School of Earth and Environment

Colin Hardy

Postgraduate Researcher

Email address:

Affiliation: Institute of Geophysics and Tectonics


I graduated from The University of Birmingham with an MSci in Theoretical Physics and Applied Mathematics, where my final year project was on 'Squeeze flow of a viscoelastic fluid'.
I am now a member of the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Fluid Dynamics, and conducted a Msc project researching 'Downdraughts in convective storms', before beginning my PhD.

Research Interests

A proper understanding of how the geomagnetic field is generated in Earth’s liquid outer core, by the geodynamo, remains one of the greatest outstanding problems in Earth science. I am interested in how from a mathematical standpoint, the outer core can be realistically modelled as a constrained dynamical system. I consider 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 are due to the core being stratified. 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, which may help explain fundamental features of the magnetic field inside the Earth’s core, such as why the Earth’s field is predominantly aligned with the rotation axis, and how the magnetic field undergoes global reversals.

Project details

Project title

Building a realistic model of Earth's magnetic field using constrained dynamics


Dr Phil Livermore

Dr Jitse Niesen