Professor Robert Walsh
Executive Director of Research (contact)
Prof Walsh is the Executive Director of Research and a Professor of Solar Astrophysics. His research expertise covers hydrodynamic simulations of plasma flow and observations of coronal dynamics, combining his theoretical modelling expertise with involvement in multi-spacecraft solar observations. Prof Walsh has led a long-term partnership between UCLan and NASA, resulting in collaboration on space missions including the Solar Dynamics Observatory and the High resolution Coronal Imager (HI-C).
Throughout his academic career, Prof Walsh has engaged the public with his research and he has made this a core part of his academic output. Projects linked directly to his research have included collaborations with artists and a successful Guinness World Record attempt. Prof Walsh has championed the embedding of public engagement in the role of a researcher and as Executive Director of Research, led the development of a successful science festival and established a dedicated outreach laboratory at UCLan, in collaboration with the Royal Institution.
Prof Walsh was awarded the British Association for the Advancement of Science Lord Kelvin Award, was named the ‘Scientist for the New Century’ (Royal Institution award, 2001), and is possibly the only Professor to hold a Guinness World Record for public engagement with research.
In collaboration with professional artists, Prof Walsh has engaged new audiences with his research through creative, audio-visual installation pieces, (Sunbeam, 2011; The Sun at Night, 2013). Through the ‘Water Rocket Challenge’, he engaged a global audience of thousands with the NASA HI-C space mission and successfully achieved a world record for the most water rockets launched in 24 hours (2012).