Professor Mark Burchell

Dean of Sciences, Professor of Space Science

Current Research Interests

Hypervelocity impacts on rock, sand, ices, and water to simulate impact events in the Solar System. Cratering, survival of projectile material, catastrophic disruption of targets are all studied. Survival against shock of material of astrobiological interest is also relevant.


Photograph showing the catastrophic disruption of the target that occurred moments after the impact.



PhD Physics, Imperial College London 1986

BSc 1st Class, Physics, Birmingham 1981.

Past Research Experience/Projects

2010 – 2021: Dean of Sciences, University of Kent (UK) 

1993 – Present: Permanent Faculty member at University of Kent (UK), (1993 as Lecturer, 2000 as Senior Lecturer, 2002 as Reader and since 2007 as Professor of Space Science)

1984 – 1993: Postdoctoral experience: Imperial College London (1984 – 1986), Univ. of California Santa Cruz (1986 – 1989), CERN Fellow (1989 – 1992).


Recent Publications

  1. Wozniakiewicz P.J., Kearsley A.T.K., Burchell M.J., Price M.C., Ishii H.A., Cole M.J.,   Preparation of large aluminium Stardust craters for analysis. Meteoritics and Planetary Science 53, 1066 – 1080, 2018. Gold Open Access
  2. Wickham-Eade JE, Burchell MJ, Price MC, Harriss KH. Hypervelocity Impact Fragmentation of Basalt and Shale Projectiles. Icarus 311, 52 – 68, 2018. Gold Open Access
  3. Hicks L.J., MacArthur J.L., Bridges J.C., Wickham-Eade J.E., Price M.C., Burchell M.J., Hansford G.M., Butterworth A.L., Gurman S.J., Baker S.H. Magnetitite in Comet Wild 2; Evidence for parent body aqueous alteration. Meteoritics and Planetary Science 52, 2075 – 2096, 2017. Gold Open Access
  4. Harriss K.M., Burchell M.J. Hypervelocity impacts into ice crust targets: investigating the effects of ice crust thickness and subsurface density on crater morphology. Meteoritics and Planetary Science52, 1505 – 1522, 2017. Gold Open Access
  5. Morris A.J.W., Burchell M.J., Laboratory tests of catastrophic disruption of rotating bodies. Icarus 296, 91 – 98, 2017.  Gold open access
  6. Burchell M.J., Harriss K.H., Price M.C., Yolland L. Survival of fossilised Diatoms and Forams in Hypervelocity Impacts with Peak Shock Pressures in the 1 – 19 GPA Range. Icarus 290, 81 – 88, 2017. Gold open access
  7. Robert Corsaro, Frank Giovane, Jer-Chyi Liou, Mark Burchell, Michael Cole, Earl Williams, Nicholas Lagakos, Albert Sadilek, and Christopher Anderson. Characterization of space dust using acoustic impact detection. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 140(2), 1429-1438, 2016
  8. Harriss K., Burchell M.J. A study of the observed shift in the peak position of olivine Raman spectra as a result of shock induced by hypervelocity impacts. Meteoritics and Planetary Science, 51, 1289 – 1300, 2016.
  9. Leliwa-Kopystyński J., Włodarczyk I., Burchell M.J. Analytical model of impact disruption of satellites and asteroids. Icarus 268, 266 – 280, 2016.
  10. McDermott K.H., Price M.C., Cole M., and Burchell M.J. Survivability of copper projectiles during hypervelocity impacts in porous ice: A laboratory investigation of the survivability of projectiles impacting comets or similar bodies. Icarus 268, 102 – 117, 2016. Gold open access