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Department of Meteorology – University of Reading

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A collaborative centre in which about 20 Met Office staff embedded in the University of Reading work with the academic staff on strategically important projects of common interest and mutual benefit.



  • Together, to deliver critical elements of the Met Office Science Strategy – notably through research in convective-scale modelling, very-high-resolution modelling, and assimilation of surface-based observations.
  • Together, to deliver operational and broader impact from meteorological, mathematical and Earth-observation research.
  • Reading is one of the Met Office Academic Partnership (MOAP) Universities and has the largest contingent of Met Office staff of any university.



  • MetOffice@Reading is carrying out a number of collaborative research activities mostly relating to km scale modelling systems.
  • Recent key collaborative activities have been DYMECS, urban surface parameterisation (ADD OTHERS).
  • In the last 6 years MetOffice@Reading staff have been co-authors on ~30 papers with University of Reading academics and have co-supervised ~10 PhD students and numerous MSc projects aligned to Met Office needs.
  • Involvement in many projects/campaigns with wider academia as well as Reading (e.g. COPE, FFIR,  ParaCon etc).
  • Two Met Office groups based in Reading accounting for 10 members of staff:
    • Convective Scale Modelling Research.
    • Assimilation of Surface-based Observations
  • Other Met Office staff and managers engaged in collaborative work addressing evaluation and process understanding of convective-scale and turbulence-scale modelling systems and [in operational monitoring and evaluation at regional and global scales.
  • Upcoming collaborative activities include WesCon, (OTHERS)


Key MetOffice@Reading Staff

  • Khalid Mahmood Administrator and first point of contact for queries.
  • Jason Lowe Met Office Principle Science Fellow Applied and Climate Science.
  • Nigel Roberts  Met Office Science Fellow, MO RAP Co-chair
  • Humphrey Lean Manager Convective Scale Modelling Research
  • David Simonin Manager Assimilation of Surface based observations.
  • Sylvia Bohnenstengel Manager RMED Evaluation Group
  • Aurore Porson Manager R2O operational Evaluation.



Name Job Title Research Interests.
Lewis Blunn
Sylvia Bohnenstengel

Dr Sylvia Bohnenstengel – Met Office

 Scientific manager regional system evaluation group in RMED Developing and coordinating the RMED regional evaluation system underpinning the evaluation of our convective-scale regional atmosphere land suites (RAL) and convective-scale research models. In addition undertaking urban research.
Neal Butchart Expert Scientist: Stratospheric processes research Stratospheric dynamics and variability and its influence on surface climate and weather. Evaluating and improving the representation of the stratosphere in models. Stratospheric circulation and ozone projections.
Carlo Cafaro Scientist – Convective-scale numerical weather prediction Interested in the generation, verification of ensemble-based probabilistic forecasts as well as their communication to the end-users.

Currently involved in the Research and development on new configurations of UK and South-East Asia (WCSSP project) Met Office ensembles, with a focus on improving ensemble spread/skill relationship.

Cristina Charlton-Perez

Dr Cristina Charlton-Perez – Met Office

Senior Scientist, Coupled Data Assimilation (R2O) Improving and maintaining the operational land surface data assimilation system by developing new techniques and new observational products of land-relevant variables such as soil moisture and snow cover.
Terry Davies

Dr Terry Davies – Met Office

Develops and maintains the atmospheric dynamical core of the Met Office’s Unified Model Terry’s principal activity is the maintenance and development of the New dynamics for the UM configurations. Terry is the owner of the UM dynamics code. Improvements to the dynamics code are made to improve its performance for all UM configurations; for the 1.5 km model for the UK, the various regional models, the global forecast model and the climate model, HadGEM.  As well as the scientific development of the code, its efficiency is important so Terry is interested in exploiting the increasing number of processing units now, and in the future, and using this experience to contribute to the design of future dynamical cores.
Laila Gohar  Scientist – UK climate Resilience
Jonathan Gregory

Prof Jonathan Gregory – Met Office

Met Office Fellow, Oceans Cryosphere and Dangerous Climate Change. Physical understanding and prediction of global and large-scale change in climate on multidecadal and longer timescales, especially climate sensitivity, ocean heat uptake and sea level change, by analysis of climate simulations and comparison with observational data
Kirsty Hanley

Dr Kirsty Hanley – Met Office

Senior Scientist, Urban-scale Modelling Research. Improving the representation of convective storms within kilometre-scale and sub-kilometre-scale versions of the Unified Model.
Carol Halliwell

Dr Carol Halliwell – Met Office

Senior Scientist – Urban-scale Modelling Research Group. Improving the representation of convection and turbulence in very high resolution (O(100m)) versions of the Met Office Unified Model and the forecasting of fog over the Delhi urban region as part of the WCSSP India project.
Lee Hawkness-Smith

Dr Lee Hawkness-Smith – Met Office

Senior Scientist, Assimilation of Surface-based Observations group Making better use of radar observations in data assimilation.
William Ingram Senior Scientist – Climate Research

Climate Sensitivity And Feedbacks

The physics of the feedbacks that determine climate sensitivity, particularly the water vapour feedback; effects of resolution on General Circulation Models.
Graeme Kelly

Graeme Kelly – Met Office

 Expert Scientist – Assimilation aircraft and satellite data.  Work on Variational Analysis with a particular interest in the use of aircraft and satellite data.
Humphrey Lean

Dr Humphrey Lean – Met Office

 Manager – Urban-scale Modelling Research Group.  Convective Scale and Urban Scale modelling. Particular interests in explicit representation of convection in models and the representation of urban meteorology. Also interested in orographic rainfall. Developing next generation Urban Scale models.
Tsz Yan Leung Scientist – Data Assimilation Methods Research Interest: Research interests: Interested in a wide range of numerical weather prediction (NWP) topics, such as data assimilation, ensemble forecasting and predictability of weather.  He is primarily involved in developing ensemble data assimilation capabilities for the Met Office’s next-generation NWP system.
Dingmin Li

Dr Dingmin Li – Met Office

Senior Scientist/ Convection Scale NWP Research and development of a UKV 4D-Var based limited area high resolution data assimilation and forecast system for the WCSSP South Asia area project and maintenance of Crises Area Models.
Zhihong Li

Dr Zhihong Li – Met Office

 Senior Scientist Data assimilation methods for 1.5 km resolution NWP-based nowcasting systems.
Jason Lowe  Principal Fellow Applied & Climate Science – CsCi Knowledge Integration.
Aurore Porson

Dr Aurore Porson – Met Office

Scientific Manager Operational Evaluation and Monitoring Improving the monitoring and evaluation of operational models through the development and updates in the subjective and objective assessments. Coordination of UK testbeds across the Met Office and Met Office partners.
Nigel Roberts

Nigel Roberts – Met Office

Research Fellow, Research to Operations Exploitation and evaluation of convective-scale ensembles including the use of probabilities, clustering, regime identification and verification methods.
Taejun Song  Visiting Scientist Estimation of uncertainty for aircraft data
Jon Shonk  Senior Scientist Improving the representation of the urban surface and its interaction with the boundary layer in urban-scale models.
David Simonin

Dr David Simonin – Met Office

Manager, Assimilation of Surface-based Observations Group  Work focuses on the assimilation of radar derived refractivity change observations in high-resolution convective-scale NWP models. He works in the Data Assimilation @ Reading Group based at MetOffice@Reading Unit a.
Yongming Tang

Dr Yongming Tang – Met Office

 Senior Scientist  Works on the UK Earth System Model as configuration manager for the high resolution model UKESM-HI.

Research Interest: Developing and Maintaining  the UK Earth System Model (UKESM).

Chris Thomas

Christopher Thomas – Met Office

Senior Scientist, Assimilation of Surface-based Observations group Preparing our next-generation observation processing system with a focus on radiosonde data
Jo Waller

Dr Joanne Waller – Met Office

Senior scientist, Assimilation of Surface Based Observations Optimizing the assimilation of observations and exploring the potential to assimilated novel observations.


Internal reports

Much of the work done by members of MetOffice@Reading – previously known as the JCMM (Joint Centre for Mesoscale Meteorology) – was published in the form of internal reports (discontinued in 2003). If you would like more information on these reports, or if you would like a copy, please send an email to Khalid Mahmood

This page was updated February 2022

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