UK Nonlinear News, July 1996

Situations Vacant

(See also the THES online: )

A dynamical systems analysis of
lateral vibrations in oil-well drillstrings


Supervisor: Alan Champneys

The project will involve an application of nonlinear dynamics and chaos to a real-world Engineering problem in the oil industry. Violent, self-supporting lateral vibrations in oil well drillstrings are known to cause millions of dollars worth of damage each year to complex drilling apparatus. A simplified differential equation model has shown the basic mechanism for the onset of these vibrations. Depending on the rotation speed of the drillstring and other critical parameters, this model is known to feature chaotic solutions. The aim of this project is to develop a more realistic model and to analyse its dynamics in order to suggest control strategies for the vibrations. A mixture of theoretical and numerical methods will be used. It will also involve collaboration with industry, notably Schlumberger and possibly Shell or BP. Interest in differential equations and some experience with scientific computing and/or numerical analysis would be useful.

This project has guaranteed funding from the Applied Nonlinear Mathematics Programme of the EPSRC. This vacancy must be filled by 31st July.


University of Abertay Dundee

A research studentship in mathematical biology has become available at the University of Abertay Dundee.

The problem under investigation is the growth of competing fungal species within wooden components of an historic ship. A cellular automaton model has been developed over the past year and the project would involve further development of this model and the development of a continuous mathematical model to compare it with. The aim of the project is to calibrate the model, using results from biological experiments being carried out by our collaborators at the Scottish Crop Research Institute and the Scottish Institute for Wood Technology, and to investigate its sensitivity to various environmental, spatial and temporal factors.

Ideally the candidate will possess a first degree in mathematics or applied mathematics and should have some knowledge of computer programming.

Further details and application forms may be obtained by writing to

The Personnel Officer,
University of Abertay Dundee,
Bell Street,
Phone (01382) 308032

mentioning that you are interested in the studentship in the School of Informatics entitled "MODELLING FUNGAL POPULATION INTERACTIONS USING A 3-D CELLULAR AUTOMATON MODEL".

SOURCE: Dr. Bill Samson: (


Department of Physics, University College London

Studentships are available at the Department of Physics, University College London to study quantum manifestations of chaos in atoms, molecules and mesoscopic systems. The group's research interests include investigations of bifurcations, ghosts and quantum scarring including their experimental signatures in a range of quantum systems.

For further information contact:

Dr T S Monteiro Email:
Department of Physics and Astronomy Tel: +44 (0)171-419-3504
University College London Fax: +44 (0)171-380-7145
University of London
Gower Street
London WC1E 6BT

Source: Dr T S Monteiro (

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Last Updated: 8th May 1996.