Paul Hammerton


  • 1.04 Sciences

Personal profile


Born in Derby in 1965 and attended John Port School Etwall. Studied Mathematics at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge 1983-90 with PhD on “Nonlinear Wave Propagation with Diffusion and Relaxation”, partly sponsored by Rolls-Royce and under the supervision of Professor David Crighton FRS. From 1990-1992 he worked with Prof Ed Kerschen at the Dept of AME, University of Arizona,  looking at Boundary Layer Receptivity,  funded by NASA Langley.  In 1993 worked as a visiting researcher at ICASE, NASA Langley, before returning to Cambridge as Fellow and Director of Studies at Christ’s College. Joined UEA in 1995. During time at UEA has also held visiting researcher posts at  University of Arizona, UNAM (Mexico City), and University of Western Australia.  Awarded University Prize for Teaching Excellence in 2003 and nominated for award in 2008 and 2011. Director of Admissions for School of Mathematics since 2007. Outreach activities include Christmas lectures and school outreach from 8 year-olds to 18 year-olds, both in UK and SE Asia. Interests include kayaking, cricket and following Derby County Football Club.

Follow this link for details of current PhD opportunities in Mathematics. But feel free to email me to discuss projects outside these areas and alternative sources of funding.

Areas of Expertise

Fluid mechanics; aerodynamics; boundary layers (fluid/air flow near solid surfaces); non-linear acoustics/sonic booms.


  • 1983-87 Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge, BA and Part III Mathenatics  
  • 1987-90  Gonville & Caius College & DAMTP, Cambridge, PhD
  • 1990-92  Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, University of Arizona, USA
  • 1993 Institute for Computer Applications to Science and Engineering (ICASE), NASA Langley
  • 1993-95  Christ’s College Cambridge, Fellow and Director of Studies
  • 1995-to date School of Mathematics, UEA

Key Research Interests

Nonlinear Acoustics

Research focussed on the propagation of sonic booms through a realistic atmosphere.

Atmospheric conditions modify the  ray path and the resulting shock rise-time and over-pressure.


Boundary-layer Receptivity

Interaction of free-stream disturbances with boundary layers, with particular relevance to laminar-turbulent transition on solid bodies.


Solitary surface waves

Long-wave length disturbances on surfaces, particularly in cases when presence of surfactant or electric field leads to interactive surface boundary layer.


Scattering Problems

Radar detection of land-mines and use of ultrasound in determining composition of colloids (relevant to food industry)


Main unifying thread of research is asymptotic analysis supplementing numerical results.

Teaching Interests

Teaching interests span whole range of Applied Mathematics from first lectures in Calculus, through optional courses in quantum mechanics and Lagrangian mechanics, to final year modules in mathematical techniques. Undergraduate and Masters projects have focussed on the application of fluid mechanics to fields such as musical instruments, golf, cycling and  kayak design.