Elizabeth Donegan-Lawley

Brief Bio

I grew up just down the road from the National Space Centre, regular visits fuelled my love of space and astronomy. This led me to pursue an MSci degree in physics with a project focussed on space physics at Nottingham Trent University. I have a significant interest in outreach and throughout my undergraduate degree worked numerous public events to help engage others with physics!

After being offered a place to continue my studies at the University of Birmingham I was delighted to begin my next stage of education and research and to start work on my PhD.

Current Project

Comprehensive understanding of the processes of the Earth’s upper atmosphere is required in order to ensure the effective operation and management of a number of systems impacted by space weather. One aspect of the threat of space weather is the potential impact on the Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS), these systems are now embedded in our day-to-day life. Small scale structure in the high latitude ionosphere can cause scintillation of signals which can have an impact on critical systems including reducing positional accuracy and can limit availability of GNSS.

The need for accurate forecasts have required the development of physics based data assimilation models, such as the University of Birmingham’s AENeAS model. This PhD is focussed on developing methods and techniques to make significant improvements of our ability to forecast the ionosphere at high latitudes.