Professor in Applied Mathematics
This School's laboratory activity is almost unique in the UK, as highlighted by the International Review of Mathematics 2010.
How would you summarise your research to undergraduates?
I am interested in the intricate behaviour of complex systems; from the dynamics of fluid flows to the deformation of elastic materials, encompassing both curiosity driven and industrially relevant phenomena.
Laboratory based research into complex systems is a creative activity as it often reveals unexpected phenomena, whose understanding and interpretation requires mathematical modelling.
How would you summarise your research to postgraduates?
Current research in my group is focused on the dynamics and instabilities that arise from the displacement of one fluid by another in either rigid or flexible vessels. Applications range from pulmonary airway reopening to enhanced oil recovery applications.
One particular interest is the influence of non-uniform vessel geometry on the modes of bubble propagation and liquid recovery. The presence of a fluid interface that is inherently nonlinear means that complex dynamics occur even for slow flows where inertial forces are negligible.
Our experimental approach often leads to unexpected observations, which we follow up with a programme of careful experimentation and modelling in collaboration with Dr A. Hazel and Prof M. Heil.
We have recently extended this approach to industrial problems, with projects ranging from free-surface flows of chocolate to multiple droplet impacts in inkjet printing.
What do you think makes the School distinctive?
Its laboratory activity is almost unique in the UK, as highlighted by the International Review of Mathematics 2010.
What do you enjoy most about teaching?
Interested and engaged students!
How do you make your teaching up-to-date, innovative and inspirational?
Experimental demonstrations are very effective in linking applied mathematics to physical phenomena.
What do you enjoy most about research?
Observing and characterising unexpected phenomena in the laboratory.
When a student completes their course, what for you are the measures of success?
In addition to academic results, an interest in further learning and a varied profile from engagement in a variety of extra-curricular activities.