Computational Modelling Group

Dr. Ian Hawke

Mathematics (FSHS)
Complete this online contact form to contact Ian.

Ian is a lecturer in the Relativity and Gravitation group within Mathematical Sciences. He joined Southampton after a PhD at DAMTP, Cambridge, and post-doctoral work at the Albert-Einstein Institute in Potsdam, Germany.

Research Interests

His research interests focus on numerical simulations in full General Relativity, particularly nonlinear calculations predicting the gravitational wave signals that might be observed by detectors such as LIGO, and that typically result from the collapse and merger of massive objects such as neutron stars.

The physics required to study neutron stars includes the flow of fluids at extreme velocity, the behaviour of the elastic solids at very high pressures that result in neutron star crusts, their interaction with complex magnetic fields, and the effect of multiple particle species. Combined with the dynamical spacetime background, neutron stars and their evolution provide an excellent astrophysical laboratory probing realms of physics beyond what is possible on Earth.

Ian is a main author and developer of the Whisky code for relativistic hydrodynamics within the Cactus framework. This performs large-scale finite difference and finite volume simulations with mesh refinement provided through the Carpet driver on which he also works. Recent research has concentrated on the numerical modelling of more complex physical effects, including the nonlinear dynamics of multiple interacting relativistic fluid species, and the propagation of shock waves in relativistic solids.


A list of my recent publications is available here.

Ian's team members

Kyriaki Dionysopoulou
Research Fellow, Mathematics (FSHS)
Tim Lemon
Postgraduate Research Student, Mathematics (FSHS)
Stephanie Erickson
Postgraduate Research Student, Mathematics (FSHS)
Susanne Ufermann Fangohr
Administrative Staff, Civil Engineering & the Environment (FEE)
John Muddle
Alumnus, Mathematics (FSHS)
Weiwei Wang
Alumnus, Ningbo University

Joint projects with...

Stephanie Erickson
Postgraduate Research Student, Mathematics (FSHS)
Hans Fangohr
Professor, Engineering Sciences (FEE)
Carsten Gundlach
Professor, Mathematics (FSHS)
Peter Horak
Reader, Optoelectronics Research Centre
Ian Jones
Lecturer, Mathematics (FSHS)



An iron core collapses prior to explosion in a supernova. The rapid rotation leads to the oblate density isocontours, and the violent behaviour near bounce leads to the emitted gravitational waves. [Ott, Dimmelmeier, Hawke, Schnetter, Kahler]

The relative velocity between two interacting relativistic multifluids. The coupling between the fluids leads to a two-stream instability, with important implications for neutron star oscillations. [Hawke, Andersson, Comer, Samuelsson]