Imperial College London


Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Earth Science & Engineering

Professor of Computational Geoscience and Engineering



m.d.piggott Website




4.82Royal School of MinesSouth Kensington Campus





See Google Scholar for recent papers 


  • Professor, 2016-date.
  • Head of the Computational Geoscience & Engineering research section, 2018-date.
  • Head of the Energy, Environment, Modelling & Minerals (E2M2) research section, 2014-2018.
  • Grantham Reader in Ocean Modelling,  2008-2016.
  • Imperial College Research Fellow,  2005-2008.
  • NERC Research Fellow, 2005-2008.
  • Postdoctoral Researcher, Dept. Earth Science and Engineering, Imperial College London, 2001-2005.
  • PhD Mathematics, University of Bath, 1998-2001.
  • MMath Mathematics (1st class), University of Bath, 1994-1998.

Recent Measures of Esteem

  • 2018: Co-I on renewed EPSRC Platform on Simulation Methods (EP/R029423/1)
  • 2018: PI on GCRF project collaborating with the Maldives.
  • 2018: Co-I on NERC project to study melting at Thwaites Glacier's grounding zone and its control on sea level (NE/S006427/1).
  • 2017: Co-I on EPSRC project on offshore wind turbine and array modelling (EP/R007470/1).
  • 2016: PI on two EPSRC Impact Acceleration awards on coastal ocean modelling and tidal power lagoons.
  • 2015: PI on two eCSE awards: "Delivering a step-change in performance and functionality to the Fluidity shallow water solver through code generation" and "Integrating mesh movement ('r'-adaptive) technology within Fluidity and the PRAgMaTIc parallel anisotropic ('h') adaptive mesh toolkit".
  • 2014: PI on EPSRC Software for the Future II grant (EP/M011054/1) "A new simulation and optimisation platform for marine technology" joint with Oxford and Edinburgh Universities.
  • 2014: Deputy director of NERC Doctoral Training Partnership "Science and Solutions for a Changing Planet" funding 75 PhD studentships over 5 years.
  • 2013: Award of £1.3M EPSRC Platform grant (EP/L000407/1) in "Underpinning Technologies for Finite Element Simulation". 
  • 2012: Lead of hydrodynamics work package on £1M EPSRC project (EP/J010065/1) on the environmental impacts of wave and tidal renewable energy farms as part of the UK Centre for Marine Energy Research.
  • 2012: Lead of modelling work package (NE/K000047/1) in the £2.3M NERC Consortium project "Will Climate Change in the Arctic increase the landslide-tsunami risk to the UK?"
  • 2012: NERC funded project (NE/J015938/1) to collaborate with China on multi-scale ocean modelling.
  • 2010: EPSRC project on regional ocean modelling.
  • 2010: NERC project funded on ocean circulation under floating ice shelves - joint with BAS, Cambridge.
  • 2010: NERC project funded on multi-scale environmental modelling - joint with Department of Geography, University of Cambridge.

Research Interests

Current research involves: computational fluid dynamics; geophysical fluid dynamics; coastal and global ocean modelling; marine renewable energy; geohazards including landslides and tsunamis; adjoint based optimisation methods; anisotropic mesh adaptivity algorithms; moving mesh methods; a priori and a posteriori error measures; mixed and stabilised finite elements for advection dominated flows; high-resolution transport schemes; conservation; turbulence and subgrid-scale modelling; mesh generation; comparisons between computational codes and laboratory experiments; coupling of numerical models.


Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Funke SW, Farrell PE, Piggott MD, 2014, Tidal turbine array optimisation using the adjoint approach, Renewable Energy, Vol:63, ISSN:0960-1481, Pages:658-673

Hiester HR, Piggott MD, Farrell PE, et al., 2014, Assessment of spurious mixing in adaptive mesh simulations of the two-dimensional lock-exchange, Ocean Modelling, Vol:73, ISSN:1463-5003, Pages:30-44

Kimura S, Candy AS, Holland PR, et al., 2013, Adaptation of an unstructured-mesh, finite-element ocean model to the simulation of ocean circulation beneath ice shelves, Ocean Modelling, Vol:67, ISSN:1463-5003, Pages:39-51

Oishi Y, Piggott MD, Maeda T, et al., 2013, Three-dimensional tsunami propagation simulations using an unstructured mesh finite element model, Journal of Geophysical Research-solid Earth, Vol:118, ISSN:2169-9313, Pages:2998-3018

Jacobs CT, Collins GS, Piggott MD, et al., 2013, Multiphase flow modelling of volcanic ash particle settling in water using adaptive unstructured meshes, Geophysical Journal International, Vol:192, ISSN:0956-540X, Pages:647-665

Funke SW, Pain CC, Kramer SC, et al., 2011, A wetting and drying algorithm with a combined pressure/free-surface formulation for non-hydrostatic models, Advances in Water Resources, Vol:34, ISSN:0309-1708, Pages:1483-1495

Maddison JR, Marshall DP, Pain CC, et al., 2011, Accurate representation of geostrophic and hydrostatic balance in unstructured mesh finite element ocean modelling, Ocean Modelling, Vol:39, ISSN:1463-5003, Pages:248-261

Slingo J, Bates K, Nikiforakis N, et al., 2009, Developing the next-generation climate system models: challenges and achievements, Royal Society of London. Philosophical Transactions A. Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, Vol:367, ISSN:1364-503X, Pages:815-831

Shaw B, Ambraseys NN, England PC, et al., 2008, Eastern Mediterranean tectonics and tsunami hazard inferred from the AD 365 earthquake, Nature Geoscience, Vol:1, ISSN:1752-0894, Pages:268-276

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