Jan-2017 - 31-Jan-2018
Nonlinear Optics and Dynamics in Relativistically Transparent Plasmas
McKenna, Paul (Principal Investigator) Gray, Ross (Co-investigator) King, Martin (Research Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2017 - 31-Jan-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)
01-Jan-2017 - 31-Jan-2018

more projects