Peter Coveney

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Peter Coveney
Alma materUniversity of Oxford
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity College London,
ThesisSemiclassical methods in scattering and spectroscopy (1985)
Doctoral advisorMark Child[1]

Peter V. Coveney is a Professor of Physical Chemistry and Director, Centre for Computational Science (CCS) at University College London (UCL).


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


Coveney's research focusses on many different areas, from molecular and mesoscale fluid dynamics simulations, to computational biomedicine, all based on high performance computational techniques.

Coveney is also known to the general public for his two popularizations in science co-authored with Roger Highfield, The Arrow of Time[2] and Frontiers of Complexity.[3]

These books convey his research interests. He has been associated with chemists, physicists, mathematicians, materials scientists, engineers, and computer scientists of Schlumberger,[4] 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[5][6] at the University of Nottingham on applications of this code to large scale studies of DNA dynamics.[citation needed] He successfully challenged the EU[7] 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.[8]

Coveney's specialities include


  1. ^ a b Coveney, Peter V (1985). Semiclassical methods in scattering and spectroscopy (DPhil thesis). University of Oxford.
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ Highfield, Roger; Coveney, Peter (1995). Frontiers of complexity: the search for order in a chaotic world. London: Faber. ISBN 0-571-17922-3.
  4. ^ 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. arXiv:comp-gas/9607002. Bibcode:1996PhRvE..54.5134C. doi:10.1103/PhysRevE.54.5134.
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ Callaway, Ewen (2016). "How one lab challenged a grant rejection and won €5 million". Nature. 532 (7598): 159. Bibcode:2016Natur.532..159C. doi:10.1038/nature.2016.19714.
  8. ^ 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.
  9. ^ 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.