Dr. Michael Rushton

Picture of Dr. Michael Rushton

I work as a research associate in the Atomistic Simulation Group within the Material’s Department at Imperial College in London. I originally joined Imperial as an undergraduate in 1998. Following graduation I stayed on to gain a PhD on the subject of computer simulation of nuclear wasteforms. After two years pursuing other opportunities I returned to take up my current position as a research associate in 2010.

I have a number of research interests. At present I am primarily concerned with the interaction of small fission gas bubbles with the lattice of UO2. Additionally, I use molecular dynamics and static lattice methods to predict the behaviour of materials proposed for use as hosts for the long term storage of high level nuclear waste. To this end, I have previously considered both crystalline and amorphous materials, including: A2B2O7 rare-earth pyrochlore oxides, phosphate based minerals (apatite and β-tricalciumphosphate), mixed alkali borosilicate glasses and phosphate glasses. I also have a particular interest in using atomic scale simulation techniques to help understand the distinctive structure and processes occurring at the interfaces between glasses and crystals.


  • M.W.D.Cooper, S.T. Murphy, M.J.D. Rushton and R.W. Grimes, “Thermophysical properties and oxygen transport in the (Ux,Pu1-x)O2 lattice”, Journal of Nuclear Materials, 461 (2015) 206–214. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jnucmat.2015.03.024
  • M.J. Qin, M.W.D. Cooper, E.Y. Kuo, M.J.D. Rushton, R.W. Grimes, G.R. Lumpkin and S.C. Middleburgh, “Thermal conductivity and energetic recoils in UO2~ using a many-body potential model”, Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter, 26 (2014) 495401. doi:10.1088/0953–8984/26/49/495401
  • M.W.D. Cooper, M.J.D. Rushton and R.W. Grimes, “A many-body potential approach to modelling the thermomechanical properties of actinide oxides” Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter, 26 (2014) 105401. doi:10.1088/0953–8984/26/10/105401
  • D. Muñoz Ramo, A. Chroneos, M.J.D. Rushton, P.D. Bristowe, “Effect of trivalent dopants on local coordination and electronic structure in crystalline and amorphous ZnO”, Thin Solid Films 555 (2014) 117. doi:10.1016/j.tsf.2013.05.140
  • M.J.D. Rushton and A. Chroneos, “A critical assessment of interatomic potentials for ceria with application to its elastic properties revisited”, Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Electronics 24 (2013) 4590–4592. doi:10.1007/s10854–013–1447–0
  • H. Shiiba, C.L. Bishop, M.J.D. Rushton, M. Nakayama, M. Nogami, J.A. Kilner and R.W. Grimes, “Effect of A-site cation disorder on oxygen diffusion in perovskite-type Ba0.5Sr0.5Co1−xFxO2.5”, Journal of Materials Chemistry A. 1, 10345 (2013). doi:10.1039/c3ta10382j
  • A. Chroneos, M.J.D. Rushton, C. Jiang and L.H. Tsoukalas, “Review: Nuclear wasteform materials: Atomistic simulation case studies”, Journal of Nuclear Materials 441, 29 (2013). doi:10.1016/j.jnucmat.2013.05.012
  • T.R. Stechert, M.J.D. Rushton and R.W. Grimes, “Predicted Mechanism for Enhanced Durability of Zinc Containing Silicate Glasses” Journal of the American Ceramic Society 96, 1450 (2013). doi:10.1111/jace.12308
  • M.J.D. Rushton, M.R. Wenman, R. Mella and P.A. Burr, “Providing skilled graduates to the nuclear industry” Nuclear Future 9, 44 (2013).
  • M.J.D. Rushton, A. Chroneos and S.J. Skinner, “Effect of strain on the oxygen diffusion in yttria and gadolinia co-doped ceria”, Solid State Ionics, 230, 37 (2013). doi:10.1016/j.ssi.2012.09.015
  • H. Lu, S.T. Murphy, M.J.D. Rushton, D.C. Parfitt and R.W. Grimes, “Thermal conductivity and the isotope effect in Li2O”, Fusion Engineering and Design, 87, 1834 (2012). doi:10.1016/j.fusengdes.2012.08.008
  • T.R. Stechert, M.J.D. Rushton, R.W. Grimes and A.C. Dillon “Predicted structure, thermo-mechanical properties and Li ion transport in LiAlF4 glass” Journal of Non-Crystalline Solids, 358, 1917 (2012). doi:10.1016/j.jnoncrysol.2012.05.044
  • A. Chroneos, M.J.D. Rushton and R.W. Grimes “1.02 - Fundamental Point Defect Properties in Ceramics” in Comprehensive Nuclear Materials, Elsevier, Oxford (2012). doi:10.1016/b978–0–08–056033–5.00002–1
  • E.E. Jay, M.J.D. Rushton and R.W. Grimes, “Migration of fluorine in fluorapatite–a concerted mechanism”, Journal of Materials Chemistry, 22, 6097 (2012). doi:10.1039/c2jm16235k
  • C.L. Bishop, S.T. Murphy, M.J.D. Rushton and Grimes, R.W. “The influence of dipole polarisation on threshold displacement energies in UO2”, Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section B: Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms, 274, 195 (2011). doi:10.1016/j.nimb.2011.11.023
  • M.J.D Rushton, R.W. Grimes and S.L. Owens, “Partial ordering of glass networks adjacent to simulated glass-crystal interfaces”, Journal of Non-Crystalline Solids, 357, 3278, (2011). doi:10.1016/j.jnoncrysol.2011.05.029
  • E.E. Jay, E.M. Michie, D.C. Parfitt, M.J.D. Rushton, S.K. Fong, P.M. Mallinson, B.L. Metcalfe, and R.W. Grimes, “Predicted energies and structures of β-Ca3 (PO4) ~2~”, Journal of Solid State Chemistry, 183, 2261 (2010). doi:10.1016/j.jssc.2010.08.008
  • M.J.D. Rushton, R.W. Grimes, and S.L. Owens “Changes to Alkali Ion Content Adjacent to Crystal-Glass Interfaces”, *Scientific Basis For Nuclear Waste Management XXXI *, 1107, 207 (2008). doi:10.1557/PROC–1107–207
  • M.J.D. Rushton R.W. Grimes and S.L. Owens, “Predicted Changes to Alkali Concentration Adjacent to Glass–Crystal Interfaces”, Journal of the American Ceramic Society, 91, 1659 (2008). 10.1111/j.1551–2916.2008.02352.x
  • A.F. Wilson, P.S. Garratt, M.J.D. Rushton, and S.P. Fox, “Deformation Characteristics of Individual Alpha and Beta Phase Compositions in Timetal 6–4”, The 11th World Conference on Titanium, WC2007, The Japan Institute of Metals (2007).
  • M.J.D. Rushton, C.R. Stanek, A.R. Cleave, B.P. Uberuaga, K.E. Sickafus, and R.W. Grimes, “Simulation of defects and defect processes in fluorite and fluorite related oxides: Implications for radiation tolerance”, Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section B: Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms*, 255, 151 (2007). doi:10.1016/j.nimb.2006.11.018
  • C.R. Stanek, R.W. Grimes, M.J.D. Rushton, K.J. Mcclellan and R.D. Rawlings “Surface dependent segregation of Y2O3 in t-ZrO2”, Philosophical Magazine Letters, 85, 445 (2005). doi:10.1080/09500830500318833
  • M.J.D. Rushton, R.W. Grimes, C.R. Stanek and S.L. Owens, “Predicted pyrochlore to fluorite disorder temperature for A2Zr2O7 compositions”, Journal of Materials Research, 19, 1603 (2004). doi:10.1557/JMR.2004.0231

PhD Thesis


Here is a list of software I have developed and released to the public as part of my work within the group.


Python modules and scripts to support atomistic simulation; atsim.potentials provides tools for working with pair and embedded atom method potential models. In particular includes functions for tabulation of pair and EAM models for LAMMPS and DL_POLY.

Developed, in part, to support the derivation of the actinides potential model