Photo of Dr Layal Hakim

Dr Layal Hakim

Lecturer in Mathematics (E&S)


Telephone: 01392 725764

Extension: (Streatham) 5764

Layal was born in 1989 in London, England. She attended Brunel University in September 2007, and graduated with a Bachelors of Science degree with Honors in Mathematics in July 2010. In July 2010 she was the recipient of The Foster Prize, The Margaret Trier Memorial Prize, and The Institute of Mathematics and its Applications Prize. In October 2010, she started a PhD, funded by the EPSRC, in the same department under the supervision of Professor Sergey Mikhailov. Her thesis, titled  'Numerical Analysis of a Cohesive Zone Model Approach for Time and History Dependent Materials’, won the Dean's Prize for Innovation and Impact in Doctoral Research. In this project, a non-linear history-dependent cohesive zone model of crack growth in linear elastic and viscoelastic materials is studied. The viscoelasticity is described by a linear Volterra integral operator in time. The normal stress on the cohesive zone satisfies the history dependent yield condition. The crack starts propagating when the crack tip opening reaches a prescribed critical value. A numerical algorithm for computing the evolution of the crack and cohesive zone was formulated and implemented. During her PhD degree, Layal used to enjoy teaching undergraduate students at all stages of their degree. In April 2013 and April 2014, she won a Brunel University Student-Led Teaching Award.

Layal completed her PhD in April 2014 and joined the Department of Computing at Imperial College London as a research associate in July 2014. She was a member of the MOSS project, which was funded by the Technology Strategy Board, and lead by Professor John Darlington. The main aim of this project is to obtain a way of processing and archiving binary large objects by making wide use of functional programming languages. As the operations on binary large objects are generally immutable, they can be treated as mathematical values that are amenable to manipulation using functional programming techniques. Such techniques rely on the use of abstractions, particularly control abstractions presented as higher-order functions. In October 2015, Layal joined the Department of Mathematics at Imperial College as a research associate in the Applied Mathematics and Mathematical Physics section. Alongside her research, Layal used to lecture and mentor undergraduate students in the Department of Mathematics and the Department of Computing. In May 2017, she was awarded the Imperial College FoNS Annual Prize for Excellence in the Support of Teaching and Learning.

Research Interests: Integral equations, numerical methods, solid mechanics, fracture mechanics, viscoelasticity, programming, and the pedagogy of mathematics in higher education. 

Academic Year 2018-2019:

  • Lecturer: Real Analysis MTH2001 (Term 1); Vector Calculus and Applications MTH2004 (Term 2)
  • Supervisor and co-leader of: Mathematics Group Projects ECM3735 (Term 1); Projects for Modelling: Theory and Practice MTH2005 (Term 2)
  • Tutorials: Term 1: Mathematical Structures MTH1001, Mathematical Methods MTH1002, Differential Equations MTH2003; Term 2: Analysis MTH2001, Vector Calculus and Applications MTH2004.
  • Office hours: Open-door policy (room Harrison 271). Term 1: Thursdays 12:30-13:30, Term 2: Wednesdays 12:30 (room: Peter Chalk 2.1). If you would like to arrange a meeting at other times, please email
  • Fellow of the University of Exeter Education Incubator (Curriculum 2021). As part of this project, Dr Hakim founded and coordinated the Stage 1 Weekly Online Quizzes, which were created using NUMBAS, as well as the Maths Cafe which took place in January 2019 and May 2019.
  • Co-organiser of 9th Elasticity Day (held at the University of Exeter on 8th May 2019)
  • Co-organiser of UK Conference on Boundary Integral Methods (held at Oxford Brookes University on 8th-9th July 2019).



Manuscript Reviewer: Journal of Mechanics of Time-Dependent Materials: Aug 2013-present.

Athena Swan panel member, Department of Mathematics, Brunel University London: Jan-Oct 2014.

Conferences: presented at 15 national and international conferences.

Invited Speaker at: Women Count, Queen Mary University of London, Mar 2017.

Student insert MSOR Connections Vol. 10, Dec 2010.


Institute of Mathematics and its Applications: Associate Member (since 2011)

London Mathematical Society: Ordinary Member (2014-2018)


Imperial College London: representative for postdoctoral research associates in the Department of Computing: Oct 2014-Oct 2015. Organised the first annual Research Associate Symposium.

Brunel University London: representative for postgraduate students in the School of Information Systems Computing and Mathematics: Oct 2012-June 2014.

Institute of Mathematics and its Applications: representative for Brunel University Oct 2012-July 2014.

Co-author of:

Chun C., Hakim L., Autoinventio, Offbeat/Quirky: Journal of Experimental Fiction, Edited by Eckhard Gerdes, Published March 2017.