Colin Hardy

Colin Hardy

Email Address:

Phd Thesis title - Building a realistic model of Earth's magnetic field using constrained dynamics
Supervisors – Dr Phil Livermore and Dr Jitse Niesen


I graduated from The University of Birmingham with a First Class MSci in Theoretical Physics and Applied Mathematics. During the course I studied many fluid dynamics modules including; continuum mechanics, viscous fluid mechanics and nonlinear waves. My final year project focused on an analytic approach to studying the behaviour of Non-Newtonian fluids, with the specific focus being 'Squeeze flow of a viscoelastic fluid'. During my first year here I carried out a team Msc project researching 'Downdraughts in convective storms', my focus on was how source duration effects the resulting flow behaviour in the downdraught.

Research Interests

I am interested in the fluid dynamics in the outer core of the earth and how it leads to the geomagnetic field. From a mathematical standpoint, the outer core can be realistically modelled as a constrained dynamical system, so my PhD considers the Earth's outer core as evolving under the control of a system of constraints, there are the Taylor constraints which stem from the dominance of the rotational forces inside the core and the Malkus constraints which arise due to stratification. The aim of my PhD project is to exploit the combination of the Taylor and Malkus constraints to obtain a realistic model of the large-scale background structure of the internal magnetic field.

Why I chose the CDT in Fluid Dynamics

Coming from a mainly theoretical background I was keen for the opportunity to experience the experimental and computational study of fluid dynamics and develop skills in these new areas before undertaking a PhD, the first year allowed me to develop these skills and apply them during my Msc project. Also I found the extended process of selecting a PhD project to be very useful. I believe the chance to carry out some background reading and have several meetings with the potential supervisors to discuss the project, allows a more informed decision to be made.