UK Nonlinear News, August 2001


Classical and quantum 3-body Coulomb problems

University of Leceister and Nottingham

The studentship is to explore the computation of cross-sections for few-body Coulomb scattering as they occur for example in celestial mechanics or atomic systems. While theoretical aspects and the formulation of these problems have been subject to a great deal of studies in recent years, numerical methods to solve the equations of motion remain relatively primitive. This project would develop new advanced techniques for few-body simulation and, at the same time, develop applications of these methods to difficult challenges in classical dynamics of few body problems such as the study of close approaches of two or more particles, reliable estimates for mean escape times and resonance phenomena. Such calculations are of great importance to obtain estimates for cross sections and mean life times for atomic or molecular systems (Transition State Theory) and for few-body complexes in celestial mechanics.

Part of the project would involve the development of advanced integrators (Ben Leimkuhler, Leicester). The other part would involve study of the classical chaotic dynamics and estimates of escape rates from scattering complexes via trajectory calculations and periodic orbit theory. The inclusion of quantum effects will be envisaged (Gregor Tanner, Nottingham).

The student will be based either at Nottingham or Leicester (approximately 30 miles apart) and will spend time at both locations. The project is part of the EU - network 'Mechanics and Symmetry in Europe (MASIE)', see for more information.

Potential applicants (non-British EU-citizens or citizens of an associate member state, who have not lived in the UK for more than 1 year prior to the appointment) are encouraged to contact Ben Leimkuhler ( or Gregor Tanner ( for further informations or to apply.

Source: Gregor Tanner

Mechanisms of adaptability and self-transformation

Complex Systems Management Centre, Cranfield School of Management, Cranfield University

There is possible funding available for 2 PhD candidates at the Complex Systems Management Centre, Cranfield School of Management, Cranfield University, Bedford, MK43 OAL. The candidates would work with Professor Peter M. Allen in the area of the NEXSUS network ( This is concerned with understanding and possibly modelling the mechanisms of adaptability and self-transformation that underlie the sustainability of any socio-economic system. Candidates should have a desire to work interdisciplinarily, linking concepts from complexity science to the interactions and learning processes occurring in human systems. 

Prospective candidates should contact Rosemary Cockfield, 01234 754801 or at

Source: Peter Allen <>

EPSRC Studentship on Locust Swarming

University of Oxford

Locusts have the genetic potential to exist in two totally different forms. Much of the time they are shy, cryptic insects that actively avoid each other. However, if they are forced together for a short period (4 hours is sufficient) by clumpily distributed resources they switch from being repelled to becoming attracted by other locusts. This phase transition seeds aggregations that may snowball to produce devastating swarms that act as cohesive units comprised of millions of individuals. The temporal dynamics and mechanisms of phase change in locusts have been extensively studied in our laboratory. We have used such data to parameterise individual-based simulations exploring the interaction between population density, resource abundance and resource distribution on phase change within locust populations. The aim is to extend these models to larger spatial scales and to formalise them mathematically. The project will involve a combination of mathematics, individual-based modelling and laboratory experimentation. 

For background see PNAS (1998) 95, 13052-13055; Biol. Rev. (1999) 74, 461-480; PNAS (2001) 98, 3895-3897.

BBSRC Studentship will start in October 2001.

Informal enquiries should be made to either Steve Simpson (in Zoology. see details below) or David Sumpter (in Mathematics. email:

Stephen J. Simpson Professor of the Hope Entomological Collections Associate Head of Department Department of Zoology South Parks Road Oxford OX1 3PS, UK

tel: +44(0)1865 272976 
fax: +44(0)1865 272970 

Source: David Sumpter <>

Modelling and Monitoring Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism

University College London & Kings College London

Applications are invited for two individuals to join a Medical Physics/Mathematics collaboration investigating the complex interplay between cerebral blood flow, tissue oygenation and metabolism. This project, is to be undertaken as part of the IRC "From Medical Images and Signals to Clinical Information", funded jointly by the EPSRC and MRC as a collaboration between the Kings College London, Manchester University, Oxford University and University College London.

The Medical Physics and Bioengineering Department at UCL are a world leader in Near Infared Spectroscopy (NIRS) and related techniques for measuring blood flow and blood oxygenation. They have strong existing collaborations with Adult Intensive Care Unit at The National Hospital for Neurology & Neuroscience, where their NIRS systems are used to monitor the condition of head injury patients. Each patient is monitored by a variety of sensors, and data is acquired in the form of time series.

The broad aim of the present project is to integrate a mathematical model for the relevant brain physiology with a model for the time series data, and the specific objective is to use the combined model to determine events that might signal changes in the patient state that require medical intervention or that are predictive of clinical outcome.

We have 3 years funding for both a PhD student and a Research Fellow to start in October 2001. Ideally one individual might focus on the data acquisition and instrumentation/monitoring aspects, whilst the other might develop the mathematical model. However, there is some flexibility, dependent on the backgrounds and preferences of each individual. Suitable individuals could be Mathematicians, Physicists or Engineers with an interest in physiological monitoring and modelling, dynamical systems theory and non-linear time-series analysis.

Both individuals will work in an interdisciplinary environment with the Medical Physics and Bioengineering Department, the Mathematics Department, and also CoMPLEX, UCL's new centre of interdisciplinary research. The work will also involve working closely with the IRC collaborations at the universities of Oxford and Manchester.

In the first instance, interested applicants should contact:

Dr. Stephen Baigent, 
CoMPLEX / Centre for Non-linear Dynamics and its Applications, 
University College London, 
Gower Street, 
London WC1E 6BT, 
Tel. +44 20 7679 2727, 
Fax +44 20 7380 0986, 

Additional information on current research activities can be found at (Medical Physics and Bioengineering Department), (Mathematics Department) and (CoMPLEX).

Source: Steve Baigent <>

Postdoctoral Positions

Modelling Antigen Recognition

Imperial College and University College London

Applications are invited for this three year postdoctoral position to be supervised jointly by Professor Jaroslav Start (Centre for Nonlinear Dynamics, University College London) and Dr Andrew George (Department of Immunology, Imperial College, London). The aim of the position is to increase our understanding of how the T cell recognises its cognate ligand, using a combination of modelling and experimental approaches (see PNAS 98, 5758 (2001)).

Given the interdisciplinary nature of this project, and the need to be competent to use the tools of computing, mathematics and experimental immunology to address the question, we are looking for someone that has obtained (or is about to submit) their PhD and has degrees in a biomedicine and a mathematics related subject. They should have a good knowledge of immunology and be willing to co-ordinate the work on two sites.

Closing date end of August. For further details of salary and other information please contact Andrew George (

Source: Andrew George

Nonlinear Wave Propagation

Institute of Theoretical Physics in Sao Paulo, Brazil

People interested in post-doc fellowships ( one year, renewable) or visiting positions ( from 2 monthes up to one year, non renewable), and working in nonlinear wave propagation and related topics, are invited to send a message to Roberto Kraenkel ( with a brief description of their interests. 

It is advisable to look at and check if the scientific profile of the candidate is akin to the research projects developed by me.

Source: Roberto Kraenkel <>


Computational Cell Biology

University of Connectict Health Center

Faculty position in Computational Cell Biology is available at the University of Connecticut Health Center.

The successful candidate will be expected to develop a research program in computational cell biology. This will entail analyses of the mathematical and physical bases for cell biological processes such as cell motility, intracellular trafficking, cell differentiation, mitosis, signal transduction, etc. The development of strong collaborations with experimentalists is expected and will be facilitated through association with the "Virtual Cell" project at the National Resource for Cell Analysis and Modeling ( 

Participation in Graduate and Medical education will be expected including the mentoring of graduate students and the development of new curricula in computational cell biology. The successful applicant will also hold a joint appointment in the Department of Mathematics at the University of Connecticut. Applications at the Assistant, Associate and Full Professor levels will be considered. Applicants should send CV, research plan and at least three letters of reference to: 

Dr. Les Loew, 
Professor of Physiology, 
University of Connecticut Health Center, 
Farmington, CT 06030-1507. 

The closing date for applications is October 4, 2001.

Source: Les Loew <>


Graduate Engineer with Experience of Finite Element Modelling

KW Ltd (Surrey)

"KW are a small but fast growing specialist consultancy, with clients in oil & gas, civil/structural, mechanical and aerospace sectors. One of our key services is advanced FE analysis. Continued success in this area has created a vacancy for a graduate engineer with some experience of FE modelling. The successfull applicant will have a good basic understanding of structural mechanics, and an interest in the application of modern CAE methods.

The successful applicant can expect a varied and challenging project workload, with excellent opportunities to develop first class technical skills."

We offer competitive salary, and excellent working conditions at our Leatherhead (Surrey) office.

Source: Philip Cooper <>

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Last Updated: 6th August 2001.