The Baron Marcel Nicolet Medal 2016

Professor Mike Hapgood

Prof. Mike Hapgood is an excellent and internationally recognised expert in space weather. Specifically, he has effectively led various international projects on the impact of space weather phenomena on technological systems in space and on the Earth. He leads the UK Space Environment Impacts Expert Group that was established in 2010 with the objective to act as a source of advice on space weather and its impacts, and he is member of the project board, which oversees UK Government work to improve national resilience against space weather. He has written and published numerous papers and reports on these issues. Following an invitation from the journal Nature, he wrote a piece about the urgent need to improve our understanding of the occurrence rates of severe geomagnetic storms that was published in the Comments series and was intended to stimulate the debate on future research needs. In 2010 he was lead author on a 2010 report on space weather impacts on business. In 2013 he was co-authoring the report “Extreme space weather: impacts on engineered systems and infrastructure. In recognition of his many activities Mike Hapgood was awarded the Royal Astronomical Society Service Award in 2013. In 2015, he co-authored the report “Understanding space weather to shield society: A global road map for 2015-2025 commissioned by COSPAR and ILWS”. Furthermore, in early 2016 he was the first author of the report “Summary of space-weather worst-case environments”, a significant assessment of extreme space-weather impacts.

Mike’s scientific research ranges from the study of transient poleward-moving events in the ionosphere and in the tail lobe using coordinated space - ground-based instrumentation, to the study of how a solar storm propagated from the Sun to Venus. Mike Hapgood continues to be Project Scientist for the Joint Science Operations Centre (JSOC), which was built at RAL for the Cluster mission. He has taken advantage of coordinated observations to extract the maximum information attainable to perform scientific investigations and has worked with a large number of versatile data sets always bearing in mind whether the results could have space weather applications. He was and is Consortium Coordinator of the EU FP7 ESPAS (The Near-Earth Space Data Infrastructure for E-Science) project as the ESPAS service continues to be maintained following the end of the project.

Mike Hapgood is currently Head of the Space Environment Group at RAL Space at the Science and Technology Facilities Council, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory. He is also Honorary/Visiting Professor at Lancaster University, working with the Space Plasma Environment and Radio Science group. It should also be added that Mike Hapgood has held many community appointments, among which that of secretary (1998-2008) and later of vice-president (2008-2010) of the Royal Astronomical Society, Chair of Magnetosphere, Ionosphere and Solar-Terrestrial (MIST, 2011 - 2013), ESA Space Weather Working Team Chair (2006 - 2009), European Geosciences Union Treasurer (2002 - 2004), and European Geophysical Society Treasurer (1996 - 2004)