Prof Mike Kosch was born and raised in Durban where he also achieved his BSc Electronic Engineering in 1984 and PhD in Space Physics in 1991 following a life-changing experience over-wintering at the SANAE Antarctic research station 1984-1986. He was based for over 2 decades in Europe, first as a postdoc and scientist at the Max-Planck Institute in Germany during the 1990s and then as a lecturer, professor of Experimental Space Science and faculty research Dean at Lancaster University in the UK during the 2000s. He has held research fellowships in Australia, twice Japan and twice USA as well as many research visits to Norway.
Since 2014, he is the chief scientist at SANSA in Hermanus, managing the Space Research and Applications group including the Space Weather Unit. He also co-directs EnviroVision Solutions, a spin-out company with >100 employees and international operations. His research has focussed mainly on auroral physics and the electrodynamics of the polar upper-atmosphere, primarily using night-vision optics and incoherent scatter radar, as well as experimental plasma physics using high-power radio waves beamed into the ionosphere as a natural laboratory. He has led many experiments at major international facilities, e.g. EISCAT in Scandinavia, HAARP in Alaska and Sura in Russia. To support the experimental research, he owns and operates 2 optical observatories in Norway and assembles bespoke optical instruments. He also has instrumentation located in Antarctica. He has published over 150 papers in international peer-reviewed journals.