Imperial College London


Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Earth Science & Engineering

Professorial Research Fellow



+44 (0)20 7594 9322c.pain




3.48Royal School of MinesSouth Kensington Campus





I am a Professor in the department of Earth Science and Engineering at Imperial College London (ICL), UK. I am also head of the Applied Computation and Modelling Group (AMCG), which is the largest department research group at ICL and comprises of about 70 research active scientists. AMCG specialises in the development and application of innovative and world leading modelling techniques for earth, engineering and biomedical sciences. The group has core research interests in numerical methods for ocean, atmosphere and climate systems, engineering fluids including multiphase flows, neutral particle radiation transport, coupled fluids-solids modelling with discrete element methods, turbulence modelling, inversion methods, imaging, and impact cratering. I was honoured by Imperial College London by winning its Research Excellence Award in 2010, in recognition my world-leading research.

I have authored over 121 journal publications (which have so far received 603 citations), 2 book chapters, 1 patent, graduated 30 PhD students and completed 40 industry and research council grants.

Career Highlights and Awards

  • Published 121 journal papers, 2 book chapters, 1 patent, and 2 published reports.
  • Graduated 30 PhD students.
  • Rector’s Award for Research Excellence 2010 – only one awarded at Imperial annually.
  • Rector’s Award for Research 2004.
  • Attracted more than 40 industry, research council and European grants.
  • Attracted over £13M in research funding over the last 10 years.
  • Was PI on the £2M NERC Ocean Modelling Consortium Grant (IC, NOCS, Oxford) won in 2005.
  • Chair and organiser of a number of conferences e.g. Ocean Modelling, Transport Theory and the Japanese Todai Forum 2010.

Top 10 Publications in past 10 years

Last 10 years (2002-2011)
98 articles  H-index: 16
Times Cited, no self-cit: 495

Last 5 years (2007-2011)
49 articles  H-index: 9
Times Cited, no self-cit: 129

All years
121 articles  H-index = 17
Average Citations per Item: 8.13

70+ Citations
Pain, C., Umpleby, A., de Oliveira, C. and Goddard, A. (2001). Tetrahedral mesh optimisation and adaptivity for steady-state and transient finite element calculations, Comput. Method Appl. M. 190: 3771–3796.

58+ Citations
Pain, C., Piggott, M., Goddard, A., Fang, F., Gorman, G., Marshall, D., Eaton, M., Power, P. and de Oliveira, C., (2005). Three-dimensional unstructured mesh ocean modelling. Ocean. Model. 10: 5–33.

47+ Citations
Pain, C.C., Mansoorzadeh, S. and de Oliveira, C.R.E. (2001). A study of bubbling and slugging fluidised beds using the two-fluid granular temperature model, International Journal of Multiphase Flow. 27: 527-551.

37+ Citations
Ford, R., Pain, C., Piggott, M., Goddard, A., de Oliveira, C. and Umpleby, A., (2004). A nonhydrostatic finite-element model for three-dimensional stratified oceanic flows. Part I: Model formulation. Mon. Weather. Rev. 132: 2816–2831.

32+ Citations
Zimmerman, R.W., Al-Yaarubi, A., Pain, C.C., et al. (2004). Nonlinear regimes of fluid flow in rock fractures. Int. J. ROCK Mech. Min. Sci. 2004. 41: 384-384.

28+ Citations each
Pain, C.C., Mansoorzadeh, S., Gomes, J.L.M.A., Oliveira, C.R.E. and Goddard, A.J.H. (2002) "A Numerical Investigation of Bubbling Gas-Solid Fluidized Bed Dynamics in 2-D Geometries". Powder Technology. 128: 56-77.

Sisavath, S., Al-Yaarubi, A., Pain, C.C., et al, (2003). A simple model for deviations from the cubic law for a fracture undergoing dilation or closure, Pure Appl Geophys. 160: 1009-1022.

Piggott, M.D., Pain, C.C., Gorman, G.J., et al, (2005). h, r, and hr adaptivity with applications in numerical ocean modelling. Ocean Modelling. 10: 95–113.

Piggott, M.D., Gorman, G.J., Pain, C.C., Allison, P.A., Candy, A.S., Martin, B.T. and Wells, M.R. (2008).. A new computational framework for multi-scale ocean modelling based on adapting unstructured meshes. International Journal for Numerical Methods in Fluids. 56:1003-1015.

26+ Citations
Ambraseys, S.B., England, N.N., Floyd, M.A., Gorman, G.J., Higham, T.F.G., Jackson, J.A., Nocquet, J-M., Pain, C.C. and Piggott, M.D. (2008). Eastern Mediterranean tectonics and tsunami hazard inferred from the AD 365 earthquake, Nature Geoscience. 1: 268-276.
A multi-disciplinary study encompassing archaeology, radiocarbon testing, tectonics and computational modelling.

Other Key Articles

Farrell, P.E., Piggott, M., Pain, C., Gorman, G.J., Wilson, C.R., (2009). Conservative interpolation between unstructured meshes v ia supermesh construction, Comp. Meth. Appl. Mech. Eng. 198: 2632-2642.
The ability to preserve conservation properties with mesh adaptivity was a major unsolved issue for the further development of adaptive mesh algorithms in earth system science simulation. This paper was the first to demonstrate a solution to this problem. The lead author was my PhD student who has been awarded/shortlisted for several prizes for this work.

Fang, F., Pain, C.C., Navon, I.M., Gorman, G.J., Piggott, M.D., and Allison, P.A. (2011). The independent set perturbation adjoint method: A new method of differentiating mesh-based fluids models. Int. Journal for Numerical Methods in Fluids. 66: 976-999.
Data assimilation (DA) techniques are extremely valuable in improving the predictability of modelling. However, application of efficient DA approaches are often hampered by the complex code required and high computational costs. A newly developed data assimilation formulation was developed and described in this paper to dramatically reduce the code complexity and increase maintainability. This provides a very simple approach for forming the adjoint of discrete forward models using a graph colouring approach combined with a perturbation method. Importantly, the adjoint is automatically updated as the forward code continues to be developed.




Salinas P, Pavlidis D, Xie Z, et al., A Discontinuous Control Volume Finite Element Method for Multi-Phase Flow in Heterogeneous Porous Media, Journal of Computational Physics, ISSN:0021-9991


Heaney CE, Buchan AG, Pain CC, et al., A reduced order model for criticality problems in reactor physics varyingcontrol rod settings, Proceedings of the 24 th UK Conference of the Association for Computational Mechanics in Engineering

Latham, Obeysekara, Xiang J, et al., Modelling hydro-geomechanical behaviour of fractured and fracturing rock masses: application to tunnel excavation-induced damage, Conferenze di Meccanica e Ingegneria delle Rocce

Salinas P, Pavlidis D, Xie Z, et al., A Double Control Volume Finite Element Method with Dynamic Unstructured Mesh Optimization, Reservoir SImulation Conference

Xiao D, fang F, pain C, et al., Non-intrusive Reduced Order Modelling of Waterflooding in Geologically Heterogeneous Reservoirs, ECMOR XV - 15th European Conference on the Mathematics of Oil Recovery

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