Professor David Healy

Professor David Healy
Professor David Healy
Professor David Healy

Personal Chair

Email Address
Telephone Number
+44 (0)1224 273850
Office Address

School of Geosciences King's College University of Aberdeen Aberdeen AB24 3UE United Kingdom

School of Geosciences


  • Personal Chair, University of Aberdeen, UK (2021 – )
  • Visiting Academic, University of Manchester, UK (2020 –)
  • Reader, University of Aberdeen, UK (2016 – 2021)
  • Senior Lecturer, University of Aberdeen, UK (2011 – 2016)
  • Lecturer, University of Aberdeen, UK (2009 – 2011)
  • Research Fellow, Curtin University, Perth, Australia (2007 – 2009)
  • Fixed-Term Lecturer, Durham University, UK (2006 – 2007)
  • NERC-funded Postdoctoral Research Associate, Liverpool University, UK (2004 – 2006)
  • PhD student (& EPSRC-funded Postgraduate Research Assistant), Liverpool University, UK (2000 – 2004)
  • Independent software consultant (1988 – 2000)
  • Analyst/Programmer (1987 – 1988)
  • Technical Assistant (1985 – 1987)

Memberships and Affiliations

Internal Memberships
  • Personal Tutor
  • Module coordinator, GL3520 Igneous & Metamorphic Petrology
  • Module coordinator, GL5571 Geothermal Flow 
  • Rock Physics & Geomechanics Laboratory manager
  • Internal Examiner, MRes and PhD
  • NERC demand management sift panel
  • Chair of School IT working group
  • School outreach coordinator 
External Memberships
  • Topical Editor, EGU Solid Earth, 2018-
  • NERC Peer Review College, 2012-
  • NERC Large Grants Panel, 2020-
  • NERC Standard Grants Panel, 2021-
  • Research Assessor for Carnegie Trust, 2014-
  • Treasurer of Tectonic Studies Group, Geological Society of London, 2012-2014
  • External Examiner (MRes, PhD; Strathclyde, Glasgow, Leeds, Cardiff, Bristol, Liverpool, Monash, Manchester)
  • Journal reviewer for JGR, JSG, Geology, EPSL, JVGR, JGSL, GRL


Latest Publications

View My Publications


Research Overview

I am fascinated by deformed and deforming rocks.  I enjoy fundamental research designed to understand, and then explain, deformation through quantitative, physical models. And I enjoy applying theory to applied problems in renewables and subsurface storage.  My research interests span structural geology, rock physics and geomechanics with a focus on fluid flow in fractured rocks.  I use probabilistic approaches and data science methods to constrain risks and rewards.

I tackle problems through field work, laboratory experiments, theoretical analysis and numerical modelling.  I use numerical models to integrate observations with, and explore the consequences of, physical theory.  I strongly believe that models should be directed at investigation rather than simulation – i.e. based on a rigorous simplification of the physical processes involved to focus on the heart of the problem.

I use my commercial experience of software development to build robust and tested open source code.


  • University of Manchester - Prof Cathy Hollis, Dr Julian Mecklenburgh, Prof Ernie Rutter
  • Manchester Metropolitan University - Dr Luciano Gerber
  • Ruhr-Bochum University, Germany - Dr Michal Kruszewski, Dr Alessandro Verdecchia
  • University of Basilicata, Italy - Prof Giacomo Prosser 
  • Curtin University, Australia - Dr Nick Timms, Prof Chris Clark
  • University College London - Prof Tom Mitchell, Prof Phil Meredith
  • Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile - Dr John Browning, Dr Gloria Arancibia, Prof Jose Cembrano
  • University of Portsmouth - Dr Phil Benson
  • University of Strasbourg, France - Prof Mike Heap

Funding and Grants

  • PI - Quantifying Fluid Flow in Stressed & Fractured Carbonates - NERC (UK); £100k
  • International Partner – Fluid flow in a variably fractured system – FONDECYT Regular (Chile); £250k
  • PI - Listening to the Sound of the City – NERC Discipline Hopping; £10k
  • PI – Quantifying the Anisotropy of Poroelasticity in Stressed Rock – NERC (UK); £354k (Aberdeen; £814k total with UCL)
  • PI – Quantifying fracture stiffness in basement reservoirs – BP; £8.5k
  • PI – Quantifying fracture patterns in basement reservoir analogues – Petrolia NOCO; £11.5k
  • Co-I – Assessment of Mesozoic sandstone units as possible reservoirs in the Mandawa Basin, Tanzania – EU Capacity Building Grant; €15k
  • International Partner – Subsurface Fluid Flow Through Fractures in Sedimentary Basins – ARC (Australia); AU$230k
  • PI – Quantifying the Anisotropy of Permeability in Stressed Rock – NERC (UK); £358k (Aberdeen; £834k total with UCL)
  • PI – Volcanic Petrophysics: Reservoirs, Seals and Drilling – VBPR (Oslo); £15k
  • PI – HP/HT Rock Deformation Apparatus – OGIC (SFC, UK); £587k
  • PI – Improving the Odds in Geomechanics – Wintershall (PhD for Sarah Weihmann); £120k
  • PI – Integrated Geological and Geophysical Characterisation of Fracture Zones – Hurricane Energy; £36k
  • PI – Quantifying Fault Stability – Total E&P UK (PhD for Natalie Farrell); £162k
  • PI – Petrophysics of Fractured Carbonates (Co-I Dr Joyce Neilson) – Total E&P UK and BG International, brokered by ITF (PhDs for Emma Michie, Tom Haines); £255k
  • PI – Quantifying Patterns of Brittle Damage in Fractured Rock – NERC New Investigator; £60k
  • PI – Petrophysics of Fractured Basement UoA COPS Postgraduate studentship (PhD for Roberto Rizzo); £60k
  • PI – Petrophysical Properties of Fractured and Altered Granites - Lundin Petroleum; £13k
  • PI – Fluid-saturated Ultrasonic Velocity Measurements on Core Plugs - AFES; £9k
  • Co-I – Predicting fracture patterns in sandstones in fold-thrust belts - NERC Open CASE PhD award, with Midland Valley (PhD for Hannah Watkins); £67k
  • Co-I – Building 3D Fracture Patterns from 1D Data  Ministry of Higher Education & Research, Kurdistan (PhD for Abdullah Awdal); £100k
  • Co-I – Imaging and Characterisation of Salt Diapir Flanks National Board of Science and Technology & Ministry of Energy, Mexico (PhD for Liliana Vargas Meleza);  £85k
  • Co-I – The Influence of Carbonate Depositional and Diagenetic Textures on Faulting in Carbonates – UoA COPS Postgraduate studentship (PhD for Tom Haines); £60k 

Teaching Responsibilities

  • GL2511 Introduction to Geophysics
  • GL3026 Field Techniques 1
  • GL3520 Igneous & Metamorphic Petrology
  • GL3525 Field Techniques 2
  • GL4023 Geological Mapping Project
  • GL5044 Introduction to Geomechanics
  • GL5571 Geothermal Flow 

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Books and Reports

Chapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings

Contributions to Conferences

Contributions to Journals

Contributions to Specialist Publications