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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

Advanced laser-plasma optics technology

McKenna, P.

STFC Science and Technology Facilities Council


Project: Research - StudentshipResearch Studentship

Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP 2016-2017 University of Strathclyde) | Frazer, Timothy

McKenna, P., Sheng, Z. & Frazer, T.

EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council)


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

Research Output 2002 2018

2 Citations

Attosecond electron bunches from a nanofiber driven by Laguerre-Gaussian laser pulses

Hu, L-X., Yu, T-P., Sheng, Z-M., Vieira, J., Zou, D-B., Yin, Y., McKenna, P. & Shao, F-Q. 8 May 2018 In : Scientific Reports. 8, 9 p., 7282

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
laser plasma interactions
radiation sources
2 Citations

Bright attosecond gamma-ray pulses from nonlinear Compton scattering with laser-illuminated compound targets

Zhu, X-L., Chen, M., Yu, T-P., Weng, S-M., Hu, L-X., McKenna, P. & Sheng, Z-M. 27 Apr 2018 In : Applied Physics Letters. 112, 17, 5 p., 174102

Research output: Contribution to journalLetter

gamma rays
photon beams


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 Lecture at the Culham Plasma Summer School 2017

McKenna, P. (Invited speaker)
25 Jul 2017

Activity: Invited talk


McKenna, P. (Advisor)
1 Sep 20172020

Activity: Membership of board