Meet Dr Brian Shortt

Applied Physicist


Brian Shortt works as an Applied Physicist with the European Space Agency (ESA) and his job, according to Brian's words, is a rewarding and interesting mixture of science, technology, and management.

Brian entered the Science faculty at the Maynooth University, Ireland, in 1992. The main subjects he had to take were Experimental Physics, Mathematical Physics, Chemistry and Maths. In 1996 he graduated with a Double Honours Degree in Experimental Physics and Mathematical Physics. His decision to remain at Maynooth University and undertake a Ph.D. in Experimental Physics was an extremely positive experience.

In 2001 after graduating with the Ph.D., Brian moved to the United States to work at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). He worked on exciting projects for ground and space application. One of the projects on the development of instrumentation was focusing on how to measure the quality of the air breathed by the astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS). This instrumentation is now working on the ISS.

After leaving the US, he worked in academia as a researcher and lecturer and also in the commercial space industry on the design of future science missions and their instruments. This has led Brian to his current position at ESA where he works on the development of enabling technologies for the next generation of European space science missions.

Brian says that his career in science has given him the chance to travel and live in different countries, to work with people from many cultures and backgrounds, to explore the workings of the world we live in and make a small contribution to science and technology. 

Dr Brian Shortt
Place of job
European Space Agency (ESA), the Netherlands
Applied Physicist
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