Professor Sam Falle


  • BA in Natural Sciences, University of Cambridge, 1969
  • MSc in Astrophysics, University of Sussex, 1970
  • DPhil In Astrophysics, University of Sussex, 1973, Thesis Title "The Dynamical Effects of Stellar Winds on the Interstellar Medium"
  • Research Assistant, Department of Astronmy, University of Manchester, September 1973 to August 1976.
  • Royal Society European Exchange Fellow, Max Planck, Institute for Physics and Astrophysics, Munich, September 1976 to March 1978.
  • Lecturer, Department of Applied Mathematics, University of Leeds, April 1978 to July 1988.
  • Reader, Department of Applied Mathematics, University of Leeds, August 1988 to July 1995.
  • Professor, Department of Applied Mathematics, University of Leeds., August 1995 to preseent.

Research interests

Most of my career has been spent working on hyperbolic systems of conservation laws, which are the equations that model the physics of compressible flow, non-linear elasticity, shallow water and many other phenomena. Since these equations are very difficult to solve analytically, much of my work has involved the development of numerical methods, in particular the development of an extremely general code which uses a hierarchical adaptive grid and modern upwind methods. This is able to solve pretty well any system of hyperbolic conservation laws very efficiently since the adaptive grid is able to resolve sharp features such as shocks, shear layers and reaction zones. The code is also able to multi-fluids and multi-phase flow. It has been implemented on distributed memory parallel machines using MPI. The generality of the code is demonstrated by the areas to which it has been applied, such as:

  • Astrophysical gas dynamics and magneto-gas dynamics (e.g. star formation, detonation waves in supernovae).
  • Detonation waves in industrial explosives.
  • Flames and detonation to deflagration transition in combustible mixtures.
  • Multi-phase flow of carbon dioxide. Microbial chemotaxis in groundwater.


  • BA, MSc , DPhil

Professional memberships

  • Royal Astronomical Society

Research groups and institutes

  • Applied mathematics

Postgraduate research opportunities

We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our research opportunities allow you to search for projects and scholarships.