Visualizing Earth's Upper Atmosphere Rewards Young Physicist
Visualizing Earth's Upper Atmosphere Rewards Young Physicist Dr Cathryn Mitchell of the University of Wales at Aberystwyth has won the Royal Astronomical Society's Blackwell Prize for an outstanding PhD thesis on a topic in geophysics. She will receive her one-thousand-pound award and talk about her work at the Royal Astronomical Society's meeting in London on 11th December 1998. The prize is sponsored by the leading scientific publishers Blackwell Science Ltd.
Dr Mitchell developed a technique for studying the ionosphere - layers of electrically charged particles in the outermost part of Earth's atmosphere - by means of portable radio receivers that pick up signals from orbiting satellites. She travelled to northern Scandinavia to compare her results with those from a powerful fixed radar system (EISCAT). The outcome established her technique as a new method for studying the ionosphere that can be used almost anywhere on Earth.
On hearing the news of her award, Dr Mitchell said "I am delighted to have won the RAS Blackwell prize. It is a huge encouragement to me in my research. The technique I have developed has become widely accepted and it really exciting to see it now being used for scientific studies."
It was a final year undergraduate project that made Cathryn Mitchell interested in what is technically called tomographic imaging of the ionosphere. After graduating, she was offered the chance to stay at the University of Wales in Aberystwyth to study for a PhD under the supervision of Dr Eleri Pryse in the Radio and Space Physics Group, which is led by Professor Len Kersley. She now holds a post-doctoral position and is continuing her work at Aberystwyth.
Before going to university at Aberystwyth, Cathryn Mitchell (nee Godwin) attended Walton High School, Stafford, and Stafford College.
To contact Dr Cathryn Mitchell
Press Office, University of Wales, Aberystwyth