Nigel leads Dynamics Research which is responsible for all aspects of the atmospheric dynamical core of the Met Office's Unified Model.
Areas of expertise:
Semi-implicit semi-Lagrangian numerical methods.
Coupling the physics and dynamics together.
Conservative semi-Lagrangian schemes, e.g. SLICE.
The deep-atmosphere non-hydrostatic governing dynamical equations.
Nigel co-ordinates the activities of Dynamics Research, which range from research to underpin future dynamical cores, through development of the next dynamical core to maintenance of the current one.
At the moment, Nigel's main activity is the development and testing of ENDGame. This dynamical core builds on the foundations of the current New dynamics and is a semi-implicit semi-Lagrangian discretization of the deep-atmosphere non-hydrostatic Euler equations. ENDGame aims to improve the stability and accuracy of the current dynamical core.
However, increasingly his focus is turning to alternative modelling strategies to design a dynamical core that can scale well on hundreds of thousands of processors while maintaining the good accuracy and stability of the ENDGame model Next Generation Atmospheric Dynamical Core for Weather and Climate. A particularly challenging aspect of this project will be the appropriate choice of underlying grid to eliminate the problems associated with the co-ordinate singularity of the current latitude-longitude grid. This work forms part of a significant collaboration between the Met Office, NERC and the Hartree Centre.
Nigel joined the Met Office in 1986, having just completed a degree in mathematics at Queens' College, Cambridge University. He was fortunate enough to then undertake a PhD, supervised jointly by Dr Paul Mason of the Met Office and Dr Alan Ibbetson of Reading University. The topic of his PhD was turbulent flow over three-dimensional hills, and the numerical model he developed as part of his PhD (BLASIUS) is still used within within the Flow Over Hills section of APP and elsewhere.
In 1995/96 Nigel spent six months at Météo-France, working on MESO-NH -their non-hydrostatic mesoscale model.
Nigel joined Dynamics Research in 1999 to help in both making the New Dynamics operational and documenting in detail all aspects of that dynamical core. The model became operational in 2002 and it was then that Nigel's attention turned to the research and development for what became ENDGame.
It was at this time that Nigel was awarded a Met Office Research Fellowship which he held until 2006 when he was appointed to his current role as Head of Dynamics Research.
Nigel has co-supervised five PhD theses and examined two others. He was an Ordinary Member of Council of the Royal Meteorological Society 2000-2003 and was Associate Editor of the Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society 2001-2005.