Oxford Energy Colloquia

Tuesday, 30 January, 5pm  |  Energy from our nearest star: commissioning a solar mini-farm in rural southern India.

Speaker : Katherine Blundell

Energy is collected from our nearest star by day and stored as chemical energy, so that the observatory can safely be used to observe interesting stars by night. Katherine Blundell will describe how the commissioning and operation of a solar-mini farm powers an astronomical observatory at a school in rural southern India. She will illustrate its challenges, successes, and its impact on the impressionable teenagers at this Government of India school.


Katherine Blundell is a Professor of Astrophysics at the University of Oxford and a Research Fellow at St John’s College, Oxford. Prior to this she was one of the Royal Society’s University Research Fellows.  Her awards include a Philip Leverhulme Prize in Astrophysics, the Royal Society’s Rosalind Franklin Medal in 2010, the Institute of Physics Bragg Medal in 2012 and the Royal Astronomical Society’s Darwin Lectureship in 2015.  In the 2017 Queen’s Birthday Honours list she was appointed OBE.   Her research interests include extreme energy phenomena in the Universe, including black holes, astrophysical jets, relativistic plasmas, and active galaxies. She has founded the Global Jet Watch project to make round-the-clock observations of how matter behaves in the vicinity of black holes, with observatories established in schools in South Africa, Chile, India and Australia.   She has published a “Very Short Introduction to Black Holes”, a textbook with Stephen Blundell “Concepts in Thermal Physics”, and with Fraser Armstrong “Energy beyond Oil”.

Oxford Energy Network Colloquia Series

This event is part of the OEN Colloquia series held on Tuesday evenings at 5pm in term time at the Oxford University Centre for the Environment. Please sign up for the news and events notices here.


Slides of previous colloquia are available for download

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