Dr Derek Harland

Dr Derek Harland


I gained a PhD under the supervision of Richard Ward at Durham University in 2008.  I was awarded a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship in 2012.  After spending time in Hannover, Durham, and Loughborough I settled into my current position at the University of Leeds in 2013.


  • Examinations and Assessment Tutor

Research interests

In theoretical physics and in differential geometry one often encounters the problem finding minima of an 'energy functional' defined over an infinite-dimensional configuration space. Typically the configuration space might be a space of maps between manifolds, or a space of connections on and sections of a vector bundle. The study of such critical points may provide non-trivial information about the underlying manifolds and the physics involved. Three systems I am currently interested in are the Yang-Mills-Higgs, Yang-Mills and Skyrme energy functionals, whose critical points are called 'monopoles', 'instantons' and 'skyrmions' respectively. The Skyrme model relates to nuclear physics, and I have developed a version of this model which yields realistic binding energies.  My recent work on instantons has focused on so-called "exceptional" geometries in seven and eight dimensions.

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

Research groups and institutes

  • Pure Mathematics

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>
    <li><a href="//phd.leeds.ac.uk/project/595-geometry-and-dynamics-of-topological-solitons">Geometry and Dynamics of Topological Solitons</a></li> <li><a href="//phd.leeds.ac.uk/project/606-instantons-on-manifolds-of-exceptional-holonomy">Instantons on manifolds of exceptional holonomy</a></li>