Photo of Dr Laura Harkness-Brennan

Dr Laura Harkness-Brennan PhD MPhys PGCert MInstP FHEA

Senior Lecturer Physics


Personal Statement

I am a senior lecturer in the Department of Physics. My research focuses on gamma-ray spectroscopy and imaging, in particular through the development of novel radiation detection and analytical techniques. I often work collaboratively with other research groups internationally. I have been awarded funding for a number of projects:

(1) to develop a new germanium detector for gamma-ray spectroscopy and tracking,
(2) to develop a system for quantitative imaging in molecular radiotherapy,
(3) to evaluate the performance of systems for spectroscopy and imaging of nuclear fuel.
(4) to develop the stopping target monitor for the Mu2e experiment at Fermilab

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

Personal Distinctions

  • PGCert Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (Distinction) (University of Liverpool 2016)
  • Enhanced Waste Assay, invited plenary talk (Invitation to Speak, 2nd International Conference on Dosimetry and Applications, University of Surrey 2016)
  • Science Award - Highly Commended (Women of The Future 2015)
  • Aurora leadership programme (Leadership Foundation 2015)
  • Point-like contact germanium detectors for high-resolution gamma spectroscopy, invited plenary talk, TASCA Workshop (Invitation to Speak, GSI 2015)
  • Novel techniques to enhance gamma-ray spectrometry for the nuclear industry, invited plenary talk, Conference on Applied Radiation Metrology (Invitation to Speak, CARM2015, National Physical Laboratory 2015)
  • Invited plenary talk "A new detector for gamma-ray spectroscopy and imaging" (Invitation to Speak, Institute of Physics Nuclear Physics Conference 2015)
  • Interview for "The half life of strontium 90" programme (Invitation to Speak, BBC Radio 4 2015)
  • Public Lecture "Gamma-rays: imaging the invisible" (Invitation to Speak, STFC Daresbury Laboratory Talking Science 2015)
  • "The role of nuclear physics in medicine" (Invitation to Speak, STFC RAL Teach the Teachers 2014)
  • "Imaging the Invisible" (Invitation to Speak, IOP Teachers Conference 2014)
  • What GAMOS can do for nuclear physicists (Invitation to Speak, Institute of Physics meeting on Geant4 in Nuclear Physics 2013)
  • An Introduction to Broad Energy Germanium detectors (Invitation to Speak, University of Jyvaskyla 2013)
  • Compton imaging with semiconductor detectors (Invitation to Speak, Canberra, USA 2013)
  • "Broad Energy Germanium (BEGe detectors)" (Invitation to Speak, University of York Nuclear Physics Seminar 2013)
  • Invited Seminar - "Compton Imaging: From Concept to Application" (Invitation to Speak, IFAE, Barcelona 2011)
  • Very Early Career Award (Institute of Physics Women in Physics Group 2010)

Administrative Roles

  • Physics Impact Lead
  • Member of the Early Career Researchers Forum for the Faculty of Science and Engineering

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