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

Collins G, Patel N, Davison T, et al., 2020, A steeply-inclined trajectory for the Chicxulub impact, Nature Communications, Vol:11, ISSN:2041-1723

Stickle AM, Bruck Syal M, Cheng AF, et al., 2020, Benchmarking impact hydrocodes in the strength regime: Implications for modeling deflection by a kinetic impactor, Icarus, Vol:338, ISSN:0019-1035, Pages:1-24

Erickson TM, Kirkland CL, Timms NE, et al., 2020, Precise radiometric age establishes Yarrabubba, Western Australia, as Earth’s oldest recognised meteorite impact structure, Nature Communications, Vol:11, ISSN:2041-1723, Pages:1-8

Raducan SD, Davison TM, Collins GS, 2020, The effects of asteroid layering on ejecta mass-velocity distribution and implications for impact momentum transfer, Planetary and Space Science, Vol:180, ISSN:0032-0633

Wakita S, Genda H, Kurosawa K, et al., 2019, Enhancement of impact heating in pressure-strengthened rocks in oblique impacts, Geophysical Research Letters, Vol:46, ISSN:0094-8276, Pages:13678-13686

Raducan SD, Davison TM, Luther R, et al., 2019, The role of asteroid strength, porosity and internal friction in impact momentum transfer, Icarus, Vol:329, ISSN:0019-1035, Pages:282-295

Lyons RJ, Bowling TJ, Ciesla FJ, et al., 2019, The effects of impacts on the cooling rates of iron meteorites, Meteoritics & Planetary Science, Vol:54, ISSN:1086-9379, Pages:1604-1618

Derrick JG, Rutherford ME, Chapman DJ, et al., 2019, Investigating shock processes in bimodal powder compaction through modelling and experiment at the mesoscale, International Journal of Solids and Structures, Vol:163, ISSN:0020-7683, Pages:211-219

Bowling TJ, Ciesla FJ, Davison TM, et al., 2019, Post-impact thermal structure and cooling timescales of Occator Crater on Asteroid 1 Ceres, Icarus, Vol:320, ISSN:0019-1035, Pages:110-118

Rae A, Collins G, Poelchau M, et al., 2019, Stress-strain evolution during peak-ring formation: a case study of the Chicxulub impact structure, Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, Vol:124, ISSN:2169-9097, Pages:396-417

Derrick J, LaJeunesse J, Davison T, et al., 2018, Mesoscale simulations of shock compaction of a granular ceramic: effects of mesostructure and mixed-cell strength treatment, Modelling and Simulation in Materials Science and Engineering, Vol:26, ISSN:0965-0393

Davison TM, Derrick JG, Collins GS, et al., 2017, Impact-induced compaction of primitive solar system solids: The need for mesoscale modelling and experiments, Procedia Engineering, Vol:204, ISSN:1877-7058, Pages:405-412

Muxworthy AR, Bland PA, Davison TM, et al., 2017, Evidence for an impact-induced magnetic fabric in Allende, and exogenous alternatives to the core dynamo theory for Allende magnetization, Meteoritics & Planetary Science, Vol:52, ISSN:1086-9379, Pages:2132-2146

Jourdan F, Timms NE, Eroglu E, et al., 2017, Collisional history of asteroid Itokawa, Geology, Vol:45, ISSN:1943-2682, Pages:819-822

Collins GS, Lynch E, McAdam R, et al., 2017, A numerical assessment of simple airblast models of impact airbursts, Meteoritics & Planetary Science, Vol:52, ISSN:1086-9379, Pages:1542-1560

Forman LV, Bland PA, Timms NE, et al., 2017, Defining the mechanism for compaction of the CV chondrite parent body, Geology, Vol:45, ISSN:1943-2682, Pages:559-562

Forman LV, Bland PA, Timms NE, et al., 2016, Hidden Secrets Of Deformation: Impact-Induced Compaction Within A CV Chondrite, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Vol:452, ISSN:0012-821X, Pages:133-145

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

Williams DA, O'Brien DP, Schenk PM, et al., 2014, Lobate and flow-like features on asteroid Vesta, Planetary and Space Science, Vol:103, ISSN:0032-0633, Pages:24-35

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

Collins GS, Elbeshausen D, Davison TM, et al., 2011, The size-frequency distribution of elliptical impact craters, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Vol:310, ISSN:0012-821X, Pages:1-8

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

Pierazzo E, Artemieva N, Asphaug E, et al., 2008, Validation of numerical codes for impact and explosion cratering: Impacts on strengthless and metal targets, Meteoritics & Planetary Science, Vol:43, ISSN:1086-9379, Pages:1917-1938

Davison T, Collins GS, 2007, The effect of the oceans on the terrestrial crater size-frequency distribution: Insight from numerical modeling, Meteoritics & Planetary Science, Vol:42, ISSN:1086-9379, Pages:1915-1927


Derrick J, Rutherford M, Davison T, et al., Interrogating Heterogeneous Compaction of Analogue Materials at the Mesoscale Through Numerical Modeling and Experiments, 20th Biennial Conference of the APS Topical Group on Shock Compression of Condensed Matter, AIP Publishing, ISSN:1551-7616

More Publications