Dr. Sean Elvidge PhD

Dr. Sean Elvidge

Department of Electronic, Electrical and Systems Engineering
Postdoctoral Fellow

Contact details

School of Engineering
Gisbert Kapp Building
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Sean Elvidge is a Postdoctoral fellow in the Space Environment and Radio Engineering (SERENE) group in the School of Engineering.

Space weather events are one of the major risks facing society as it becomes increasingly dependent on technology. Sean's research is focused on using innovative mathematical methods to create the next generation space weather forecast models. He was selected for the inaugural Forbes Europe 30 Under 30 list in the Science and Healthcare category.

Sean is a passionate communicator of science on a range of topics. He frequently gives talks to groups and schools across the country, reaching over 900 people a year. He also advises local BBC radio on stories in astronomy. 


Postdoctoral Fellow

  • PhD in ionospheric modelling, University of Birmingham, 2014
  • MSci (Hons) in Mathematics, University of Birmingham, 2011


Sean Elvidge qualified with a MSci (Hons) in Mathematics from the University of Birmingham in 2011. His masters project investigated complex reflection groups. During his undergraduate degree he was also a keen member of the University Astronomical Society which inspired him to shift his focus for his PhD. He studied for a PhD in ionospheric modelling in the School of Engineering, graduating in 2014. During his PhD Sean won a Fellowship to work at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) in the USA.

Sean started his current position as a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Space Environment and Radio Engineering (SERENE) group at the University of Birmingham straight after his PhD. In 2016 he was named on the inaugural Forbes Europe 30 Under 30 list in the Science and Healthcare category.


Engineering Mathematics 1


Sean's research is focused on two main themes: ionospheric/thermospheric forecasting and model validation.

For forecasting Sean is developing new models to produce accurate and actionable forecasts of the ionosphere and thermosphere (regions of the Earth's upper atmosphere). These forecasts could be used by space weather operational centres to help protect critical systems.

Sean also uses robust statistical techniques for model comparison and validation. A number of approaches to modelling the ionospheric system are applied across the globe and comparisons between them are vital to understand the different approaches. Sean leads an international collaboration effort to compare and contrast the existing world leading models. Validation is also crucial in understanding the strengths and weaknesses of models before they can be applied to operational centres.

Other activities

  • Federation of Astronomical Societies (FAS): Council Member (2013 – Present)
  • Villiers Park Educational Trust: Tutor & Mentor (2012 - Present)


Selected Publications:

Elvidge, S., Godinez, H. C. and Angling, M. J. (2016), Improved Forecasting of Thermospheric Densities using Multi-Model Ensembles, Geosci. Model Dev.

Elvidge, S. and M. J. Angling (2015), A Review of Statistical Techniques Used for Ionospheric Model Validation, 12th European Space Weather Week.

Elvidge, S., M. J. Angling, and B. Nava (2014), On the use of modified Taylor diagrams to compare ionospheric assimilation models, Radio Sci., 49, 737–745.

McNamara, L. F., M. J. Angling, S. Elvidge, S. V Fridman, M. A. Hausman, L. J. Nickisch and L.-A. McKinnell (2013), Assimilation procedures for updating ionospheric profiles below the F2 peak, Radio Sci., 48, 143–157.