An external view of the Met Office building at night.

Dr Richard Gilham

Current activities

Richard's main focus is on maximising the performance of weather and climate models to make best use of the Met Office's Supercomputers. Having started this role in Autumn 2016, Richard is working on enabling the Unified Model to run using different levels of precision. This has the potential to greatly reduce the computation expense of our weather and climate models whilst maintaining scientific accuracy.

Additionally, Richard has a long-standing passion for science communication, playing a key role in transforming how the Met Office communicates and celebrates its science.

Career background

Richard originally trained as a chemist, studying at the University of Birmingham. His PhD in computational chemistry focused on the optical properties of water microdroplets and molecular arrangements in water nanoclusters. Following this, he spent about 5 years at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) in London where he set up and ran a laboratory researching measurement of airborne nanoparticles and calibration of air quality instrumentation. Whilst at NPL he attained Chartered Chemist (CChem) and Scientist (CSci) status.

Richard joined the Met Office in 2010 with the Climate Consultancy team in the Met Office Hadley Centre. There he spent two years working on a wide range of projects investigating the impacts of climate change for a range of government and commercial customers. After a 3-month period working on aircraft-mounted aerosol instrumentation. From 2012 to 2016, Richard worked on various aspects of the land surface, contributing to improvements in the Joint UK Land Environment Simulator (JULES) and Unified Model.