Dr Till Wagner


  • 2013-: Postdoctoral Scholar, Scripps Institution of Oceanography
  • 2009-2013: Ph.D. Student, Polar Ocean Physics Group, DAMTP and British Antarctic Survey 
  • 2008-2009: M.A.St. (Part III) in Mathematics, DAMTP
  • 2004-2008: M.Sci. in Physics and Philosophy (Joint Honours), University of Bristol


Till will shortly join the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego, CA to work with Prof Ian Eisenman on Arctic tipping points and the question of whether there are multiple stable states of the sea ice cover.

Until recently, Till was a graduate student at the Polar Ocean Physics Group at DAMTP and at the British Antarctic Survey. His mathematical research was mainly concerned with elasticity theory and surface tension phenomena. His particular interest is with extreme deformations of thin sheets: he looks for instabilities, discontinuous evolution and unexpected behaviour of sheets that are subjected to large external forces and attempts to explain these phenomena using a combination of analytical, numerical and experimental tools.The applications of his work range from tiny systems like nano-electromechanical switches to large scale processes like plate tectonics.

Till's second main research interest is geophysics - with a particular focus on the physical processes underlying the behaviour of sea ice and icebergs.  His focus in this was on capturing the surface morphology of deformed ice in order to gain insight into how ice floes are compressed, break-up and refreeze into new structures. This has to date taken him on four polar expeditions to both the Arctic and Antarctic.

Studentships/ Research Activities 

  • 2012: Operation Iceberg - Arctic Research Cruise, documented by BBC
  • 2012: OCCAM Visiting Studentship, University of Oxford
  • 2011/12: Arctic Climate Impact Tours, North Greenland Sea (blog)
  • 2011: Guest Student, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute
  • 2011: Visiting Student, NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center
  • 2010: ICEBELL, Antarctic Research Cruise 

Recent Publications

T. J. W. Wagner and D. Vella, Switch on, switch off: stiction in nanoelectromechanical switchesNanotechnology, 24275501 (2013)

T. J. W. Wagner and D. Vella,  The `Sticky Elastica': delamination blisters beyond small deformationsSoft Matter, 9, 1025 (2013)

T. J. W. Wagner and D. Vella, The sensitivity of Graphene `Snap-Through' to substrate geometryAppl. Phys. Lett., 100, 233111 (2012).

T. J. W. Wagner and D. Vella, Floating carpets and the delamination of elastic sheetsPhys. Rev. Lett. 107, 044301 (2011).


 In the Media

Till's polar field work has been covered in a number of mainstream media - here are a few links: