About me

me2016I’m a Professor of Astrophysics in the School of Physics & Astronomy at The University of Manchester and Associate Director of Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics.

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.