Peter Coveney

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Peter Coveney

Peter Vivian Coveney

Alma materUniversity of Oxford
Scientific career
  • Physical Chemistry
  • High-Performance Computing
InstitutionsUniversity College London,
University of Amsterdam
Yale University
ThesisSemiclassical methods in scattering and spectroscopy (1985)
Doctoral advisorMark Child[1]

Coveney is a Professor of Physical Chemistry, Honorary Professor of Computer Science, and the Director of the Centre for Computational Science (CCS) at University College London (UCL). He is also a Professor of Applied High Performance Computing at University of Amsterdam (UvA), Professor Adjunct in the Medical School at Yale University and Member of Academia Europaea[2].


Coveney was awarded a Doctor of Philosophy degree from Keble College, University of Oxford in 1985 for his work on Semiclassical methods in scattering and spectroscopy.[1]


Coveney has held positions at many of the world’s top institutes throughout his academic career spanning over 30 years, including University of Oxford, Princeton University, Schlumberger and QMUL, and currently holds positions at UCL, UvA and Yale, as well as acting as a Member of several academic councils in the UK[3][4] and EU.


Coveney has an active research interest covering a wide range of disciplines and areas including computational medicine and life sciences, condensed matter physics, computational chemistry and physics, and high performance computing. He is also known publicly as the co-author of two popularisations in science, The Arrow of Time[5] and Frontiers of Complexity.[6], written alongside Roger Highfield.

These books convey his research interests. He has been associated with chemists, physicists, mathematicians, materials scientists, engineers, and computer scientists of Schlumberger,[7] Molecular Simulations Inc. (MSI) now Accelrys and Silicon Graphics Inc. (SGI), often using their computation facilities, as well as those of UK National Supercomputing Facility at Manchester, and the University of Cambridge High Performance Computing Facility.

The CCS is using a highly scalable molecular dynamics code: Large Atomic/Molecular Massively Parallel Simulator (LAMMPS). The code was originally developed as part of a US-based collaboration involving Sandia and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories, Du Pont, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Cray Research.[citation needed] CCS is collaborating with Charles Laughton's group[8][9] at the University of Nottingham on applications of this code to large scale studies of DNA dynamics.[citation needed] He successfully challenged the EU[10] to launch the CompMedBio initiative. In doing this, he launched a critique of Big Data in biology with Ed Dougherty of Texas A&M and Roger Highfield.[11]

Coveney's specialities include


  1. ^ a b Coveney, Peter V (1985). Semiclassical methods in scattering and spectroscopy (DPhil thesis). University of Oxford.
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  5. ^ Highfield, Roger; Coveney, Peter (1991). The arrow of time: the voyage through science to solve time's greatest mystery. London: Flamingo. ISBN 0-00-654462-2.
  6. ^ Highfield, Roger; Coveney, Peter (1995). Frontiers of complexity: the search for order in a chaotic world. London: Faber. ISBN 0-571-17922-3.
  7. ^ Coveney, P.; Novik, K. (1996). "Computer simulations of domain growth and phase separation in two-dimensional binary immiscible fluids using dissipative particle dynamics". Physical Review E. 54 (5): 5134–5141. arXiv:comp-gas/9607002. Bibcode:1996PhRvE..54.5134C. doi:10.1103/PhysRevE.54.5134. PMID 9965693.
  8. ^ Jha, S.; Coveney, P. V.; Laughton, C. A. (2005). "Force field validation for nucleic acid simulations: Comparing energies and dynamics of a DNA dodecamer". Journal of Computational Chemistry. 26 (15): 1617–1627. doi:10.1002/jcc.20300. PMID 16170796.
  9. ^ Grindon, C.; Harris, S.; Evans, T.; Novik, K.; Coveney, P.; Laughton, C. (2004). "Large-scale molecular dynamics simulation of DNA: Implementation and validation of the AMBER98 force field in LAMMPS". Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences. 362 (1820): 1373–1386. Bibcode:2004RSPTA.362.1373G. doi:10.1098/rsta.2004.1381. PMID 15306456.
  10. ^ Callaway, Ewen (2016). "How one lab challenged a grant rejection and won €5 million". Nature. 532 (7598): 159–160. Bibcode:2016Natur.532..159C. doi:10.1038/nature.2016.19714. PMID 27075075.
  11. ^ Coveney, P. V.; Dougherty, E. R.; Highfield, R. R. (2016). "Big Data need Big Theory too". Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences. 374 (2080): 1373–1386. Bibcode:2016RSPTA.37460153C. doi:10.1098/rsta.2016.0153. PMC 5052735. PMID 27698035.
  12. ^ Flekkøy, E.; Coveney, P. (1999). "From Molecular Dynamics to Dissipative Particle Dynamics". Physical Review Letters. 83 (9): 1775. arXiv:cond-mat/9908334. Bibcode:1999PhRvL..83.1775F. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.83.1775.