Dr Tom Knight
MPhys (Wales), PhD (Wales - Aberystwyth)

Dr Tom Knight

Lecturer in Planetary Physics

Department of Physics

Contact Details


I graduated with an MPhys (Dissertation: "Constructing and Modelling Hydrodynamic Processes using Smoothed Particle Algorithms") from University of Wales, Aberystwyth in 2008, after four years of study, and immediately entered my STFC funded PhD working with the Solar System Physics Research Group. After submitting my Thesis, "Smoothed Particle Magnetohydrodynamics for the Solar Corona", in 2012 I became a Research and Teaching Assistant within IMAPS, Aberystwyth University. After graduating in 2013, I started as a UK Space Agency funded PDRA at IMPACS, Aberystwyth University, working with numerous institutions across the world including IRF (Sweden), Physikalisches Institut (University of Bern, Switzerland), APL (John Hopkins University, USA), Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research (Germany), Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (Japan), and many others, developing the Particle Environment Package (PEP) for the European Space Agency's Jupiter Icy Moon Explorer (JUICE).


The coherent thread binding my research is computational physics and analysis. At the conclusion of my PhD, my research focus moved from theory (in the form of numerical method construction and physical validation) to application. Through my next two research positions I performed radiation analysis as part of the ongoing design and development effort for PEP that will fly with ESAs JUICE mission (see Biography). This primarily concerned optimisation of the signal-to-noise ratio for the detectors of the numerous instruments, but also included the calibration of modelling software and validation of simulations. In my current role, I assist on a number of research projects and teams, including PEP and ISSI Research Team: Radiation Interactions at Planetary Bodies.


Lee-Payne, Z, Kollmann, P, Grande, M & Knight, T 2020, 'Correction of Galileo Energetic Particle Detector, Composition Measurement System High Rate Data: Semiconductor Dead Layer Correction', Space Science Reviews, vol. 216, no. 1, 5. 10.1007/s11214-019-0621-y
Huntly, C, Langstaff, D, Gunn, M, Laurent, B, Cross, R, Tyler, L & Knight, T 2018, 'Proposed Hyperspectral Imager for Planetary Surface Missions', Paper presented at European Planetary Science Congress 2018, 01 Sept 2018. <http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2018EPSC...12.1188H>
Lasi, D, Tulej, M, Meyer, S, Lüthi, M, Galli, A, Piazza, D, Wurz, P, Reggiani, D, Xiao, H, Marcinkowski, R, Hajdas, W, Cervelli, A, Karlsson, S, Knight, T, Grande, M & Barabash, S 2017, 'Shielding an MCP Detector for a Space-Borne Mass Spectrometer Against the Harsh Radiation Environment in Jupiter’s Magnetosphere', IEEE Transactions on Nuclear Science, vol. 64, no. 1, pp. 605 - 613. 10.1109/TNS.2016.2614040
Grande, M & Knight, TMC 2013, 'The Future of Spacecraft Radiation Design: Workshop at Aberystwyth University, UK, 28–30 November 2012', Space Weather, vol. 11, no. 10, pp. 843-844. 10.1002/swe.20102
More publications on the Research Portal