Head of Space Physics scoops prestigious Royal Astronomical Society award
15 Jan 2024



RAL Space's Head of Space Physics, Professor Ian McCrea, has been recognised with a prestigious Service Award by the Royal Astronomical Society for his “invaluable service to the UK and international space weather research community."




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For several decades, Prof McCrea directed the UK component of the international EISCAT radar system, spearheading the operational and scientific capability of the current radar systems. More recently, he has led the £20million UKRI investment into SWIMMR (Space Weather Instrumentation, Measurement, Modelling and Risk), an exceptional five-year programme to turn research tools into operational space weather forecasting capabilities for the UK Met Office.

Prof McCrea said: “I am really delighted to receive this award and would like to thank the Royal Astronomical Society very much for recognising me. The Service award is particularly pleasing, because it implies that my work has made a positive impact on the community of which I am a part. The task of developing our upper atmosphere and space weather capabilities and establishing the strategic importance of our science is a never-ending one, and I have always regarded it as a privilege to be able to participate in it."

Elsewhere, there was also recognition for the James Webb Space Telescope MIRI Consortium, which includes RAL Space. The group, led by Professor Gillian Wright CBE at the UK Astronomy Technology Centre, scooped the Group Achievement Award.​