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Department of Earth Sciences

Mineral dynamics


Simon Redfern is Professor Emeritus of Mineral Physics in the Department of Earth Sciences, and was Head of Department from 2016-2019.  Simon took up a new role as Dean of the College of Science at Nanyang Technlogical University (NTU) in Singapore in the summer of 2019. 

Before coming to Cambridge, Simon was Lecturer in Geochemical Spectroscopy in the Departments of Earth Sciences and Chemistry at the University of Manchester. He has been the Chair of the NERC Cambridge Earth System Science DTP as well as being a Director of Studies at Jesus College.

Simon previously served as a member of the NERC Science & Innovation Strategy Board/Science Board, the Peer Review College, as well as Science Board at STFC, with particular oversight of national neutron research facilities for environmental science. He has also served as a member of the UK government Committee on Radioactive Waste Management. Recently, Simon served as a British Science Association Science Media Fellow at the BBC, experiencing the mechanisms by which scientific discovery and journalistic exposition interact, both in written and broadcast media. 

Simon is a member of the REF2021 panel for unit of assessment 7: Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences.


Simon's research covers a broad range of interests all linked by their relationship to the atomic-scale, nano-scale and microscopic structure of minerals. They all deal with the relationship between mineral structure & microstructure and chemical & physical properties. He is interested in the relationships between structure, dynamics and properties of crystalline solids from the Earth's core to the biosphere, and how these properties impact upon broader Earth and environmental processes. This includes the relationship between microstructure of biominerals and the physical properties of the structures that they form, the microstructure of rock-forming minerals and their seismic signatures (relevant to interpretations of deep Earth data), and the microstructures of manufactured materials based on mineral structures which may form the basis of new wasteforms for clean energy production. His work employs experimental methods in the lab using Raman spectroscopy and diamond anvil cell methods, and at national Synchrotron and Neutron radiation facilities. He augments these studies with computational modelling of mineral structure and properties at extreme conditions.. 


Emeritus Professor of Mineral Physics
Professor Simon  Redfern


Person keywords: 
Computer Simulations
Mineral Physics