Island man’s cosmic success

At the age of just 38, Dr Thomas Kitching (Tom) has been appointed as Professor of Astro Physics at University College London.

Now living in Buckinghamshire with his wife Michelle and their young daughter Matilda, Tom was educated on the Island at Shanklin CE Primary, Lake Middle and Sandown High Schools.

He is a recognised international expert in the fields of cosmology and dark energy, and one of four science leads in Euclid, a flagship £1.5bn programme by the European Space Agency. He is the only British scientist at this level on the project, which is based on research Tom has pioneered. Throughout his career he has sought to train the next generation of scientists and believes that scientists have a duty to communicate their research to the public.

His father David said: “Tom’s success shows that there is no limit to what you can achieve with hard work and determination.” He attributes Tom’s interest in cosmology to some old books on Astronomy from his own childhood which were in the house and Tom read avidly. He added: “From an early age he had an interest in everything. He was very quick to learn mathematics and his knowledge was beyond mine by the time he was 10.”

David originally hails from St Helen’s and Tom’s mother Jenny from Bembridge, although three years ago they moved to Lee on Solent. Grandparents Fred (97) and Maisie (87) still live in Ryde.

David finished by saying “This is a very proud Dad moment.”