UCL Department of Space and Climate Physics

Prof Christopher Owen

Prof Christopher Owen

Professor of Physics

Dept of Space & Climate Physics

Faculty of Maths & Physical Sciences

Joined UCL
1st Oct 1999

Research summary

Space Plasma Physics and Magnetospheric Physics. Particular interests in the structure and dynamics of the geomagnetic tail, substorms and plasmoids. Also the solar wind, the solar wind-magnetospheric coupling at the dayside magnetopause, and the solar wind interaction with other bodies (e.g. the Moon, Mercury).

Member of the magnetometer team on WIND, co-investigator on the CLUSTER-II PEACE and FGM instruments, co-investigator on Double Star PEACE instrument.

Principal Investigator on the ESA Solar Orbiter Mission Solar Wind Analyser (SWA) Investigation - leading an international consortium providing a suite of sensors and joint DPU/electronic systems to fully characterise the electron, proton, alpha particle and heavy ion populations in the near-Sun (0.28 AU) solar wind.

Teaching summary

Have lectured on Space Plasmas and Magnetospheric Physics at UCL for over 10 years.

Previously lectured a variety of Mathematics and Physics courses at Queen Mary and Westfield.

Regularly supervised both post-graduate and undergraduate taught course project work.

Have supervised the research of 7 graduated Ph.D. students, with 2 others currently in progress.

Have regularly taught and lectured on Space Plasmas at Summer Schools and other similar events.


Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine
Doctorate, Doctor of Philosophy | 1989
Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine
Other Postgraduate qualification (including professional), Diploma of the Imperial College | 1989
University of London
First Degree, Bachelor of Science (Honours) | 1985


Born in Gravesend in Kent.

Educated at Gravesend School for Boys, and then to Ph.D. level at Imperial College in London, supervised by Prof. Stan Cowley, FRS.

Spent 5 years working in the Electrodynamics Branch at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Centre with Dr. James Slavin.

A temporary Lectureship at Queen Mary and Westfield, University of London, led into the award of a Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council Advanced Fellowship that was held at UCL's Mullard Space Science Laboratory (MSSL) from 1999 to 2004.

Have since held a Readership position at UCL/MSSL and was promoted to full Professor in 2008.