Imperial College London


Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Earth Science & Engineering

Chair in Petroleum Engineering



+44 (0)20 7594 7362peter.king




1.40Royal School of MinesSouth Kensington Campus






  • 2000-present  Professor of Petroleum Engineering, Imperial College, London
  • 1982-2000     Senior Reservoir Engineer, BP Exploration plc., Sunbury-on-thames, Middlesex
  • 1979-1982     PhD, Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge University (Statistical mechanics of charged polymers in solution)
  • 1976-1979     BA Physics & Theoretical Physics, Cambridge University

After completing a PhD in theoretical statistical physics from Cambridge University in 1982 Professor Peter King spent 17 years with BP at their technology centre in Sunbury-on-Thames where he worked on a wide variety of subjects applying methods of mathematical physics to reservoir characterisation and modelling. In particular he developed a real space renormalisation approach to both single and two phase upscaling. In collaboration with the members of the Department of Physics at Boston University he has used percolation theory to estimate connectivity of sands as well as uncertainties in production from low to intermediate net-to-gross systems. He had also developed network models of pore scale flow and viscous fingering, object based methods for characterising reservoir heterogeneities. Again in conjunction with Boston University he worked on segregation in avalanches in granular materials as an explanation for the formation of crossbeds in Aeolian systems. Recently he has worked on applying stochastic search algorithms (simulated annealing and genetic algorithms) to optimising business decisions with particular interest to decision making in the presence of uncertainty. He joined the TH Huxley School at Imperial College in 2000.

Professor King is a Fellow of both the Institute of Physics (Chairman of the Theoretical Condensed Matter Physics sub-group from 1999) and the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications (having served on its Governing Council from 1991-1994). He is a Royal Academy of Engineering Visiting Professor in the Department of Engineering at Cambridge University and a Visiting Scholar in the Department of Physics at Boston University. He is a member of the Physics College of the EPSRC and has sat on a number of its advisory committees. He is a deputy editor of Petroleum Geoscience.

Recent Measures of Esteem

  • current - Fellow of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications; Fellow of the Institute of Physics; Chartered Mathematician, Physicist and Scientist; Royal Academy of Engineering Visiting Professor in the principles of engineering design at Cambridge
  • 2007 - Chair conference on ‘Complexity in the Oil Industry’ Natal, Brazil
  • 2004 - Chair International Review Committee, University of New South Wales, School of Petroleum Engineering

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

King, P.R., 1996, Upscaling permeability: Mathematics of renormalization, Transport in Porous Media, Vol:23, Pages:337-354

More Publications