Portrait of Professor Mark Burchell

Professor Mark Burchell

Emeritus Professor of Space Science


Prof. Burchell did his UG degree in Physics at Birmingham, graduating in 1981. He then undertook a UK research council funded PhD in Experimental Particle Physics at Imperial College (1981 – 1984). He was a post-doctoral researcher in particle physics at Imperial (1984 – 1986), Univ. California Santa Cruz (1986 – 1989) and as a CERN Fellow (1989 – 1992).

He joined Kent as a lecturer in Space Science in 1993, was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2000, Reader in 2002 and Professor in 2007. He was Dean of Science from 2010 -2020.

He retired in 2021 and, as an Emeritus Professor, is still active in research and teaching. 

Research interests

Active areas include: Hypervelocity impacts on rock, sand, ices, and water to simulate impact events in the Solar System. This covers: Cratering, catastrophic disruption of targets and survival of projectile material after impacts. Impact phenomena relevant to astrobiology are also covered.


Post-retirement he still teaches PH508 (Spacecraft systems and science, year 2, Spring semester) and PH608 (Martian science, year 3, Autumn semester).


Currently Emeritus Supervisor of 3 PhD students.

He has had 10 successful PhD supervisions as main supervisor, and supervised 16 MSc by research. 


Has published over 200 refereed journal papers and given over 100 conference talks and over 30 departmental colloquia/guest seminars/other talks. He is a member of the STFC Solar System Advisory Committee, (2020 - 2022).

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