An external view of the Met Office building at night.

Dr Matthew Hort

Areas of expertise

  • Dispersion for emergency response applications
  • Dispersion around buildings and in urban environments
  • Radiological and volcanic ash dispersion modelling

My Publications - Hort, M

Current activities

Matt manages the Atmospheric Dispersion and Air Quality Team. The Team's focus is on research in the field of atmospheric dispersion and composition.  This includes the development and application of the Met Office's Met Office Dispersion Model (NAME) for emergency response events including industrial fires, the spread of animal diseases, nuclear accidents and volcanic eruptions, and the development of air quality forecasting and modelling in the Met Office's Unified Model.

Career background

Matt joined the Met Office in 1999. He began by developing and writing code for Met Office Dispersion Model including work on modelling the flow around isolated buildings and small scale terrain. He later moved on to the application of dispersion modelling for operational emergency response activities (e.g., radiological accidents, nuclear explosions, volcanic eruptions, industrial accidents) and was responsible for supporting and developing the capability of the Met Office 24/7 Environmental Monitoring and Response Centre (EMARC).

In 2009 he became the manager of the Atmospheric Dispersion Research and Response Group.  The focus of the group's work is the use of the Met Office Dispersion Model for emergency response applications ranging in scale from releases in the urban environment to nuclear disasters and volcanic eruptions. This work is essential to the activities of, and requires collaboration with, many UK and international organisations.  Matt became the Head of the Atmospheric Dispersion and Air Quality Team in 2013.

Prior to joining the Met Office, Matt worked as a researcher within ENFLO at the University of Surrey, carrying out wind tunnel studies looking at the dispersion of gaseous emissions around petrochemical storage facilities. Before this, Matt completed a PhD within the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of Surrey on direct numerical simulations of transient natural convection within horizontal cylindrical enclosures.

External recognition

  • Chairman of the UK Atmospheric Dispersion Modelling Liaison Committee (ADMLC)
  • Member of the WMO Volcanic Ash Scientific Advisory Group
  • Member of several UK government scientific advisory groups on the application of dispersion modelling for emergency response activities