Where do you work?
I work at ESA’s European Space Astronomy Centre just outside Madrid, Spain. I’m part of the team responsible for the Space Weather part of the new Space Situational Awareness (SSA) programme.
Space weather doesn’t only create spectacular aurorae. It affects many systems here on Earth that are increasingly important in our daily lives. These include satellite-based navigation, communications and power grids at high latitudes, to name but a few.
The SSA programme is working with scientists and engineers from across Europe to develop a network of space-weather services that will allow operators of those systems affected to understand how space weather affects them and to help them avoid problems that may result from it
I’ve been working on space weather projects at ESA since 2001, starting in the Space Environments and Effects Section, based in ESTEC in The Netherlands. Before that I studied Physics with Space Science at University College London and then went on to study solar physics at UCL’s Mullard Space Science Laboratory. The research I worked on concentrated on coronal mass ejections (CMEs). I was trying to understand more about what causes them and whether we can predict when they might erupt.
What else do you like to do?
In my spare time, I enjoy travelling and photography. I recently moved to Madrid so I’m currently spending much of my spare time out with my camera exploring parts of Spain. Here are a couple of pictures from recent trips: a hiking trip to beautiful Northern Tenerife and a visit to Florida in 2009 to see the launch of space shuttle Discovery on mission STS-128.