Personal profile


Prof Pinfield is a research astronomer and lecturer in physics astronomy and maths. His main research interests are in the areas of brown dwarfs, extra-solar planets and cool stars. He is the leader of an FP7 Initial Training Network (RoPACS) that focuses on planets and cool stars, and is co-PI of a >100 night planet transit survey as part of this network. He also leads projects exploiting large-scale near-mid infrared sky surveys (UKIDSS, VISTA and WISE) for ultra-cool science. In addition he carries out research to foster ongoing developments for future space-based studies of extra-solar planets, and collaborates in this area with Astrium (Europe's largest space engineering company) in Stevenage.

Research interests

  • Searching for cool star planets and eclipsing systems using the transit technique
  • Revealing the nature of brown dwarfs from population studies
  • Understanding ultra-cool atmospheres using benchmark brown dwarfs
  • Measuring the properties of cool stars
  • Radial velocity techniques for planet detection
  • Detection of exoplanet reflected/emitted light
  • Fostering the science of future space observatories (e.g. ESA Cosmic Vision)

Teaching specialisms

  • Undergraduate final year research projects (coordinator and provider)
  • Astrophysics lectures, including in extra-solar planets and brown dwarfs
  • Teacher training course at East-of-England Science Learning Centre "Bringing contemporary science to the classroom", helping teachers use modern astrophysics in their GCSE teaching
  • Range of lecturing experience in physics astronomy and mathematics

Commercial and public engagement

  • Collaboration with Astrium fostering Cosmic Vision related initiatives - Astrium are partners in Dr Pinfield's RoPACS network
  • Offer joint research/industry final year undergraduate projects with Astrium
  • Coordinating Nuffield bursary summer student projects in astronomy at UH (through SetPoint) - up to ~10 sixth form students supervised each summer (on 4 week projects)
  • Public talks on astronomy, including European Astrofest 2012 and the Scandinavian Astronomy Society conference (2013)


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