Photo of Kuangdai Leng.

Job Title
Office Phone Number
(01235) 821900 (RAL Switchboard)
Office Location
Mobile Phone Number


I am a senior data scientist in the SciML group. My current research focuses on solving a variety of problems in physics using machine learning, such as data qualification and selection, parameter inference and optimisation and 3D segmentation. I am also working on improving machine learning methodologies, such as optimising variational autoencoders based on maximum entropy production and combing variational inference and adversarial learning. I was granted a PhD degree in Civil Engineering by Tsinghua University and then another PhD degree in Geophysics by the University of Oxford. Before joining SciML as a data scientist, I worked as a postdoc researcher at Yale University and the University of Oxford.

Research interests

* Physics informed deep learning to solve heterogeneous partial differential equations

* Improving generative models by combining variational inference and adversarial learning

* Unsupervised semantic and instance segmentation in 3D

* Large-scale parameter optimisation using Bayesian inference with MCMC/HMC

Peer-reviewed publications:

[1] Thorne, M., Pachhai, S., Leng, K., Wicks, J., and Nissen-Meyer, T. 2020. New Candidate Ultralow-Velocity Zone Locations from Highly Anomalous SPdKS Waveforms. Minerals, 10(3), p.211.

[2] Fernando, B., Leng, K., and Nissen-Meyer, T. 2020. Oceanic high-frequency global seismic wave propagation with realistic bathymetry. Geophysical Journal International, 222(2), p.1178–1194.

[3] Szenicer, A., Leng, K., and Nissen-Meyer, T. 2020. A complexity-driven framework for waveform tomography with discrete adjoints. Geophysical Journal International, 223(2), p.1247–1264.

[4] Tesoniero, A., Leng, K., D. Long, M., and Nissen-Meyer, T. 2020. Full wave sensitivity of SK (K) S phases to arbitrary anisotropy in the upper and lower mantle. Geophysical Journal International, 222(1), p.412–435.

[5] Nishiyama, G., Kawamura, T., Namiki, N., Fernando, B., Leng, K., Saiki, T., Imamura, H., Takagi, Y., Shirai, K., Hayakawa, M., and others 2020. An Absence of Seismic Shaking on Ryugu Induced by the Impact Experiment on the Hayabusa2 Mission. LPI(2326), p.1806.

[6] Leng, K., Korenaga, J., and Nissen-Meyer, T. 2020. 3-D scattering of elastic waves by small-scale heterogeneities in the Earth's mantle. Geophysical Journal International, 223(1), p.502–525.

[7] Daubar, I., Lognonné, P., Teanby, N., Collins, G., Clinton, J., Stähler, S., Spiga, A., Karakostas, F., Ceylan, S., Malin, M., and others 2020. A New Crater Near InSight: Implications for Seismic Impact Detectability on Mars. Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, 125(8), p.e2020JE006382.

[8] Saade, M., Lognonné, P., Clévédé, E., Drilleau, M., Fernando, B., Leng, K., Driel, M., Bozdag, E., Plesa, A., Nissen-Meyer, T., and others 2019. Benchmark Between HOPT/AxiSEM3D/SpecFM3D with 3D Structure of Mars: Focused on Ellipticity and Dichotomy. LPI(2132), p.1826.

[9] Leng, K., Nissen-Meyer, T., Van Driel, M., Hosseini, K., and Al-Attar, D. 2019. AxiSEM3D: broad-band seismic wavefields in 3-D global earth models with undulating discontinuities. Geophysical Journal International, 217(3), p.2125–2146.

[10] Liu, Y., Wu, Z., Yang, Q., and Leng, K. 2018. Dynamic stability evaluation of underground tunnels based on deformation reinforcement theory. Advances in Engineering Software, 124, p.97–108.

[11] Bozdag, E., Ruan, Y., Metthez, N., Khan, A., Leng, K., Driel, M., Wieczorek, M., Rivoldini, A., Larmat, C., Giardini, D., and others 2017. Simulations of seismic wave propagation on Mars. Space Science Reviews, 211(1-4), p.571–594.

[12] Leng, K., Nissen-Meyer, T., and Driel, M. 2016. Efficient global wave propagation adapted to 3-D structural complexity: a pseudospectral/spectral-element approach. Geophysical Supplements to the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 207(3), p.1700–1721.

[13] Yang, Q., and Leng, K. 2014. A microplane-based anisotropic damage effective stress. International Journal of Damage Mechanics, 23(2), p.178–191.

[14] Yang, Q., Liu, Y., and Leng, K. 2014. Geomaterial plasticity and thermodynamic stability of equilibrium. Computer Methods and Recent Advances in Geomechanics, p.91.

[15] Yang, Q., Leng, K., and Liu, Y. 2013. On the structure of maximum entropy production principle: from near to far-from equilibrium. In Proceeding of the 12th Joint European Thermodynamics Conference (pp. 133–139).


[17] Leng, K., and Yang, Q. 2012. Fabric tensor characterization of tensor-valued directional data: solution, accuracy, and symmetrization. Journal of Applied Mathematics, 2012.

[18] Leng, K., and Yang, Q. 2011. Generalized Hamilton's principle for inelastic bodies within non-equilibrium thermodynamics. Entropy, 13(11), p.1904–1915.

[19] Yang, Q., Leng, K., and Liu, Y. 2011. A finite element approach for seismic design of arch dam-abutment structures. Science China Technological Sciences, 54(3), p.516–521.

[20] Zhu, M., Leng, K.D., and Ma, J.L. 2010. Settlement Characteristics of Cement Fly-Ash Gravel Pile-Plate Composite Foundation of High-Speed Railway. Journal of Southwest Jiaotong University, 18(1), p.13–18.

[21] Yang, Q., Leng, K., Liu, Y., and Wu, Y. 2010. Aseismatic stability and reinforcement of high arch dam-abutment structure. Shuili Fadian Xuebao(Journal of Hydroelectric Engineering), 29(5), p.14–21.

Conference abstracts available on my Google Scholar profile (