I try to understand how Nature works by inventing models which are slightly too difficult to tackle analytically. I mainly work in condensed matter physics, especially materials under extreme conditions, e.g. high pressure, rapid shearing or radiation damage. From 2017, my main focus (read: funding) is a large ERC project "Hecate" on the study of high pressure hydrogen. The alloy work finds application in advanced steels and titanium alloys. I also foray into complex systems, soft condensed matter, economics, ecosystems and the evolution of societies and antimalarial drug supply chains. Publications and more details are on my official University page

Teaching and Recreation

I teach thermodynamics and quantum mechanics, I amuse myself writing poultry-themed or surprising physics problems and am an honorary member of the Edinburgh University orienteering club.


I trained in physics & theoretical physics at Oxford University, then took a PhD in Interatomic Potentials and Radiation Damage sponsored by AERE After two years at University of Pennsylvania , I joined the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Edinburgh in 1990, where I hold a personal chair in Computer Simulation. I became a Fulbright Distinguished Scholar in 2001, and FRSE in 2007, and hold a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award. I was Head of Condensed Matter Physics until 2014. I currently hold an ERC advanced grant: HECATE - "Hydrogen at exterme conditions, allying theory and Experiment", and am starting a company MacDAC to sell Diamond Anvil Cells.

Covid Research

In March 2020 I became involve with the Royal Society the RAMP initiative. In particular reengineering and reinvestigating the Imperial College code. This work was briefly in the news . I have an ongoing project to make the various epidemiological codes more usable by non-experts.