Professor Steven Kenny

BSc, PhD

  • Professor of Mathematical and Computational Modelling


Steven read for a degree in Physics at Imperial College between 1989 and 1992. He then carried out his PhD in the Department of Physics at Cambridge University, between 1992 and 1995. Following his PhD he held the position of PDRA in the Department of Earth Sciences at Oxford University for a year, followed by two years as a Research Fellow and three years as a Departmental Lecturer in the Department of Materials, Oxford University. In May 2001, he took up a Lectureship at Loughborough University. In June 2005 he was promoted to a Senior Lecturer, in February 2008 to a Reader and in June 2014 to a personal chair.


  • BSc, Physics, Imperial College
  • PhD, Cambridge

Outline of main research interests:

Steven’s main research area is the development and application of materials modelling techniques, particularly at the atomic scale. Work includes the simulation of the growth of thin films, and in particular those of relevance to thin film photovoltaic devices. The interest is to model the growth of thin films on realistic timescales so that the influence of parameters such as the deposition energy and the composition on the morphology of the film can be understood. Other areas include the modelling of radiation damage in materials; this is of critical importance for the next generation of fission reactors and to address the issue of materials for fusion reactors. Here the interest is to understand the long-timescale evolution of radiation damage in these systems, to enable the design of new more radiation-tolerant materials to enable longer reactor lifetimes.

Grants and contracts:

  • “Atomistic Modelling of the Effect of Hydrogen on Steel Ductility”, TWI & EPSRC, 2015-2019 
  • “A Network for Regional e-Infrastructure Centres”, EPSRC, 2015-2017 
  • “Modelling the deposition of thin film coatings to improve production methods in the Glass industry” AGC Glass Europe, 2015-2019 
  • “A Midlands Centre for Excellence for high-performance computing – HPC Midlands”, EPSRC, 2012-2016 
  • “Performance and Reliability of Metallic Materials for Nuclear Fission Power Generation”, EPSRC, 2010-2015 

Lloyd, A.L., Zhou, Y., Yu, M., Scott, C., Smith, R., Kenny, S.D. (2017) Reaction pathways in atomistic models of thin film growth. Journal of Chemical Physics, 147(15). 10.1063/1.4986402

Zhou, Y., Smith, R., Kenny, S.D., Lloyd, A.L. (2017) Development of an empirical interatomic potential for the Ag–Ti system. Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section B: Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms, 393. 10.1016/j.nimb.2016.10.030

Lloyd, A.L., Smith, R., Kenny, S.D. (2017) Critical island size for Ag thin film growth on ZnO (0 0 0 1¯). Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section B: Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms, 393. 10.1016/j.nimb.2016.10.026

Gai, X., Smith, R., Kenny, S.D. (2016) Inert gas bubbles in bcc Fe. Journal of Nuclear Materials, 470. 10.1016/j.jnucmat.2015.11.057

Gai, X., Lazauskas, T., Smith, R., Kenny, S.D. (2015) Helium bubbles in bcc Fe and their interactions with irradiation. Journal of Nuclear Materials, 462. 10.1016/j.jnucmat.2014.10.027

Lazauskas, T., Kenny, S.D., Smith, R. (2014) Influence of the prefactor to defect motion in α-Iron during long time scale simulations. Journal of Physics Condensed Matter, 26(39). 10.1088/0953-8984/26/39/395007

Robinson, M., Kenny, S.D., Smith, R., Storr, M.T. (2014) He migration and bubble formation in Ga stabilised δ-Pu. Journal of Nuclear Materials, 444(1-3). 10.1016/j.jnucmat.2013.10.017

 View central publications database

External collaborators:

  • AGC Glass Europe
  • Atomic Weapons Establishment
  • Imperial College
  • Los Alamos National Laboratory
  • Newcastle University
  • TWI
  • University College London
  • University of Auckland
  • University of Mons
  • University of Oxford
  • Xidian University