UK Nonlinear News, August 1999


Analytical and Numerical Investigation of Sliding Orbits and Their Bifurcations in piecewise linear dynamical systems

University of Bristol

Recently, it has been discovered that piecewise smooth dynamical systems can exhibit a peculiar type of periodic solution lying partly within the system discontinuity set (sliding orbit) [di Bernardo, Johansson, Vasca 1999]. These solutions have been shown to undergo a novel class of bifurcations leading to the formation of more complex behaviour such as multi-sliding orbits. Instances of these solutions and their bifurcations have been detected in several systems of relevance in applications such as DC/DC power converters (see html) and relay feedback systems.

The main objectives of this project are: to study analytically and numerically the nature, existence and stability of sliding and multi-sliding periodic solutions; to characterise the novel bifurcations leading to their formation; to investigate the particular bifurcation structures organised around sliding orbits and detect the possible existence of aperiodic and chaotic solutions. Finally, we shall seek to apply the new results to physical models of relevance in applications. The proposed research provides ideal training for a Ph.D student and will be based in the Applied Nonlinear Mathematics Group in the Department of Engineering Mathematics at the University of Bristol. The student will be expected to travel and interact with experimentalists at the Universities of Barcelona and Berkeley.

For further information, prospective candidates should contact Dr. Mario di Bernardo, without delay at the address below:
Department of Engineering Mathematics
University of Bristol
Bristol BS8 1TR, U.K.
Tel: +44-117-9288921
Fax: +44-117-9251154

Source: Mario di Bernardo.

Postgraduate Studentship at School of Mathematical Sciences

Queen Mary & Westfield College, University of London

We have available a College Studentship - this provides financial support for a PhD student at QMW at the same level as that of an EPSRC studentship (Maintenance & Fees). Please note that there are no restrictions on EU or O/S students applying. The research area could be in dynamical systems but not necessarily so. There is also a possibility of further enhancement of the studentship with a CASE award from British Telecom for a student qualified to research in control of dynamical systems.

Please contact:

David Arrowsmith,
School of Mathematical Sciences,
Queen Mary & Westfield College, University of London,
Tel: 0171 975 5464

Source: Professor David K. Arrowsmith

Postgraduate Studentships Available in UMIST

PhD ProjectsContact
Numerical Analysis and Combustion Theory Ron Thatcher ( or John Dold (
Dynamical Systems David Broomhead (

EPSRC studentships are also available for:

MSc in Numerical Analysis and Computing. Contact:

Source: John Dold (


Centre for Nonlinear Dynamics


A vacancy for a Research Assistant has arisen in the Centre for Nonlinear Dynamics at UCL following the award of a Royal Society Research Fellowship, beginning in October, to Gert van der Heijden. The research, which will be conducted in collaboration with Gert van der Heijden, Michael Thompson (both UCL) and Alan Champneys (Bristol), concerns the application of dynamical systems techniques to localisation phenomena in the post-buckling behaviour of twisted rods, or the analogous problem in spinning tops, and could also include experimental work if the candidate is interested. The position is funded by the EPSRC and is available for a year starting 1 October 1999. Applicants should send their CV and the names of two referees who could comment on their work, as soon as possible but not later than 1 September, to Gert van der Heijden, preferably by e-mail.

Gert van der Heijden
Centre for Nonlinear Dynamics
University College London
Gower Street
London WC1E 6BT

Source: Gert van der Heijden (


Visiting Position in Nonlinear Systems

Cornell University

Cornell University seeks a visiting scholar to participate in an interdisciplinary graduate training program in Nonlinear Systems, funded by an IGERT grant from the National Science Foundation. (See the web page for a description of the training program's educational goals, faculty, and current research.)

The visiting position is available for the Spring semester of 2000, and includes compensation of $25,000. It may be possible to arrange for additional support, in exchange for teaching a section of an undergraduate course in a department of the candidate's expertise (subject to departmental needs).

The visitor would hold the title of Visiting Scholar and would be expected to interact (and perhaps collaborate) with the students and faculty in the program, and to participate in all aspects of the research and training activities, including weekly colloquia and informal seminars. An ideal candidate would be a mathematician, scientist, engineer, or social scientist who enjoys interdisciplinary interactions with faculty and students from a wide range of fields. Women and minorities are especially encouraged to apply.

Interested applicants should send a CV, a summary of research interests, and a brief statement explaining why this program appeals to them, to

IGERT Visiting Position
Attention: Dolores Pendell
Rhodes Hall 614
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853-3801

The deadline for applications is November 1, 1999.

Cornell University is an affirmative action and equal opportunity employer.

Source:: Steven H. Strogatz.


Chaos, Communication and Randomness

School of Mathematics and Statistics

University of Birmingham

This three-year post-doctoral position is funded under the EPSRC's `Stochastic Modelling in Science and Technology' initiative. It is concerned with the active engineering topic of chaos-based communications research, and in particular with statistical aspects of chaos. Thus, it is now timely for the area to benefit from statistical research and collaboration. There are links with non-linear time series, dynamical systems and chaotic randomness. The project develops appropriate chaos-based communication models, both theoretically and computationally, and involves collaborations with both chaos and communications researchers.

In the first instance, informal enquiries about the position may be made to Professor A.J.Lawrance, Email:, Telephone: +44-(0)121-414-6190/3389(fax), or by post: Further information is available in the Jobs section of the School's Website:

Source A.J. Lawrance

Spatio-Temporal Dynamics of Childhood Diseases

University of Cambridge

This postdoctoral position is funded by the Wellcome Trust and is tenable for up to five years. It is part of a project that is concerned with understanding the forces which drive the spatio-temporal dynamics and predictability of infectious diseases by using mathematical and statistical models. The focus of the postdoctoral research project is to perform a spatio-temporal analysis of data on measles and pertussis in order to improve upon existing epidemiological modelling. A major aim is to derive realistic models that can be used to test vaccination strategies. A further aim within the five year project is to extend mathematical and statistical models to consider the dynamics of other childhood microparasitic infections with more complex natural histories. This will require the use and development of semi-parametric statistical methods. There are pronounced links with nonlinear time series modelling and dynamical systems. It will be useful if the candidate for the post has an interest in biological systems and is familiar with some of the following: time series analysis and stochastic processes, dynamical systems theory, spatial statistics, wavelets, Generalised Linear Models, nonparametric methods. She or he will work within an active and friendly multidisciplinary research team of mathematical biologists. The salary will be in the range (18,275 - 26,523) pounds depending on experience and age.

Further enquiries about the position may be made to:

Bryan Grenfell,
Department of Zoology
University of Cambridge
Downing Street, Cambridge CB2 3EJ, UK
Phone/fax: +44 (0)1223 334466

Source: Barbel Finkenstadt

Three vacancies in mathematical modelling of medicine

Heriot-Watt University & University of Edinburgh

Applications are invited for the following three vacancies in the new Centre for Theoretical Modelling in Medicine:

Senior Research Fellow (salary 22,726-27,515 pounds, ref 117/99/E)
Two Postdoctoral Research Associates (salary 16,655-21,815 pounds, ref 118/99/E)

These three new posts will work within the new Centre for Theoretical Modelling in Medicine as part of a new research initiative led by Heriot-Watt University in collaboration with the University of Edinburgh. The centre will apply mathematics to clinical and laboratory medicine, in a series of multi-disciplinary research projects. You will be involved in initiating new research collaborations as well as a mixture of individual and team-based research.

You should have previous knowledge of both mathematics and medicine or biology, but your main expertise could lie in either area. The Senior Research Fellow and one Research Associate will be employed by Heriot-Watt University, with the other Research Associate employed by the University of Edinburgh. You will divide your time between Heriot-Watt and the University of Edinburgh teaching hospitals. The appointments will be for three years.

For application details please contact the Personnel Office, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh EH14 4AS tel/fax 0131 451 3475 (24hrs) quoting the appropriate reference number. Overseas applicants may apply by sending a CV and the names of at least two referees by email to

Further particulars are available at

Informal enquiries may be made to Professor Jonathan Sherratt on telephone/fax 0131 451 3740/3249,

The closing date for applications is 6 August 1999.

Source: Jonathan Sherratt (

Noise and Chaos

Department of Mathematics


A one year post-doctoral position is available to work with Professors Tom Mullin and D.S. Broomhead on an experimental and theoretical study of the effects of noise on chaotic systems. The project will be primarily experimental but interested theoreticians are also invited to apply. It will involve an investigation of the effects of noise on Silnikov attractors in nonlinear oscillators.

Further details may be obtained by e-mail contact via

The closing date for applications is 4th Sept. 1999.

Source: Eric Yao (


Department of Mathematics


Temporary Lectureship in Applied Mathematics

The Mathematics Department in UMIST inivtes applications for a two year temporary lectureship to support teaching and research in any area of pure or applied dynamical systems.

The position will be available from 1st January 2000. Informal inquiries can be made to Professor D.S. Broomhead (telephone 0161- 200 3680, or email School of Mathematics

University of Bristol

Lectureships in Applied Mathematics

The University of Bristol invites applications for lectureships in Applied Mathematics in the School of Mathematics from persons actively engaged in research in areas of applied mathematics, including numerical analysis. Preference may be given to active researchers with expertise in scientific computation, and/or who would strengthen or support the School's existing strength in fluid dynamics. Appointments may be made on either of the Lecturer A and B scales.

Informal enquiries are welcome, and may be made to the Head of Applied Mathematics:
Professor D. Howell Peregrine,
School of Mathematics, University of Bristol,
University Walk, Bristol
BS8 1TW, England

tel: +44 (0) 117 928 7971
fax: +44 (0) 117 928 7999

For more information see

The University of Bristol is an Equal Opportunities Employer.

Source: Professor D. Howell Peregrine.

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Last Updated: 30th July 1999.