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Fulbright scholarship awarded to space weather researcher

A Fulbright Award - one of the best-regarded and impactful scholarship programmes in the world - has been awarded to Professor Sandra Chapman from the University of Warwick.sandra

Professor Chapman, from the Department of Physics, will be conducting research on space weather at Boston University in the USA, after receiving the Fulbright Lloyds of London Scholar Award.

The research will focus on how space weather impacts our planet – for example, power loss, aviation disruption, communication loss and disturbance to satellite systems.

Professor Chapman’s work will bring data analytics to the physics of space weather, using observations from satellites and ground based stations to quantify its risk and impacts.

Professor Chapman and the other 44 British grantees of the 2017-18 Fulbright cohort will celebrate their success at a reception hosted by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office on Thursday 6 July.

Commenting on receiving the Award, Professor Chapman said: “I am thrilled to have been given this opportunity by Lloyds of London and the Fulbright Commission to conduct important research in the USA. The effects of space weather on our planet and on our daily lives are becoming ever more important as our world become more interconnected – and my work will use novel methods to understand and mitigate its threats to us.”

Sandra Chapman is Professor of Physics at University of Warwick, UK. Sandra’s work is highly interdisciplinary and she has pioneered nonlinear and complex systems approaches in solar system and laboratory plasmas and more widely.

She read Physics on an Exhibition Scholarship to Imperial College, London and her PhD (also at Imperial College, 1985) was on the role of chaos in space weather. Early recognition came with a COSPAR Zeldovich Medal and EGS Young Scientists' Medal.

The Royal Astronomical Society awarded Sandra the 2014 James Dungey Lecture. She has held international personal research fellowships from PPARC, the Royal Society/Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, the Nuffield Foundation and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, among others. Sandra is also an artist who works to bridge the ‘arts- science divide’ and has held a NESTA Dreamtime fellowship – working as an artist with the British Antarctic Survey in Antarctica.

Earth’s near-space plasma environment is highly dynamic, with its own space weather which in our ever more highly networked world can result in power and aviation disruption, communication loss and disturbance to satellite systems. Sandra will spend her Lloyds of London-Fulbright scholarship year at the world class centre for space weather research at Boston University, and at other centres of excellence across the USA.

Penny Egan CBE, Executive Director, US-UK Fulbright Commission said: “The impact of the Fulbright programme can change the world. Our Fulbrighters will return to the UK having been exposed to different cultures, value systems and schools of thought. They will have the capacity to be more empathetic global citizens and be better prepared for collaboration across borders, between the US and the UK, and beyond.”

Amy Moore, Director of the Fulbright Awards Programme, added: “No greater example of the continued importance of international education can be found than in the determination and drive of our 2017-18 grantees. These students, academics and professionals have identified the relevance of intercultural cooperation to their careers. As Fulbright alumni and future leaders, they will be able to foster personal and professional connections between nations.”

The Fulbright Commission provides the only bi-lateral, transatlantic scholarship programme, offering Awards for study or research in any field, at any accredited US or UK university

The Commission selects scholars through a rigorous application and interview process, looking for academic excellence alongside a focused application, a range of extracurricular and community activities, demonstrated ambassadorial skills, a desire to further the Fulbright Programme and a plan to give back to the UK upon returning.

Typical grants include a maintenance allowance and/or a contribution towards tuition fees. Fulbright scholars receive administrative support and a cultural education programme including: visa processing, a comprehensive pre-departure orientation, enrichment opportunities in the USA, a re-entry session and access to a global alumni network.

Notes to Editors: Full details regarding the Awards, including the selection criteria, benefits and Awards categories, can be found on the Fulbright website.

About the US-UK Fulbright Commission: The US-UK Fulbright Commission was founded by diplomatic treaty in 1948, to foster intercultural understanding between the United States of America and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland through educational exchange.

The Fulbright Commission is part of the scholarship programme conceived by Senator J William Fulbright in the aftermath of World War II to promote leadership, learning and empathy between nations through educational exchange. Award recipients will be the leaders of tomorrow and support the special relationship between the US and UK.

The Commission continues to support Senator Fulbright’s vision through our scholarship and summer programmes, enabling British and American citizens to study, research or teach at universities on either side of the Atlantic.

There have been over 27,000 Fulbright exchanges between our two countries so far. Prominent alumni of the US-UK Fulbright programme include poet Sylvia Plath; politician Charles Kennedy; journalist, author and Fulbright Commissioner Toby Young; and the economist and Nobel Laureate Milton Friedman.

As part of the EducationUSA network, we also offer British students free, accurate, and comprehensive information about opportunities to study at accredited universities in the USA. We organise USA College Day, the largest US university fair in Europe. There are currently 11,600 British students at American universities.

Image: Professor Sandra Chapman (click image for high-res).

5 June 2017

Further information, contact:

Luke Walton, International Press Officer

+44 (0) 7824 540 863

+44 (0) 2476 150 868

L dot Walton dot 1 at warwick dot ac dot uk