Tom McCourt

I am a lecturer in pure mathematics at the School of Computing, Electronics and Mathematics. .

I was awarded my PhD at the University of Queensland in 2010. I completed my doctorate under the excellent supervision of Associate Professor Diane Donovan and Dr James Lefevre. Prior to my current position I have held academic positions at the University of Bristol, the University of Queensland, and Auburn University.

My ongoing research projects include the following.
  • Modelling and Simulation; investigation of sampling strategies and experimental designs. This research includes the application of techniques from analysis, statistics and combinatorics, and has applications to geoscience and exploration engineering.
  • Topological Graph Theory, focussing on topics related to group theory and design theory. My publications in this area are in some of the most highly respected combinatorial journals, e.g. Combinatorica.
  • Algebraic Structures arising from combinatorial designs. I have recently received a grant from the London Mathematical Society for continued research in this area.
  • Metric Geometry; problems related to rigidity of graphs embedded in three space (characterising rigidity in graphs has applications to sensor networks, robotics and chemistry). I have collaborated with world leaders in this area and have obtained grants to support these collaborations. My work in this area includes publishing in Discrete and Computational Geometry.

Alongside Prof. Darryn Bryant I maintain a survey website on Existence results for G-Designs.



To see my publications please click here.
Submitted papers:
  • K. Burrage, P. Burrage, D.M. Donovan, T.A. McCourt, H.B. Thompson, and E.S. Yazici, ‘Estimates of the coverage of parameter space by Latin Hypercube and Orthogonal sampling: connections between Populations of Models and Experimental Designs’. (arXiv.)
  • T.A. McCourt and A. Nixon, ‘A constructive characterisation of circuits in the simple (2,1)-sparsity matroid’. (arXiv.)
  • K. Bonetta-Martin and T.A. McCourt, ‘On which groups can arise as the canonical group of a spherical latin bitrate’. (arXiv.)
Papers in preparation:
  • M. Ellingham, E. Marshall, T.A. McCourt and A. Nixon, ‘Two-connected minor free graphs’.
  • T.S. Griggs and T.A. McCourt, ‘Triple systems and the Axiom of Veblen’.


Conference Organisation:

In 2014, alongside Daniel Robertz, I organised `The London Mathematical Society SW&SW Regional Meeting’. The meeting consisted of two workshops that ran over three days. One workshop was on topics in combinatorics and the other on differential algebra.

In 2013, together with Tony Nixon, I organised the conference ‘Geometric and Topological Graph Theory 2013’. For details, please follow this link.


Invited Speaker:

  • Face 2-coloured triangulations and directed Eulerian digraphs on the sphere. Pure Mathematics Seminar Series, Lancaster University, UK, 2015.
  • Properly face two-coloured spherical triangulations: their canonical groups and recursive constructions. British Mathematical Colloquium: Combinatorics Workshop, QMUL, UK, 2014.
  • Distributive and anti-distributive Mendelsohn quasigroups. Combinatorics Seminar Series, University of Bristol, UK, 2013.
  • Lecture series on spherical latin bitrades. (Two 80 minute lectures.) CIMPA 2013 Graduate School: Graphs, Codes and Designs, Bangkok, Thailand, 2013.
  • Lecture series on (v,k,λ) designs. (Three 80 minute lectures.) CIMPA 2013 Graduate School: Graphs, Codes and Designs, Bangkok, Thailand, 2013.
  • Face two-colourable triangulations of the sphere and abelian groups. Mathematics Seminar Series, Nottingham Trent, UK, 2013.
  • Biembedding designs and minimum genus embeddings. SIAM Conference on discrete mathematics Mini-symposium: Graphs on Surfaces, Halifax, Canada, 2012.
  • Biembedding twofold triple systems. Open University Winter Combinatorics Meeting, Open University, UK, 2011.



  • £20000 from The Heilbronn Institute for ‘Geometric and Topological Graph Theory 2013’
  • £1000 from The London Mathematical Society for ‘Geometric and Topological Graph Theory 2013’
  • £7500 from The London Mathematical Society for ‘The LMS SW&SW Regional Meeting, 2014’
  • $AU2000 Ethel Raybould Fellowship to visit the University of Queensland in 2016
  • £490 from London Mathematical Society Scheme 4 Research in Pairs 2016
  • £1440 from London Mathematical Society Undergraduate Student Bursary 2015 (to fund a research project under my supervision)
  • £1800 from The University of Bristol School of Mathematics Small Grants