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Personal profile

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.

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Projects 2007 2022

Industrial CASE Account - University of Strathclyde 2018 | Horne, Alana

McKenna, P., Gray, R. & Horne, A.

EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council)


Project: Research Studentship - Internally AllocatedResearch Studentship (Internally Allocated)

Advanced laser-plasma optics technology

McKenna, P.

STFC Science and Technology Facilities Council


Project: Research - StudentshipResearch Studentship

Research Output 2002 2018

Alignment of solid targets under extreme tight focus conditions generated by an ellipsoidal plasma mirror

Kumar, D. , Šmíd, M. , Singh, S. , Soloviev, A. , Bohlin, H. , Burdonov, K. , Fente, G. , Kotov, A. , Lancia, L. , Lédl, V. , Makarov, S. , Morrissey, M. , Perevalov, S. , Romanovsky, D. , Pikuz, S. , Kodama, R. , Neely, D. , McKenna, P. , Laštovička, T. , Starodubtsev, M. & 3 others Weber, S., Nakatsutsumi, M. & Fuchs, J., 13 Nov 2018, (Accepted/In press) In : Matter and Radiation at Extremes.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


A spectrometer for ultrashort gamma-ray pulses with photon energies greater than 10 MeV

Behm, K. T. , Cole, J. M. , Joglekar, A. S. , Gerstmayr, E. , Wood, J. C. , Baird, C. D. , Blackburn, T. G. , Duff, M. , Harvey, C. , Ilderton, A. , Kuschel, S. , Mangles, S. P. D. , Marklund, M. , McKenna, P. , Murphy, C. D. , Najmudin, Z. , Poder, K. , Ridgers, C. P. , Sarri, G. , Samarin, G. M. & 5 others Symes, D., Warwick, J., Zepf, M., Krushelnick, K. & Thomas, A. G. R., 6 Nov 2018, In : Review of Scientific Instruments. 89, 11 p., 113303

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Gamma rays
gamma rays


Collective charged particle dynamics in relativistically transparent laser-plasma interactions

Author: Gonzalez Izquierdo, B., 1 Apr 2016

Supervisor: McKenna, P. (Supervisor) & Jaroszynski, D. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

Experimental studies of laser plasma wakefield acceleration

Author: Aniculaesei, C., 1 Oct 2012

Supervisor: Jaroszynski, D. (Supervisor) & McKenna, P. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

Activities 2012 2017

Invited talk at the 2nd Conference on Extremely High Intensity Laser Physics (2017)

McKenna, P. (Speaker)
6 Sep 2017

Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk

Invited talk - Central Laser Facility 40th Anniversary Meeting

McKenna, P. (Invited speaker)
20 Jun 2017

Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk