Professor of Mathematics and Astronomy, Queen Mary University of London
Born and educated in Belfast I came to London in 1974 and obtained my BSc in Applied Mathematics with Astrophysics from Queen Mary College, University of London in 1977; this was followed by a PhD in 1980. I worked as a postdoc at Cornell University in upstate New York until 1982 when I returned to Queen Mary to take up a research post. Currently I am a Professor of Mathematics and Astronomy in the School of Physics and Astronomy at Queen Mary. My research area is planetary science and I am particularly interested in the motion of all solar system objects, from dust to planets. In 1990 I was selected as a member of the camera team for the NASA/ESA Cassini mission to Saturn. The spacecraft was launched in 1997 and has now been orbiting the planet since 2004 sending back images of Saturn, its moons and rings. I have been directly involved in the discovery of two new moons as well as several rings using the Cassini images. In my career I have held a Royal Society University Research Fellowship, a SERC Advanced Fellowship and a PPARC Senior Research Fellowship. Currently I hold a Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship and this enables me to devote more time to the analysis of Cassini images of Saturn’s rings.