Biography

Dr Anna M. Barnett is Reader in Space Research in the School of Engineering and Informatics.  She leads the newly established Space Research Group at University of Sussex, UK.  The Space Research Group includes the work previously undertaken by Dr Barnett's Sussex Semiconductor Materials and Devices Laboratory.

In the 2016-17 academic year, Dr Barnett raised >£1M in research funding, published 15 peer reviewed journal articles, filed three patents, served four government departments/agencies, collaborated with 11 commercial organisations, and won the 2016 Philip Leverhulme Prize in Engineering (a personal prize of £100k, announced via a full page advert in The Times newspaper).  She was also awarded the 2016 University of Sussex Emerging Researcher award for her contributions towards “Improved spacecraft guidance, navigation, and control through the understanding of light".

Dr Barnett is an experimental physicist with interests in detector physics and instrumentation for space science and extreme terrestrial environments (high temperature, intense radiation).  Her research portfolio covers: space systems; attitude determination systems and GPS-denied environment navigation instrumentation; instrumentation for underwater vehicles for ocean mining; fundamental compound semiconductor material and device research, with particular emphasis on radiation interactions and single photon noise processes; instrumentation for space plasma physics, X-ray astronomy, and planetary science; radioisotope microbatteries; liquid contamination monitoring systems; CBRN material interdiction systems; and more. 

She is particularly well known for her expertise in the characterisation of novel semiconductor materials (e.g. GaAs, AlGaAs, AlInP, GaInP, cubic-GaN, SiC, Diamond) for photon counting spectroscopy of X-rays and gamma-rays, and particle counting spectroscopy of electrons and beta particles.

Prior to joining University of Sussex in 2013, Dr Barnett was a Post-Doctoral Research Associate in Space Projects and Instrumentation at the University of Leicester's world-renowned Space Research Centre (part of Dept. Physics and Astronomy), where she also obtained her PhD (without corrections) in 2012.  She was awarded the University of Leicester College of Science and Engineering 2012 PhD prize for Exceptional Merit in the Conduct and Outcome of Research, and also gave the 2013 University of Leicester Graduate School Doctoral Prize Inaugural Lecture shortly before joining University of Sussex.

Dr Barnett's research is currently funded by grants and awards from STFC, EPSRC, the Leverhulme Trust, University of Sussex, and numerous commercial organisations.