An external view of the Met Office building at night.

Dr David Walters

Areas of expertise

  • Coordinating improvements across model components.
  • Evaluating new model formulations.
  • Diagnosing problems in model performance.

Publications by David Walters

Current activities

David leads the Research to Operations (R2O) team, who develop, deliver and coordinate upgrades to the operational Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) suite and coordinate and improve the Met Office's wider R2O activity. The R2O team collaborate with model development, observation applications and data assimilation scientists on research projects to improve components of the NWP systems and pull these through into operational use. They also liaise with the technology teams responsible for configuring and routinely running the operational forecasts to improve the processes for testing and delivering these developments. Finally, R2O scientists work closely with users of operational output, including operational forecasters, to understand the wider impacts of changes. This helps inform decision making during development projects and feeds back into the Met Office's future research plans.

David's personal research interests include the role of resolution in global atmospheric model performance and the extension of short-range NWP forecasts to include increased Earth system complexity such as additional land-surface processes, ocean-atmosphere coupling and the inclusion of chemistry and aerosols.

Career background

David joined the Met Office in 2004 and worked on global and regional atmospheric NWP model development.

In 2008, he was awarded an MSc with distinction in Weather, Climate and Modelling from the University of Reading.

Between 2010 and 2017, David managed the Global Atmospheric Model Development group, responsible for developing global configurations of the Unified Model for use across all weather and climate timescales. He has been leading the R2O team since 2017.

Prior to joining the Met Office, David was awarded an MPhys (1st class hons) followed by a PhD in theoretical physics, both from the University of Wales Swansea. He then spent a year at the University of Manchester as a post-doctoral research associate.

External recognition

David was awarded the Institute of Physics Computational Physics Group's annual thesis prize in 2003. This is awarded to the author of the PhD thesis that, in the opinion of the Committee, contributes most strongly to the advancement of Computational Physics.

In 2001, David was selected as 1 of 12 PhD students from UK and RoI to attend the 51st meeting of Nobel Laureates (17th in Physics) in Lindau, Germany.