Prof. Malcolm Coe


Malcolm Coe is Professor of Astronomy at the University of Southampton. Malcolm trained as an astronomer at Imperial College, London University before moving to NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Washington DC for several years. In 1980 he took up a post at the University of Southampton, UK. His PhD involved participating in the construction of a space-based telescope and, subsequently, analyzing data from that instrument. At NASA, and since, he worked with other space-based telescopes to investigate the Universe at extreme temperatures and gravities, exploring the boundaries of Einstein's theory of General Relativity. Since then he has also been a frequent user of international ground-based telescopes. He has an impressive list of professional scientific publications in major journals and is a frequent speaker at international conferences.

In 1988 he won a Fulbright Scholarship to spend a sabbatical at Caltech, USA exploring the use of parallel-architecture computers for astronomical simulations. Subsequently he won a major research council grant to purchase a radically new parallel-architecture computer from Meiko Ltd, who also sponsored graduate students to work with the machine. As a result, such novel machines have since played a significant role in one thread of his research programme – astrophysical simulations.

From 2005-2008 he was Head of the School of Physics & Astronomy at the University of Southampton, UK. The school was rated at the highest level for research in the Research assessment Exercise. He has played many major roles in school, perhaps most significantly, whilst Head, he helped persuade HEFCE to invest £12.5M in physics departments in the SE England. Throughout his time at Southampton he has played a significant and creative role in the education and outreach activities of the school.