For over 20 years, I have employed space-based observatories to examine the solar corona and examine the effect our closest star has upon Planet Earth. Also I use super-computer simulations of the solar environment to understand the basic physical processes operating. I work closely with NASA, particularly but not exclusively with their sounding rocket programme. I was awarded the title of "Scientist for the New Century" by the Royal Institution of Great Britain, the Lord Kelvin Award for Physical Sciences by the British Association for the Advancement of Science and the Tyndall Lecturership by the Institute of Physics in Ireland. From Oct 2017, I will be the UK Science and Technology Facilities Council Leadership Fellow in Public Engagement.