Bill Chaplin is currently head of the Solar & Stellar Physics Research group and Deputy Head of the School of Physics and Astronomy at Birmingham. His research is focused on using observations of the natural oscillations of the Sun (helioseismology) and other stars (asteroseismology) to further our understanding of stellar evolution theory, the solar cycle and stellar variability more generally; and to use asteroseismology to characterise the Sun-like and red-giant hosts of newly discovered exoplanet systems. His group runs the Birmingham Solar-Oscillations Network (BiSON), an automated global network of helioseismology telescopes. He holds leadership roles associated with the asteroseismology programmes of the NASA Kepler and TESS Missions, and the ESA PLATO Mission.
He took his undergraduate degree and PhD at Birmingham, where for the latter he worked on collecting and analysing high-precision radial velocity data on cool stars. His focus switched soon after to helioseismology and the study of the Sun. After completing a European Space Agency research fellowship at ESTEC in the Netherlands, he returned to Birmingham to take up a permanent academic position. With the advent of a new generation of satellite missions and telescopes, his research objectives widened once more to include other cool stars, and a strong overlap with the exoplanet field.
He has served on various committees and advisory panels. He currently chairs two UK Space Agency Committees, the Solar Missions Post Launch Support Committee and Solar Orbiter Programme Management Board, is a core member of the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) Science Board, and is an elected member of the Council of the Royal Astronomical Society. He was awarded the Royal Astronomical Society Harold Jeffery’s Lectureship in 2012.