UK Nonlinear News, Sept. 1995

Applied Nonlinear Maths at Bristol University

The Applied Nonlinear Mathematics group was set up by Professor John Hogan upon his appointment to the chair of the Department of Engineering Mathematics in 1992. Historically, the department has been committed to using mathematics to study real world problems of direct engineering, scientific or industrial relevance. Nonlinear mathematics is providing new insights into just these kinds of problems so the formal establishment of the group was a very natural step. Since then it has expanded rapidly. From October, it will have 13 full members. Apart from John Hogan, there are two other permanent staff: Alan Champneys and Tony Richardson. There will also be four postdoctoral researchers and six PhD students. In addition, we work closely with Colin Campbell and Stephen Coombes who are interested in the theory and application of neural networks.

There are also strong links with the Applied Maths and Numerical Analysis Group in the School of Maths and with many other individuals in the various Engineering Departments at Bristol. Faculty. In fact, the department benefits from its physical position in the heart of the Engineering Faculty.

Further information about the group is available on the WWW from

Research Interests

The research interests of the group cover a wide spectrum of problems in nonlinear dynamics, stability theory and applied computational mathematics. Many of the current projects are in collaboration with the other departments in the Engineering Faculty and the School of Medicine at Bristol.

There are also collaborative links with other Universities both within and outside the UK and with Industry (for example Sharp Electronics, Hewlett Packard, The Defence Research Agency, Nuclear Electric and Schlumberger Cambridge Research). The group also holds currently hold four research grants from the EPSRC Applied Nonlinear Mathematics Initiative. and the group has recently been notably successful in obtaining funding from the EPSRC Applied Nonlinear Mathematics Programme. The group regularly hosts visiting academics and the Benjamin Meaker Visiting Professorship for 1996 has also been awarded to Joe McKenna from Connecticutt, USA who will be visiting the group from June onwards.

The following list gives some examples of research interests of the group:

Professor John Hogan
Dynamics of piecewise linear systems, nonlinear waves,liquid crystal dynamics, earthquake applications, cellular automata.
Dr Tony Richardson
General continuum mechanics, electrical control of porous media flows.
Dr Alan Champneys
Dynamical systems, numerical detection and continuation of homoclinic orbits, nonlinear elastic buckling.
Dr Stuart Doole
Water waves, piecewise linear PDEs, dynamical systems models of suspension bridges.
Dr Gabriel Lord
Numerical analysis of dynamical systems, fluid instabilities, cylindrical shell buckling.
Current research projects include:

Preprint Series

A preprint series was started in 1994. A list of available titles (many of which can be downloaded) is at

The web site also holds the FAQ for the newsgroup sci.nonlinear, the HTML version of which is maintained by Stuart Doole at

Research Opportunities

The group has two research opportunities available at the moment. The first is a Postdoctoral Research Assistantship for one year, plus possibly three more, into the mathematical modelling of air combat and other pursuit evasion problems. The successful applicant will have his/her own dedicated workstation and a generous travel budget. The second is an earmarked EPSRC PhD Research Studentship which is concerned with the understanding and controlling of oil-well drillstring dynamics. For more information on both of these, see elsewhere in UK Nonlinear news, or the WWW page:
Alternatively, contact directly John Hogan or Alan Champneys ( respectively for more details.

Further Information

For further information about the group or the possibility of PhD/postdoctoral research, please contact Professor John Hogan, Department of Engineering Mathematics, University of Bristol, Queen's Building, University Walk, Bristol BS8 1TR, U. K.
Phone: (0117) 928 7752 Fax: (0117) 925 1154 Email:

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