In addition to an academic’s usual contributions to research and teaching, I’m also the School’s Director of Teaching & Learning. This means having overall responsibility for managing the teaching of over one thousand students on our physics degree programmes at Manchester.
I also carry out a wide range of public engagement activities including extensive work with the media and events at Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre and elsewhere. I regularly contribute to national TV and radio news, commenting on topical space-related events, including a monthly space Q&A on BBC Radio 5 Live. I’m currently a vice-President of the Society for Popular Astronomy.
One of our current major public engagement projects is the bluedot festival – a celebration of music, science, technology and the arts. We are also working on a project to celebrate the heritage of Jodrell Bank in post-war science including the construction of a new gallery (part of the First Light project, part-funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund) and I was a co-author of the documents nominating the Observatory as a World Heritage Site submitted by the UK Government to UNESCO in Jan 2018.
You can contact me by email on tim.obrien at manchester.ac.uk or by Twitter.