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Daniel Mitchard

Dr Daniel Mitchard


School of Engineering

+44 29208 74975
Queen's Buildings - East Building, Room E3.10, 5 The Parade, Newport Road, Cardiff, CF24 3AA
Available for postgraduate supervision


I am a Lecturer at Cardiff School of Engineering. I am a particle physicist with research interests in lightning, lightning phenomena, and lightning interactions with physics and engineering applications. I am based in the Lightning Laboratory, part of the Advanced High Voltage Research Centre, within the Electrical Engineering Department. My expertise is in the characterisation of high voltage and high current laboratory-generated lightning arcs and their interactions and related phenomena, using a variety of advanced optical, high-speed, schlieren and spectrographic techniques. My research is cross-disciplinary involving physics, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, chemistry and material science, and I work closely with other laboratories within the school of engineering, such as the Structural Performance Laboratory and the Wolfson Centre for Magnetics.

I am Head of Year 3 and a member of the Senior Teaching Committee, and Industrial Lead and member of the Industrial Board for the Mechanical Engineering Department. I teach Engineering Control and laboratories, as well as Matlab and Solidworks. I supervise a number of undergraduate and postgradute sudent projects each year in a variety of engineering fields, which also includes heritage engineering project via the National Museum of Wales.












Funded projects

Sep 23 - Jul 24: "Engage - Engineering Animations Engagement", CoI, Ingenious Awards.

Jun 23 - Aug 24: "Light-based instrumentation and sensors", PI, CU student internship

Jun 23 - Aug 24: "EDF exchange summer student", PI, EDF

Nov 22 - Mar 26: "Identification and qualification of C4F7N gas mixture arcing by-products and their implications for GIS operation", CoI, National Grid

Nov 22 - Oct 23: "Replicating stratospheric lightning phenomena (Jets) within the laboratory", PI, NERC

Oct 22 - Mar 26: "Development of ultra-high-speed image-based technology for the study of lightning and lightning interactions", PI, EPSRC DTP

Aug 20 - Jan 21: "Visiting academic", PI, University of Florida (suspended)

Jun 18 - Dec 18: "Physical, chemical, and biological impact of lightning strikes due to climate change", PI, GW4

Jun 18 - Sep 18: "Investigation into the stability of synchrotron end-station for nanoprobe beamline 14", Co-I, Diamond Light

May 18 - Jul 18: "Acoustic emission techniques for National Grid assets", Co-I, National Grid

Jan 17 - Dec 22: Lightning, an invisible driver of background tree mortality in the tropics. Co-I, NERC

Nov 16 - Nov 17: "Streak camera for high-speed spectral analysis of lightning". Co-I, RIF

Jan 15 - Dec/16: "Combined travel grants". Co-I, Sêr Cymru NRN

Jan 15 - Dec 16: "Dynamic capacitive sensor for the measurement of millimetre displacement of carbon composite panels: Application to aircraft materials subjected to lightning strikes". Co-I, Sêr Cymru NRN

Apr 15 - Mar 17: "Musculoskeletal research centre". Co-I, WEFO

Apr 14 - Jul 14: "GW4 initiator fund: lightning". Co-I, GW4 Initiator Fund

Jun 14 - Aug 14: "Optimisation of the Morgan-Botti Lightning Laboratory control and data acquisition system". Co-I, CUROP

Jun 13 - Dec 14: "Lightning effects on aerospace carbon composite materials, the next generation of materials and components". Manager/Specialist, WEFO A4B

Oct 13 - Sep 15: "Develop autonomous load cells through power management electronics, wireless communication and energy harvesting technologies for monitoring applications". Facilitator, KTP

Dec 2012 - Dec 14: "Business gateway, knowledge transfer centre extension". Co-I, WEFO

Aug 12: "Testing of rucksacks". Co-I, BCB International

Jun 12: "Impact strength testing and flow testing". Facilitator, Fuel Defend Global

Dec 09 - Dec 12: "Knowledge transfer centre". Manager/Specialist, WEFO A4B

Public Engagement

2021 - "Sprties, elves and jets: the mysterious world of lightning",  Scout's Cymru

2018 - "Me and my lightning machine", Hay Festival

2016 - "Lightning", The Nature of Things, CBC



4th Year / MSc Engineering Control
(Achieved 92% overall satisfaction and 95% on digital education in 2020/21)

2nd Year MatLAB

1st Year SolidWorks


2nd Year Thermodynamics


Career Overview

2021: Lecturer, Lightning Physics & Engineering
          Head of Year 3, Mechanical Engineering
          Industrial Lead, Mechanical Engineering

2019: Lecturer, Lightining Physics & Engineering
          Head of Year 3, Mechanical Engineering

2017: Research Fellow, Morgan-Botti Lightning Laboratory, and Teacher, Mechanical Engineering, School of Engineering, Cardiff University

2017: Research Fellow, Wolfson Centre for Magnetics, School of Engineering, Cardiff University

2015: Research Fellow, Morgan-Botti Lightning Laboratory, School of Engineering, Cardiff University

Education and Qualifications

2022: FHEA, Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

2008: CPhys, Chartered Physicist, Institute of Physics, London

2006: PhD, Particle Physics, Swansea University at CERN, Geneva

2002: MPhys, Master of Physics, Swansea University

Professional memberships

MInstP, Member of the Institute of Physics, Institute of Physics, London.

Academic positions

Oct 17 onwards: Research Fellow, Morgan-Botti Lightning Laboratory, and Lecturer, Mechanical Engineering, School of Engineering, Cardiff University

Apr 17 - Sep 17: Research Fellow, Wolfson Centre for Magnetics, School of Engineering, Cardiff University

Jan 15 - Mar 17: Research Fellow, Morgan-Botti Lightning Laboratory, School of Engineering, Cardiff University


Supervised Areas

Lightning, lightning phenomena and interactions, light-based / electromagnetic-based sensors and instrumentation, high-speed imaging, high voltage / high current.

Research Associates

2023: Phillip Lugg-Widger

PhD Students

2022 - 2026: Meirion Hills