Professor Martin Barstow

Professor of Astrophysics & Space Science/Director of Strategic Partnerships Space Park Leicester

School/Department: Physics & Astronomy, School of

Telephone: +44 (0)776 623 3362



I joined the University of Leicester in 1979 becoming Professor of Astrophysics & Space Science (2003) Head of Physics & Astronomy (2005-09) Pro-Vice Chancellor/Head of Science & Engineering (2009-16) and Pro-Vice Chancellor/Director of the Leicester Institute of Space & Earth Observation (2016-19). I have been involved in many space missions including Voyager ROSAT EUVE FUSE Hubble and ESA’s Gaia astrometry mission. I have been a member of the ESA Astronomy Working Group UKSA Science Programme Advisory Committee and President of the Royal Astronomical Society (2014-16). In 2019 I chaired the programme committee of the UK Space Conference. I am currently Chair of Space Telescope Institute Council a member of the board of the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy and was appointed Chair of the UK Space Agency Science Programme Advisory Committee in July 2019. I devised the concept of Space Park Leicester creating an economic space cluster with industry partners and have been a leader in its development. I am now Director of Strategic Partnerships for the project. I also lead the SPRINT project supporting growth of small companies in the space sector.


My research has always spanned both instrument development and observations with a range of space and ground-based facilities. I have a particular interest in UV and Extreme UV astronomy flying research rockets to develop new instrumentation for these wavebands some of which have translated into satellite missions. I have been involved in many space missions including Voyager ROSAT EUVE FUSE Hubble and ESA’s Gaia astrometry mission. My personal research is on hot white dwarf stars and the interstellar medium and I have more than 450 publications in these fields including a number of edited texts and conference proceedings as well as a monograph (with Jay Holberg) on Extreme Ultraviolet Astronomy. I am a strong advocate for translating research into economic and societal impact and have worked within RCUK with the Satellite Applications Catapult and others. I am currently PI of SPRINT which helps small companies access academic expertise and facilities in UK universities.


A complete list of my publications, for which I have more than 18,000 citations (h-index = 49), can be accessed on ADS:



White dwarfs and the interstellar medium


PA2240 - Electromagnetic Fields PA260x - Year 2 Electives (Astrophysics) PA3602 - Stellar Astrophysics

Press and media

I am happy to cover any topics on space planetary science and astronomy. I have particular knowledge of space exploration and commercial space activities around the world and how space activities can be used to benefit the UK economy.


I am a Fellow of the Institute of Physics and a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society. I have participated in many committees in support of the science community. Key ones are:

Member Wakeham Panel RCUK review of Physics

Council member Science and Technology Facilities Council

Member HEFCE REF2014 Panel for Physics

Member ESA Astronomy Working Group

Member UKSA Science Programme Advisory Committee

Member Council Royal Astronomical Society

Secretary Council Royal Astronomical Society

Member HEFCE impact panel for physics

President-elect Royal Astronomical Society

President Royal Astronomical Society Member Space Telescope Institute Council

Chair Space Telescope Institute Council

LUVOIR Science and Technology Development Team (STDT) - Observer for UKSA

Springer-Praxis Astronomy & Astrophysics Library editorial board

Member AURA board

Chair UKSA Science Programme Advisory Committee

Advisor ESA Science Programme Committee

Member UKSA Space Exploration Advisory Committee

Associate Editor for Springer’s Experimental Astronomy

Member Research England REF2020 panel for Physics 


NASA Group Achievement Award 1991

Director NATO Advanced Research Workshop - “8th European Workshop on White Dwarfs” SERC/PPARC Advanced Fellow

Vernon Memorial Lecturer University of Delaware

Annual Isaac Newton Lecture

Annual Flamsteed Lecture

Secretary Royal Astronomical Society

President-elect Royal Astronomical Society

President Royal Astronomical Society

Programme Chair UK Space Conference 2019

Conference Chair IAU Symposium 357

NASA Group Achievement Award 2021 

Media coverage

I am a regular participant in TV and Radio programmes and have wide experience of science broadcasting. I have appeared on Sky At Night Songs of Praise Radio 4 Today programme BBC TV national and local news ITV News and Newsnight.


PhD BA CPhys CSci F.Inst.P FRAS

Back to top