Dr Mark Hildyard

Dr Mark Hildyard


Mark Hildyard has over 30 years research experience in rock mechanics and seismology. He has worked in academia since 2006. Prior to that, he spent 16 years in applied research for the Chamber of Mines Research Laboratories and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research in South Africa. His work their focused on understanding and improving rockbursts experienced in deep-level gold and platinum mines. This included developing numerical models to study seismic wave propagation around underground openings and their interaction with fractured rock. Much of his research has focused on producing full waveform models, which match and explain the underlying system of fractures. In 2005 he received the Manual Rocha Medal from the International Society for Rock Mechanics for this work. He is (along with Peter Cundall) a principal developer of the program WAVE3D, a three-dimensional finite difference code used to model seismic wave propagation in the vicinity of underground openings in fractured rock. He has applied these models to a range of interesting problems including understanding source mechanics in earthquakes and in rockbursts, modelling vibrations due to underground or surface blasting, improving the interpretation of fractures from seismic waveforms (for various projects in petroleum exploration, mine stability, and the stability of nuclear waste repositories), and even for detecting fractures in railway lines using the rail line as a waveguide. His research interests encompass developing novel numerical models and applying such models in any fields involving elastic waves or fractures.


Research interests

  • Numerical models
  • Seismic wave interaction with fractures
  • Seismic wave interaction with underground openings
  • Rockburst and earthquake source mechanisms
  • Modelling discrete fracture networks
  • Vibrations due to blasting
  • Earthquake early warning methods
  • Dynamic fracture growth and damage


<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://environment.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD, University of Liverpool
  • MSc, Engineering, University of Witwatersrand
  • BSc, Electrical Engineering, University of Witwatersrand

Student education

He teaches in the fields of Seismology and Rock Mechanics, currently contributing to the programmes for MSc Engineering Geology and MSc Exploration Geophysics, and Manages the modules SOEE5045M, SOEE5047M, SOEE5155M. 

Research groups and institutes

  • Institute of Applied Geoscience
  • Applied Geophysics
  • Institute of Geophysics and Tectonics

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>