Dr Steven Leach

Senior Research Associate and Teaching Fellow

Email: sal41

Address: Main campus, Michael Atiyah Annexe


Dr Steve Leach is a senior research associate for the High Speed Imaging group within the Space Research Centre. His research focuses on developing photon counting detectors and image readout instrumentation for space science research projects.

As teaching fellow within the School of Physics and Astronomy, he is also an active member of the academic team and promotes undergraduate participation within his research.


My research focuses on developing photon counting detectors and image readout instrumentation specifically with high density, multi-channel and ultra-fast timing capabilities. As a visiting scientist with Max-Planck-Institut für Kernphysik, Heidelberg, I am developing front-end electronics, for the Cherenkov Telescope Array, using a capacitor storage array ring sampling full waveform digitisation technique.

Recent work includes developing compact networked instruments for tracking cosmic ray-initiated Extensive Air Showers, characterising Time-Of-Flight Positron Emission Tomography high-density ASICs and ultra-fast timing SAMPIC readout with MCP detectors. For my PhD I developed a capacitive division image readout system, for application in UV aurora planetary science, with digital filter adaptability to optimise image spatial resolution against photon event rate.

I engage undergraduate and PhD students in my research and regularly host work experience placements to give young students an introduction into experimental research.



The Small-Sized Telescopes for the Southern Site of the Cherenkov Telescope Array
DOI: 10.22323/1.395.0728

Experimental and extraction procedure for the electrical characterisation of silicon photomultiplier detectors
DOI: 10.1016/j.nima.2020.164483

Front-end electronics of the Compact High Energy Camera
DOI: 10.1016/j.nima.2018.12.061

Investigating microchannel plate PMTs with TOFPET2 multichannel picosecond timing electronics
DOI: 10.1016/j.nima.2019.162758

Performance of the Compact High Energy Camera SiPM Prototype Front-End Electronics proposed for the Cherenkov Telescope Array
DOI: 10.1016/j.nima.2019.04.091

Using quantum entangled photons to measure the absolute photon detection efficiency of a multi-pixel SiPM array
DOI: 10.1016/j.nima.2019.05.008

Operation of microchannel plate PMTs with TOFPET multichannel timing electronics
DOI: 10.1016/j.nima.2018.10.132

Characterisation and testing of CHEC-M A camera prototype for the small-sized telescopes of the Cherenkov telescope array
DOI: 10.1016/j.nima.2018.06.078

Evaluation of silicon photomultipliers for dual-mirror Small-Sized Telescopes of Cherenkov Telescope Array
DOI: 10.1016/j.nima.2017.11.017

Final characterisation and design of the Gamma-ray Cherenkov Telescope (GCT) for the Cherenkov Telescope Array
DOI: 10.1117/12.2313158

The GCT camera for the Cherenkov Telescope Array
DOI: 10.1016/j.nima.2016.12.010

Adaptive electronics for image readout of a UV microchannel plate detector for space and terrestrial instrumentation
DOI: 10.1117/12.2024153

The capacitive division image readout: A novel imaging device for microchannel plate detectors
DOI: 10.1117/12.2024179



I supervise and mentor undergraduate and PhD students, private tutor students (physics and maths GCSE/A-level) and host work experience placements within the Space Research Centre laboratories.

Supervision topics include:
- Electronics for space instrumentation
- Silicon photomultipliers
- Extensive air shower particle detection


As Teaching Fellow with the School of Physics and Astronomy, I contribute to undergraduate modules including:

- Condensed Matter Physics PA2230 - The physics that underpins the behaviour of electrons in crystalline solid materials.
- Experimental Physics (Electronics) PA2900 - Enhances your experimental and problem solving abilities necessary across areas of physical sciences.
- Specialist Research Projects PA4900 - Independent scientific investigations of open research questions in (experimental) physics.


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