Imperial College London

Dr Thomas M Davison

Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Earth Science & Engineering

Research Fellow



+44 (0)20 7594 2019thomas.davison Website CV




4.94Royal School of MinesSouth Kensington Campus





  • Research Fellow, Department of Earth Science and Engineering, Imperial College London, 2018-present
  • Research Associate, Department of Earth Science and Engineering, Imperial College London, 2013-2018
  • Arthur H. Compton Lecturer, Enrico Fermi Institute, University of Chicago, 2012
  • Postdoctoral Research Scholar, Department of the Geophysical Sciences, University of Chicago, 2011-2013
  • PhD: Numerical modelling of heat generation in porous planetesimal collisions, Department of Earth Science and Engineering, Imperial College London, 2007-2010
  • MSci (Hons): Geology and Geophysics, Department of Earth Science and Engineering, Imperial College London, 2002-2006

Research Interests

My research interests focus on early Solar System processes. I aim to understand the evolution of the first solid bodies that formed around our Sun. These bodies, called planetesimals, were the building blocks of planets; those that remain in the Solar System today are known as asteroids. In my research, I use numerical models to quantify the collateral effects of hypervelocity collisions between planetesimals on their thermal and compaction histories. Projects that I am interested in include:

  • Simulations of collisions between self-gravitating porous planetesimals and the subsequent evolution of the thermal signatures left by impacts
  • Monte Carlo modelling to estimate the early impact histories of meteorite parent bodies
  • Mesoscale numerical modelling of compaction in primitive Solar System materials
  • Investigation of the effects of impact angle and target curvature upon cratering processes, including impact heating and crater morphology
  • Validation of the iSALE and iSALE3D hydrocodes against laboratory experiments
  • Numerical modelling of impacts into the oceans to determine the effect of the water depth on crater size and morphology

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Davison TM, Collins G, Bland P, 2016, Mesoscale Modeling Of Impact Compaction Of Primitive Solar System Solids, Astrophysical Journal, Vol:821, ISSN:1538-4357

Bland PA, Collins GS, Davison TM, et al., 2014, Pressure-temperature evolution of primordial solar system solids during impact-induced compaction, Nature Communications, Vol:5, ISSN:2041-1723

Davison TM, Cielsa FJ, Collins GS, et al., 2014, The effect of impact obliquity on shock heating in planetesimal collisions, Meteoritics & Planetary Science, Vol:49, ISSN:1086-9379, Pages:2252-2265

Ciesla FJ, Davison TM, Collins GS, et al., 2013, Thermal consequences of impacts in the early Solar System., Meteoritics & Planetary Science, Vol:48, ISSN:1086-9379, Pages:2559-2567

Davison TM, O'Brien DP, Ciesla FJ, et al., 2013, The early impact histories of meteorite parent bodies, Meteoritics & Planetary Science, Vol:48, ISSN:1086-9379, Pages:1894-1918

Davison TM, Ciesla FJ, Collins GS, 2012, Post-Impact Thermal Evolution of Porous Planetesimals, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, Vol:95, ISSN:0016-7037, Pages:252-269

Davison TM, Collins GS, Elbeshausen D, et al., 2011, Numerical modeling of oblique hypervelocity impacts on strong ductile targets, Meteoritics & Planetary Science, Vol:46, ISSN:1086-9379, Pages:1510-1524

Davison TM, Collins GS, Ciesla FJ, 2010, Numerical modelling of heating in porous planetesimal collisions, Icarus, Vol:208, ISSN:0019-1035, Pages:468-481

More Publications