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Dr. Nikos Nikiforakis

Dr. Nikos Nikiforakis

Reader in Computational Multiphysics

Fellow, College Teaching Officer and Director of Studies in Mathematics, Selwyn College

Room 3.106, Maxwell Centre,
Cavendish Laboratory,
JJ Thomson Avenue,

Cambridge CB3 0HE
Office Phone: +44 (0)1223 339841


Nikos Nikiforakis studied Aeronautical Engineering at the University of Manchester.  He received an MSc on Aerospace Propulsion and a PhD on the 'Evolution of Detonation Waves', (supervised by Professor J.F. Clarke FRS and Professor E.F. Toro OBE) from Cranfield Institute of Technology. He was a Post-Doctoral Research Associate at the Department of Chemistry, University of Cambridge, where he worked on building computational models for the simulation of global atmospheric flows (stratospheric ozone depletion over Northern Latitudes), with Professor J.A. Pyle FRS. From 1996 he was at the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, University of Cambridge, where he founded the Laboratory of Computational Dynamics (LCD).

Since 2008 he has been at the Cavendish Laboratory, where he is the Head of the Laboratory for Scientific Computing, the Director for Academic Programmes of the Centre for Scientific Computing, the Course Director of the MPhil in Scientific Computing and the Deputy Director of the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Computational Methods for Materials Science. He is a Fellow, College Teaching Officer and Director of Studies in Mathematics at Selwyn College, Cambridge.


Research groups

Scientific Computing:

Research Interests

Nikos's research interests are on the development and application of numerical algorithms and High Performance Computing methods for the simultaneous solution of the complex systems of nonlinear partial differential equations for the direct numerical simulation of four states of matter (Computational Multiphysics).

Using these advanced numerical tools has enabled research on topics of fundamental and applied physics, addressing multi-physics and multi-scale problems which were previously considered to be intractable.

This pure scientific knowledge has been successfully transferred into operational software for the benefit of industry and the economy, thus engaging several industrial partners from the UK and abroad. Nikos has research collaborations with several industrial partners and government laboratories including AWE, BP, Boeing, Jaguar Land Rover, QinetiQ, ORICA, Schlumberger and Singapore National Laboratories.


Key Publications

For a full list see:

Michael and N. Nikiforakis. 2018 "A multi-physics methodology for the simulation of the two-way interaction of reactive flow and elastoplastic structural response." Journal of Computational Physics, Volume 367, pp 1-27.

N. Gokhale, N. Nikiforakis, R. Klein 2018. “A dimensionally split Cartesian cut cell method for hyperbolic conservation laws”. Journal of Computational Physics Volume 364, pp 186–208.

A.R. Koblitz, S. Lovett, N. Nikiforakis. 2018. "Viscoplastic squeeze flow between two identical infinite circular cylinders". Physical Review Fluids 3, 023301.

Aspden, A., Nikiforakis, N., Bell, J., & Dalziel, S. (2017). Turbulent jets with off-source heating. Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 824, 766-784.

W.P. Bennett, N. Nikiforakis and R. Klein. 2016. “A Moving Boundary Flux Stabilization Method for Cartesian Cut-Cell Grids using Directional Operator Splitting”. Journal of Computational Physics Volume 368, 1 September 2018, Pages 333–358.

S. Schoch and N. Nikiforakis. 2014. "Numerical modelling of underwater detonation of non-ideal condensed-phase explosives." Physics of Fluids 27, 016101.

S. Lovett, F. Monmont and N. Nikiforakis 2014. "An experimentally-based in-situ combustion model with adaptive meshing", Combustion and Flame Volume 162, Issue 4, Pages 960–977.

P. Blakely, N. Nikiforakis, and W.D. Henshaw. 2014. "General Relativistic Hydrodynamics on Overlapping Curvilinear Grids." Astronomy & Astrophysics V575, A103.

"Developing the next-generation climate system models: challenges and achievements", Julia Slingo, Kevin Bates, Nikos Nikiforakis, Matthew Piggott, Malcolm Roberts, Len Shaffrey, Ian Stevens, Pier Luigi Vidale and Hilary Weller. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A 13 March 2009 vol. 367 no. 1890 815-831.

A.M.Anile, N.Nikiforakis, V.Romano, G.Russo, Discretization of semiconductor device problems. II, Handbook of numerical analysis. Vol. XIII, 443--522, North-Holland, Amsterdam, 2005. Handbook of numerical analysis. Vol. XIII, 443--522, North-Holland, Amsterdam, 2005.