Conor Rutland

Conor Rutland


I graduated from University of Warwick in 2015 with a BSc in Physics, where my research project involved testing the suitability of semiconductor devices for spintronics applications. Following this, I gained Qualified Teacher Status from the Norfolk Teacher Training Centre, and spent 3 years as a secondary school teacher, teaching GCSE science and A-Level physics and engineering.

I left teaching to pursue further study, and completed an MSc in Geophysical Hazards at UCL, developing my interests in geophysics, and particularly hazard assessment and forecasting. My MSc project titled “Can we forecast phreatic explosions?” compared observed trends in volcano-tectonic seismicity prior to phreatic explosions to physical models of rock fracture and pore pressure, and assessed the suitability of these trends for hazard forecasting at volcanoes.

Conor Rutland

PhD title: Deformation before and after large earthquakes for seismic hazard assessment

My  project involves using synthetic aperture radar interferometry (InSAR) to measure ground deformation in the lead up to large earthquakes, and assess the use of trends in deformation and stress build up for seismic hazard assessment. InSAR utilises readily available satellite data sets to remotely monitor changes in the Earth’s surface by comparing images of the same location as the satellite regularly passes the same location in its orbit.

I will also analyse post-event data, looking at the implications for future activity on the fault system. I am initially focusing on the Mw 7.4 “Maduo Earthquake” that occurred in May 2021 on the Eastern Tibetan Plateau, Qinghai, China.

Other information

In addition to my time as a secondary school teacher, I spent the year prior to my PhD doing outreach work at UEA – working in local schools with students from areas of low progression to higher education, helping them make informed decisions about their next steps when they leave school.