Photo of Professor Laura Harkness-Brennan

Professor Laura Harkness-Brennan PhD MPhys PGCert MInstP FHEA

Professor of Physics and Associate pro-Vice Chancellor for Research & Impact for Science & Engineering Physics


Personal Statement

I am a Professor in the Department of Physics and Associate pro-Vice Chancellor for Research and Impact for the Faculty of Science and Engineering. My research focuses on gamma-ray spectroscopy and imaging, in particular the development of novel radiation detectors and analytical techniques. I often work collaboratively with research groups internationally. I have been awarded funding for a number of projects:

(1) to develop algorithms to extract gamma-ray interaction position from room temperature semiconductor detectors
(2) to develop novel room temperature semiconductor detectors for nuclear decommissioning
(3) to develop SIGMA, which is a new germanium detector for gamma-ray spectroscopy and tracking,
(4) to develop a system for quantitative imaging in molecular radiotherapy,
(5) to evaluate the performance of systems for spectroscopy and imaging of nuclear fuel.
(6) to develop the stopping target monitor for the Mu2e experiment at Fermilab

I also lead the STFC Cancer Diagnosis Network+, which is a national research network aiming to develop new techniques and technologies in cancer diagnosis by bringing together physicists from the STFC community with researchers and Clinicians from other disciplines. The network organises thematic workshops and funding calls for proof of concept activities and early career researcher development.

I am actively engaged in outreach, including delivering talks and workshops at schools and public events. I am a committee member for the Institute of Physics Nuclear Physics Group. In 2018 I published the book "An introduction to the Physics of Nuclear Medicine", as part of the Morgan and Claypool Institute of Physics Concise series

Prizes or Honours

  • Science Award - Highly Commended (Women of The Future, 2015)
  • Very Early Career Award (Institute of Physics Women in Physics Group, 2010)

Other Personal Distinctions

  • PGCert Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (Distinction) (University of Liverpool, 2016)
  • Aurora leadership programme (Leadership Foundation, 2015)