Imperial College London


Faculty of Natural SciencesDepartment of Mathematics

Professor of Computational Mathematics



+44 (0)20 7594 5003david.ham Website CV




753Huxley BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





Prof. Ham's research interests centre on the development and composition of high level abstractions for scientific computation, particularly geophysical fluids. His interests span computational and computer science and include both new numerical schemes and novel approaches to their implementation. 

Prof. Ham's most recent work is on differentiable abstractions for the generation of finite element models. He leads the Firedrake project and is an author of the dolfin-adjoint automated inverse simulation framework. The latter work was awarded the 2015 Wilkinson Prize for Numerical Software.


  • Professor of Computational Mathematics 2023-
  • Reader in Computational Mathematics 2020-2023
  • Senior lecturer, Imperial College 2016-2020
  • NERC Independent Research Fellow, Imperial College 2013-2018
  • Grantham Research Fellow, Imperial College 2009-2013
  • Research fellow, Imperial College 2008-2016
  • Research associate, Imperial College 2005-2008
  • Research assistant and PhD student, TU Delft, The Netherlands 2001-2005
  • BSc (Mathematics) and LLB, The Australian National University 1996-2003

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Rathgeber F, Ham DA, Mitchell L, et al., 2016, Firedrake: Automating the finite element method by composing abstractions, ACM Transactions on Mathematical Software, Vol:43, ISSN:0098-3500

Luporini F, Varbanescu AL, Rathgeber F, et al., 2015, Cross-Loop Optimization of Arithmetic Intensity for Finite Element Local Assembly, ACM Transactions on Architecture and Code Optimization, Vol:11, ISSN:1544-3566, Pages:1-25

Farrell PE, Ham DA, Funke SW, et al., 2013, Automated derivation of the adjoint of high-level transient finite element programs, SIAM Journal on Scientific Computing, Vol:35, ISSN:1064-8275, Pages:C369-C393

Rognes ME, Ham DA, Cotter CJ, et al., 2013, Automating the solution of PDEs on the sphere and other manifolds in FEniCS 1.2, Geoscientific Model Development, Vol:6, Pages:2099-2119

Markall GR, Slemmer A, Ham DA, et al., 2012, Finite element assembly strategies on multi- and many-core architectures, International Journal for Numerical Methods in Fluids

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