Malcolm Coe is an Emeritus Professor of Astronomy at the University of Southampton. He originally trained as an astronomer at Imperial College, London University before winning an National Science Foundation Fellowship to NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Washington DC for several years. In summer 1979 he took up his current post at the University of Southampton, UK. In 1988 he won a Fulbright Scholarship to spend a sabbatical at Caltech, USA.
Throughout his time at Southampton he has played a significant and creative role in the education and outreach activities of the school. From 2005-2008 he was Head of the School of Physics & Astronomy at the University of Southampton, UK. During that time the school was rated at the highest level for research in the Research Assessment Exercise. He has played many major roles in school, perhaps most significantly, whilst Head, he helped persuade HEFCE to invest £12.5M in physics departments in the SE England.
For several years he was Senior Tutor in the department, supporting students with welfare issues, and in 2018 he won the Student Union award for the best pastoral support in the faculty. He is a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society.
In 2017 the International Astronomical Union named a Main Belt asteroid after him - 9015Coe.
- His PhD involved participating in the construction of the UK's first space-based X-ray telescope and, subsequently, analyzing data from that instrument.
- At NASA, and since, he worked with other space-based telescopes to investigate the Universe at extreme temperatures and gravities, exploring the boundaries of Einstein's theory of General Relativity.
- Since then he has also been a frequent user of international ground-based telescopes.
- He has a list of over 200 professional scientific publications in major journals and is a frequent speaker at international conferences.
He was responsible for creating the combined MPhys degree programme physics and astronomy, and for many years was programme leader for MPhys-with-Astronomy and MPhys Astrophysics-with a Year Abroad. He created the annual Tenerife Field Trip (now running for over 25 years) which won the Nuclear Electric Prize for the most innovative physics course. Subsequently he also set up the annual placement programme for the 5 best final-year astrophysics students at the Center for Astrophysics, Harvard University (now running for over 10 years).