Professor of Physics, Deputy Director (Solar System) at the Mullard Space Science Laboratory, UCL

I am Professor of Physics and Deputy Director (Solar System) at the Mullard Space Science Laboratory (MSSL), University College London, located in Surrey.

My specialty is the plasma interaction with unmagnetized objects, such as comets, Titan, Enceladus, Venus, and Mars, planetary magnetospheres, and planetary exploration. Through my career I've been lucky to work on many of the planetary and magnetospheric missions with plasma instruments on board. One of these was Cassini, which I've been fortunate to have been involved with (as lead co-investigator for the Electron Spectrometer (ELS), part of the Cassini Plasma Spectrometer (CAPS) since the instrument proposal in 1989. This included selection, getting the money, design, build, test, test, and test, calibrate launch, arrival at Saturn, the prime mission to 2008, equinox mission to 2010—and it still worked well (until 2012) into the current (extended estended) "solstice" mission (North polar summer on Saturn) with a spectacular end of mission in 2017.

I am Principal Investigator for the ExoMars PanCam instrument going to Mars in 2018. I am also co-investigator on the JUICE PEP instrument, and on Mars Express ASPERA-3, Venus Express ASPERA-4, MMS-FPI, Rosetta RPC, Cluster PEACE and Giotto JPA.

I am a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society and a Member of both the American Geophysical Union and European Geophysical Union.


  • –present
    Professor of Physics, Head of Planetary Science at the Mullard Space Science Laboratory, UCL