Cian Wilson
Computational Scientist

Cian Wilson

Contact & Links

  • (202) 478-8835 | fax: (202) 478-8821
  • cwilson at
  • Department of Terrestrial Magnetism
    Carnegie Institution of Washington
    5241 Broad Branch Road, NW
    Washington, DC 20015-1305
  • curriculum vitae


Cian Wilson
Left: brittle fracture of a poro-elastic medium due to fluid injection. Right: porosity waves in a viscous solid in three-dimensions. Both models were discretized using finite elements within the same modeling framework, TerraFERMA.
Cian Wilson received his Ph.D. in computational physics “Modeling Multiple-Material Flows on Adaptive Unstructured Meshes” from the Department of Earth Science & Engineering, Imperial College, London. As a Postdoctoral Research Scientist, then Associate Research Scientist, at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, he worked on fluid migration in deformable porous media. He is the principal developer of TerraFERMA a Transparent Finite Element Rapid Model Assembler for solid Earth problems, which is based on open-source numerical libraries FEniCS, PETSc, and SPuD, and which provides framework for composing and exploring nonlinear multi-physics problems. He was also a core developer of Fluidity, an open-source computational fluid dynamics code with adaptive unstructured mesh capabilities. At DTM, Wilson will be managing the department’s scientific computing lab, which will provide computational support through high performance computing and visualization with a focus on fluid dynamics. With Peter van Keken and Peter Driscoll, he will primarily support the computational research efforts in core, mantle, and lithosphere dynamics.