Mars

Speaker – Dr Ruth Bamford

Dr Ruth Bamford

Plasma Physicist, Principle Scientist of the Mini-magnetospheres project for space craft protection

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Ruth has been a research scientist at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL) since 1996.

Her research includes Space Weather and fundamental plasma physics. Her particular emphasis is on finite Larmor radius/kinetic effects in plasmas.

She is the principal investigator of the Mini-Magnetospheric project for space-craft protection. The concept concerns ‘Active’ or electromagnetic plasma shielding of manned spacecraft for long stay and interplanetary missions, and satellites in radiation belts.

Ruth joined the RAL in 1996 to work in the Radio Communications Research Unit on radio propagation and the Earth’s ionosphere and Space Weather. Between 1998-2001 Ruth devised the Radio Experiments during the UK 1999 Total Solar Eclipse that used the brief night-time of the eclipse to make radio and ionospheric observations across Europe. She coordinated experiments for the scientific, radio amateur and general public, for which she won a special Early Career researcher award at the SET for Britain held at the Houses of Parliament.

Prior to working at the RAL, Ruth spent ten years at the home of what is currently the world’s largest tokamak, JET, at the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy (CCFE) in Oxfordshire. Initially she was an undergraduate on a one year placement (from which she gained her very first publication before graduating), then returning having gained a 1st Class Honours in Applied Physics, to do a PhD with the University of Essex on magnetically confined fusion (MCF) plasmas. She was based full-time at Culham laboratory. Following the completion of her PhD in 1994 she worked as a post-doc of Imperial College, London but based at Culham.

Ruth is a diagnosed dyslexic and actively campaigns for greater awareness of the benefits of the dyslexia brain in science and engineering.