Prof Thomas Adcock

Prof Thomas Adcock

I am Fellow and Tutor in Engineering Science at St Peter’s and an Associate Professor in the Department of Engineering Science. I joined St Peter’s as an undergraduate in 2001 before moving to New College for my doctorate and going on to hold several post-doctoral and industry positions. I was privileged to return to St Peter’s as a Fellow in 2012. In college I am the fellow responsible for co-ordinating the website and also have the onerous task of captaining the SCR cricket team.


In college I teach structures and dynamics. St Peter’s shares teaching with Exeter College so I also teach Exeter students in these areas. In the department I currently give lectures at either end of the course: I teach the introduction to statics course to freshers in their first week in Oxford and also lecture on coastal and ocean engineering to the 4th year students. I also demonstrate on a number of practical and numerical undergraduate labs.


In general terms my research looks at the ocean environment — at how we can use it to our advantage and how we can design against it. Particular interests are rogue waves, tidal energy, tsunamis and storm surges.  My work on tidal power has featured in various national newspapers and has been discussed in the Scottish parliament. In 2015 I was interviewed about rogue waves on The Today Programme.

I am also interested in historical engineering projects and what we can learn from these. I often run a final year undergraduate project looking at a significant historical project. I have appeared on The One Show to demonstrate how the floating breakwaters used during the Normandy landings in the Second World War worked. A blog post I wrote describing research I carried with an undergraduate on the Mulberry Habour is here.