This annual high-profile lecture given by distinguished individuals in the area of Fluid Mechanics was launched in 2014 to celebrate the opening of our new CDT in Fluid Dynamics across Scales and the pioneering work in this area of Professor Sir James Lighthill FRS whilst at Imperial College.

The 2016 lecture will take place on Monday 16 May at 17:00 in Lecture Theatre 308, Huxley Building, South Kensington Campus.  Please contact the CDT Administrator to register.

Predicting weather and climate

The nature of the prediction problem on time-scales of 1 day to 1 century will be considered. More predictability is possible than would be suggested by simple arguments because of both interactions with slower parts of the Earth system and the occurrence of robust phenomena that persist or evolve in a similar manner. Some examples of such phenomena that the speaker has worked on will be given, including a summary of some of the fluid mechanics involved. The talk will finish with a brief discussion of the status of climate change projection.

Speaker Biography

Sir Brian is Chair of the Grantham Institute at Imperial College London, having been its founding Director for 6 years, and Professor of Meteorology at the University of Reading, a position he has held since 1981. He has been involved in many international and national weather and climate activities, and is now on the Committee on Climate Change.


He is a member of the Scientific Academies of the UK, USA and China, and has received the top awards of the UK and USA Meteorological Societies, the Buys Ballot Medal (awarded every decade) and the inaugural IUGG Gold Medal. He has honorary degrees from Bristol and UEA. In 2007, he was knighted for Services to Environmental Science.


He has been married to Jackie since 1968, and has two daughters and two grandsons.