Between 2003 and 2005 Richard worked on the effects of radiation and dust on detectors, the associated impact on ESA’s GAIA mission and development of CCDs for next generation X-ray observatories. In 2006 Richard became the UK Technical Lead for the ExoMars X-ray Diffraction instrument MARS-XRD and was responsible for the development of the X-ray focal plane for the MARS-XRD instrument. Since 2008 he has been leading the development of radioisotope thermoelectric generators, heater units and novel radioisotope containment systems for space nuclear power applications. Richard is also the Course Director for the MSc in Space Exploration Systems offered by the Department of Physics and Astronomy. Neutron imaging instruments based on amorphous silicon/microchannel plate detectors as well as CCD-scintillator coupled systems are still part of his portfolio of research projects.
Research interests include the development of instrumentation and detector systems for gamma ray, X-ray, neutron detection and spectroscopy for planetary science and terrestrial applications. Exploiting the interaction of high-energy cosmic ray and solar radiation with planetary surfaces for planetary science is of particular interest as is the impact of the space environment on the performance of detector systems. Recently Richard has been leading the development of space nuclear power systems and in particular radioisotope thermoelectric generators, heater units and novel radioisotope containment systems. Richard has a specific interest in the lifecycle of research projects from concept to deployment.