An external view of the Met Office building at night.

Dr Steven Sandbach

Area of expertise

  • Next Generation Data Assimilation software
  • Numerical modelling
  • Dynamics

Current activities

Steve works within the Next Generation Modelling System team and in particular on the Data Assimilation software. This work is being conducted in collaboration with the Joint Center for Satellite Data Assimilation (JCSDA) under the JEDI (Joint Effort for Data assimilation Integration) project and framework. Steve is mainly involved on the model interfacing aspects which includes the current UM (Unified Model) and next generation LFRic atmospheric models.

Steve is also involved in developing part of the current Data Assimilation system: the OPS (Observation Processing System) which is used operationally to process upto 100 million observations per day. The OPS ensures only the most suitable observational data is ingested into the modelling system resulting in the best possible forecast. An important aspect of this processing is comparison with current atmospheric conditions provided by the UM. Steve has worked on optimising access to these fields which has permitted processing of higher temporal and spatial resolutions resulting in improved forecast skill.

Career background

Steve studied Aerospace Engineering (MEng), Fluid Mechanics (MSc) and Engineering (PhD) at the University of Manchester. His PhD focused on developing mathematical models for buoyancy-driven ventilation flows.

After his PhD, he worked as a NERC funded associate research fellow (2007-2013) at the Universities of LeedsDurham and Exeter on projects investigating hydrodynamics and sedimentology of: river bifurcations, large river dynamics (Parana) and tidally influence rivers (Columbia).

Following this, he remained at the University of Exeter to work on the ICOMEX project. This was an international collaborative project which aimed to identify and address issues related to global climate models in the exascale computing era. In this part of the project, he worked with Prof. John Thuburn to implement and test a semi-implicit solver in MPAS - a non-hydrostatic atmospheric model on an icosahedral grid.

Steve joined the Met Office in 2015.