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Jim Wild supervises 2 postgraduate research students. If these students have produced research profiles, these are listed below:

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Professor Jim Wild FRAS SFHEA


Jim Wild

Lancaster University

Physics Building



PhD supervision

Evaluating the effect of space weather on UK power grids with novel measurement techniques Space weather encompasses a range of environmental phenomena, ultimately driven by solar activity. The emission of solar energy and material directed towards the Earth can drive electromagnetic disturbances on and above the planet’s surface. Under normal levels of solar activity, the impact of space weather is low. However, natural variations in solar activity can drive periods of severe space weather during which the intensity of these phenomena can increase by many orders of magnitude, presenting hazards to human technologies. Space weather thus presents an environmental risk to some of the hardware, infrastructure and services that underpin our society and economy. Rapid, high-amplitude geomagnetic variations during space weather storms induce geoelectric fields in the conducting Earth. This causes geomagnetically induced currents (GICs) to flow in the conducting structures grounded in the Earth, including electrical power grids, during severe space weather. This project will exploit magnetic field measurements at the Earth’s surface to validate state-of-the-art models of GICs flowing in the UK power grid. As a PhD student in Lancaster’s Space and Planetary Physics (SPP) group you will conduct cutting-edge research in the company of world-leading scientists. This project involves a collaboration with the NERC British Geological Survey. The project will also benefit from a collaboration with EDF Energy, who will participate as an external partner. You will develop and exploit skills in computer-based data analysis and computational modelling techniques. To facilitate this will receive a programme of training in the scientific and technical background required to conduct your research, and in the written and oral presentation skills required to disseminate your results to the international scientific community and general audiences. Applicants should hold a minimum of a UK honours Degree at 2:1 level or equivalent in a subject such as Physics or Geophysics.


Jim Wild is a scientist studying the space environment and the links between the Sun, the Earth and other planets.

Jim studied for a degree in Physics with Space Science and Technology before completing a doctorate in solar-terrestrial physics at the University of Leicester. He is now the Professor of Space Physics at Lancaster University’s Department of Physics.


Research Interests

His research investigates the physics behind the aurora borealis (sometimes known as the northern lights), the impact of space weather on human technology and the interaction between the Martian atmosphere and the interplanetary environment. As well as exploiting an international flotilla of satellites, Jim’s research has regularly taken him to the high arctic to carry out experiments.

As a passionate science communicator, Jim has established himself as a popular speaker for public audiences and he also contributes to print and broadcast media. In 2010, he was awarded a Science in Society Fellowship by the UK Science and Technology Facilities Council.

Jim is a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society and a member of the European Geosciences Union and American Geophysical Union.

PhD Supervisions Completed

Dr. Patrick Daum: "Global MHD Simulations of Magnetospheric Phenomena" [Lancaster University, 2008]

Dr. Peter Tullet: "ULF Oscillations in the Terrestrial Magnetosphere" [Lancaster University, 2009]

Dr. Katie Turnbull: "A Study of Geomagnetically Induced Currents in the UK National Grid" [Lancaster University, 2011]

Dr. Nathan Case: "Solar Wind-Magnetosphere Interactions: A Statistical Analysis of Spacecraft Measurements" [Lancaster University, 2014]

Dr. Robert Kidd: "The Origins of Space Weather: Solar Activity and Geomagnetic Response" [Lancaster University, 2014]

Dr. Jonathan Doyle: "Magnetospheric Plasma Dynamics: Investigating Ion and Electron Flow in the Magnetotail" [Lancaster University, 2019]

Dr. Daniel Billett: "The Great Space Weather Washing Machine: Examining the Dynamics of High-Latitude Ionosphere-Thermosphere Coupling" [Lancaster University, 2019]

PhDs Examined

Robert Fear [University College London, 2006]

Amin Aminaei [Lancaster University, 2007]

Nicola Longdon [Lancaster University, 2007]

Peter Boakes [University of Leicester, 2010]

Daniel Whiter [University of Southampton, 2011]

Paul Wild [Lancaster University, 2012]

Adam Kellerman [La Trobe University, 2012]

Segheen Beyene [University College London, 2012]

Carl Bryers [Lancaster University, 2014]

Martin Archer [Imperial College London, 2014]

Matt James [University of Leicester, 2014]

Olugbenga Ogunmodimu [Lancaster University, 2016]

Benjamin Hall [University of Leicester, 2017]

Hasanain Abbas Hasan Al-Behadili [University of Leicester, 2018]

Rececca Gray [Lancaster University, 2018]

Katie Raymer [University of Leicester, 2018]

Stephen Browett [University of Southampton, 2018]

External Roles

For the Royal Astronomical Society:  The RAS was established in 1820 to promote the study of astronomy and geophysics (which has grown to include solar and solar-terrestrial physics, planetary sciences, astroparticle physics & astrobiology) and comprises nearly 3,400 Fellows and Honorary Fellows. I have contributed to the running of this prestigious learned society as follows:

Vice-president, Geophysics (2014 - 2016)

Diversity Champion (2014-2016)

Member of the RAS Education Committee (2009 – 2013)

Member of the RAS Awards Committee, Geophysics Division (2009 – 2011)

Member of the RAS Membership Committee, invited member (2005 – 2011)

Member of the RAS Presidential Election Committee (2009)

Elected member of RAS Council and trustee of the society (2007 – 2010)

For the Science & Technology Facilities Council

Member of the STFC Consolidated Grant Review Panel (2018 - present)

Chair of the STFC Astronomy Grants Panel (2017 - present)

Deputy Chair of the STFC Astronomy Grants Panel (2016)

Member of the STFC Astronomy Grants Panel (2012 – 2015)


Member of the STFC Cluster Oversight Committee (2007 – 10)

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