I graduated from Edinburgh University in 1957, then PhD Cambridge, 1962. I have spent most of my academic career at the University of Cambridge, as a Fellow of Trinity College, but with a three-year break 1977-80 as Professor of Applied Mathematics at Bristol University. I am now Emeritus Professor of Mathematical Physics. I served as Director of the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences (1996-2001), and as President of the International Union of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics (IUTAM) from 2000-2004. I served on the Council of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) for thirteen years (2003-2016); and I continue to serve, as a Member-at-Large, on the General Assembly of IUTAM.

Research Interests

I continue to be interested and involved in all branches of fluid mechanics. My most recent papers, in collaboration with Yoshifumi Kimura, have been concerned with three-dimensional vortex interactions, approach to a finite-time singularity and vortex reconnection. My long-term interest has been in Dynamo Theory (the generation of magnetic fields in planets, stars and galaxies); my book "Self-Exciting Fluid Dynamos" in collaboration with Emmanuel Dormy (ENS, Paris) was published by CUP in 2019. This was an update and considerable expansion of my 1978 Monograph "Magnetic Field Generation in Electrically Conducting Fluids".

Membership Type

International Member

Election Year


Primary Section

Section 31: Engineering Sciences

Secondary Section

Section 32: Applied Mathematical Sciences