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Dr Shaun Bloomfield

Reader

Department: Mathematics, Physics and Electrical Engineering

Shaun is a Reader in Extreme Environments in the Mathematics, Physics and Electrical Engineering department. He has a PhD in Solar and Stellar Astrophysics.

 

I graduated from Queen’s University Belfast in 2001 with a MSci (Honours) Physics with Astrophysics degree, before continuing at Queen’s for my PhD studies in Solar and Stellar Astrophysics. After successfully defending my thesis entitled “Oscillatory Phenomena in Solar and Stellar Atmospheres" in 2005, I accepted a Max Planck Fellow position at the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Germany. In 2007 I moved to Trinity College Dublin in Ireland to initially work as a Research Fellow on the PROBA2 space-weather satellite, funded by the European Space Agency (ESA). During my 9 years at Trinity, I held an EU Framework Programme 7 Marie Curie Fellowship to study solar flare prediction, was promoted to Senior Research Fellow in 2012, joined the Science and Instrument Teams of the Spectrometer/Telescope for Imaging X-rays (STIX) payload on the upcoming ESA Solar Orbiter satellite mission, and in 2014 won EU Horizon 2020 funding for a space-weather consortium project (FLARECAST) as the Project Scientist. In 2016, I was appointed as a Reader at Northumbria University.

I am a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society (FRAS), a Member of the Institute of Physics (MInstP), a lifetime Member of the Marie Curie Fellows Association and an Individual Member of both the International Astronomical Union and the European Physical Society.

In addition, I am an elected Board member of the European Solar Physics Division (ESPD) of the European Physical Society and co-Chair of the “Space Weather Forecasting” Topical Working Group within ESA’s Space Weather Working Team.

Campus Address

D119, Ellison Building



0191 243 7933

Qualifications

PhD in Solar and Stellar Astrophysics

MSci (Honours) in Physics with Astrophysics

Research Themes and Scholarly Interests

I am primarily interested in understanding the Sun’s role in producing adverse space weather – conditions in the near-Earth space environment that pose a risk to technology and human life.

My research focuses around how solar magnetic structures build, store, and subsequently release energy, as well as forecasting when this will occur. I have an extensive background in obtaining and analysing both ground- and space-based observational solar data and hold Science Co-Investigator and Instrument Team roles for the Spectrometer/Telescope for Imaging X-rays (STIX) instrument on the European Space Agency Solar Orbiter mission (due for launch in Oct 2018).

In general, I am interested in:

  • sunspot magnetic structure and evolution
  • energy storage in solar active regions (sunspot groups)
  • vector-magnetic field inversions
  • solar flare prediction
  • forecast verification metrics
  • wavelet time-series analysis
  • image processing of solar data

Professional Activity

Elected Board member of the European Solar Physics Division of the European Physical Society (2014 – present)

Co-chair of “Space Weather Forecasting” Topical Working Group within the European Space Agency’s Space Weather Working Team (2012 – present)

Science Co-Investigator for the Spectrometer/Telescope for Imaging X-rays (STIX) instrument on the upcoming European Space Agency Solar Orbiter mission (2008 – present)

Sponsors and Collaborators

My research has been supported by a broad variety of national and international funding bodies, with current projects sponsored by the EU Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (under grant agreement no. 640216 – FLARECAST), the Irish Research Council (under GOIPG/2014/907 – Aoife McCloskey’s PhD), and the International Space Science Institute (International Working Teams 2013 and 2014).

I am a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society (FRAS), a Member of the Institute of Physics (MInstP), a lifetime Member of the Marie Curie Fellows Association and an Individual Member of both the International Astronomical Union and the European Physical Society.

Current/Recent Projects

Flare Likelihood And Region Eruption foreCASTing (FLARECAST; http://flarecast.eu)
EU Horizon 2020 (PROTEC-1-2014: Space Weather)
1 Jan 2015 – 31 Dec 2017
Project Scientist and Institutional Principal Investigator

 

Magnetic Characteristics of Sunspot Groups and their Role in Producing Adverse Space Weather
Irish Research Council (Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship)
1 Oct 2014 – 30 Sep 2018
PhD Academic Supervisor of Aoife McCloskey (Trinity College Dublin, Ireland)

 

Improving the Reliability of Solar Eruption Predictions to Facilitate the Determination of Targets-of-opportunity for Instruments With a Limited Field-of-view
International Space Science Institute (International Working Teams 2014)
Jan 2015 – Oct 2016
Co-Investigator (Team Member)

 

The Nature of Coronal Bright Fronts
International Space Science Institute (International Working Teams 2013)
Jan 2014 – Apr 2016
Principal Investigator (Team Leader)

 

Technical and Scientific Support for STIX Instrument on Solar Orbiter
European Space Agency (PRODEX Programme)
Jan 2012 – Dec 2016
Co-Investigator

 

Statistics of Solar Flare Activity for Space Weather Predictions
EU Framework Programme 7 (Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship)
Jan 2010 – Dec 2011
Principal Investigator

Key Publications

Barnes, G., Leka, K.D., Schrijver, C.J., Colak, T., Qahwaji, R., Ashamari, O.W., Yuan, Y., Zhang, J., McAteer, R.T.J., Bloomfield, D.S., Higgins, P.A., Gallagher, P.T., Falconer, D.A., Georgoulis, M.K., Wheatland, M.S., Balch, C., Dunn, T., Wagner, E.L.
A Comparison of Flare Forecasting Methods, I: Results from the 'All-Clear' Workshop, 
Astrophysical Journal (2016), 829, 89


McCloskey, A.E., Gallagher, P.T., Bloomfield, D.S.
Flaring Rates and the Evolution of Sunspot Group McIntosh Classifications
Solar Physics (2016), 291, 1711


Bloomfield, D.S
., Gallagher, P.T., Marquette, W.H., Milligan, R.O., Canfield, R.C.
Performance of Major Flare Watches from the Max Millennium Program (2001 – 2010)
Solar Physics (2016), 291, 411


Carley, E.P., Long, D.M., Byrne, J.P., Zucca, P., Bloomfield, D. S., McCauley, J., Gallagher, P.T.
Quasiperiodic Acceleration of Electrons by a Plasmoid-driven Shock in the Solar Atmosphere
Nature Physics (2013), 9, 811


Murray, S.A., Bloomfield, D.S., Gallagher, P.T.
Evidence for partial Taylor relaxation from changes in magnetic geometry and energy during a solar flare
Astronomy & Astrophysics (2013), 550, A119


Bloomfield, D.S., Higgins, P.A., McAteer, R.T.J., Gallagher, P.T.
Toward Reliable Benchmarking of Solar Flare Forecasting Methods
Astrophysical Journal Letters (2012), 747, L41


Further Information:
To view my Northumbria Research Link page click here
To view my Google Scholar page click here


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