Professor Ian Morrison

School of Science, Engineering and Environment

Photo of Professor Ian Morrison

Contact Details

Newton Building Room 163

Please email for an appointment.


Current positions

Professor of Computational Physics, Director of Physics and Mathematics


  • Aug 2006 – present: Professor of Computational Physics – University of Salford
  • Aug 2003 – Aug 2006: Reader in Physics – University of Salford
  • Sept 1999 – July 2003: Senior Lecturer – University of Salford
  • Jan 1995 – Aug 2000: Lecturer – University of Salford
  • Mar 1993 – Dec 1994: Research Associate, University of Wales College of Cardiff
  • Jan 1991 – Feb1993:  Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Texas at Austin
  • Jan 1998 – Dec 1990: Research Associate, University of Newcastle upon Tyne 

Areas of research

Materials Modelling, Computational Physics, Energy Materials, Ab-Initio Modelling


  • Fundamentals of Physics A
  • Computing for Physics
  • Classical and Quantum Waves
  • Particle Physics

Research Interests

My research interests and expertise in the general field of theoretical and computational condensed matter physics.  In particular I am interested in the ab-initio prediction of material properties with a view to the understanding and optimization of electronic, optical and thermodynamic materials properties.  A major interest in recent years has been concerned with the in-silico design of new materials for hydrogen storage.

My PhD was completed in 1987 and involved semi-empirical investigations of the electronic structure in semiconductor.  During this time I developed methods to include the effects of strain in the prediction of superlattice bandstructures and the first calculations of these effects in strained layer Si/Ge systems performed.   I then remained in Newcastle for a further two years as a Research Associate developing methods to predict the non-linear optical properties of semiconductor superlattices and the effect of interface roughness on these properties.  These methods allowed the first quantative predictions of non-linear optical response as a function of structure to be made.

In 1990 I joined the University of Texas as a Welch Fellow.  In Texas I was involved in the development of Ab-Initio pseudopotential methods to be employed in the prediction of material properties.  These methods were then used to make first principles predictions of a diverse range of phenomena including the structure of complex boron compounds, measurements of the structure in such compounds were unreliable, and the magnetic properties of transition metal surfaces and overlayers.

In April 1993 I joined U.W.C.C. as a Research Associate.  Here I was concerned with the simulation and understanding of the dynamics of semi-conductor surfaces and growth processes.  Both Ab-Initio methods and the Bond Order Potential Method (in collaboration with the Materials Modelling group at Oxford) were used to predict lattice dynamic properties.

Other research interests include the Ab-Initio simulation of the dynamics of ice phases, with particular emphasis on the understanding of anomalous features of measured spectra, and studies of the microscopic mechanisms responsible for magnetic phase transitions in transition metal intermetallic hydrides.  Further major research interests include developments in electronic structure theory including linear scaling techniques and the development of Ab-Initio lattice dynamical theory.

Qualifications and Memberships

  • BSc
  • PhD
  • MInstP - CPhys