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 Jack Williams

Jack Williams

Research Associate in Structural Geology

School of Earth and Environmental Sciences

+44 (0)29 2087 4336
Room 2.23C, Main Building, Park Place, Cardiff, CF10 3AT


  • Fault zones
  • Seismotectonics
  • Rifting
  • Microstructure
  • Seismic hazard


  • Research Associate - School of Earth Sciences - University of Bristol (2020-present)
  • Research Associate in Structural Geology - School of Earth and Environmental Sciences - Cardiff University (2018-present)
  • Assistant Research Fellow - Department of Geology - University of Otago (2017)
  • PhD -Department of Geology - University of Otago (2013-2017)
  • MESci (Geology) - School of Environmental Sciences - University of Liverpool (2009-2013)

Honours and awards

  • President's Award, The Geological Society of London (2018)
  • Runner-up Poster Presentation, Geoscience Society of New Zealand Annual Conference (2016)
  • Wellman Research Award, Geoscience Society of New Zealand (2015)
  • Sir Henry Wade Deacon Attainment Scholarship, University of Liverpool (2009-2013)

Professional memberships

  • Fellow of the Geological Society
  • American Geophysical Union









For the academic year 2019-2020, I have a wide portfolio of teaching. I am leading undergraduate modules in engineering geology and geological mapping. In these modules, content is delivered as a combination of lectures, practicals (computer and laboratory), and day field trips. At MSc level, I teach aspects of the Applied Environmental Geology course, with a particular focus on soil mechanics.

In addition, I contribute to teaching 2nd and 3rd year structural geology classes, where I incorporate elements from my own research. I also attend the residential field trip to Arran, where students learn to construct deformation histories and interpret sedimentary sequences.

I am a structural geologist and seismic hazard modeller. My research utilises this unusual combination of disciplines to delve into the world of active faults in Malawi. For example, where are these faults? What are the mechanics of its 100 km long rift-bounding faults that allows them to localise strain over geological time? I then use these results to investigate Malawi’s seismic hazard, where population growth and seismically vulnerable building stock is driving an increased exposure to earthquakes.

This multidisciplinary study combines the results of field work, microstructural analysis, numerical modelling, geodesy, seismology, seismic reflection surveys, and geomorphology. It is supported by the EPSRC-GCRF funded Enhancing PREParedness for East African Countries through Seismic Resilience Engineering (PREPARE) and SAFER-PREPARED projects, and through which I collaborate with partners at the University of Bristol and in Malawi. The outcomes of this research has implications for how faults are influenced by pre-existing crustal structures, and how we assess earthquake hazards in regions with low strain rates.