UK Nonlinear News, May 1997

Situations Vacant


Department of mathematics

NERC Studentship in Ocean Dynamics

Applications are invited for a three year studentship available from October 1997 to work in one of the following areas of ocean dynamics:

The student will join a research team in geophysical fluid dynamics led by Professor Andrew Willmott. in the Applied Mathematics group. This group was rated 4 in the 1996 Research Assessment exercise. If you are a graduate, or expect to graduate in July 1997, with at least an upper second class honours degree in mathematics, oceanography, physics or a related discipline and are interested in one of these projects then further information can be obtained from

Professor A.J. Willmott
Department of Mathematics
Keele University
Staffs ST5 5BG

Tel:(01782) 583270 Fax:(01782) 584268

See also

Source: Andrew Willmott (


Studentships in Mathematical Biology

Studentships are now available to work on various aspects of theoretical and applied population dynamics. Theoretical projects are ideally suited for a mathematician or physicist who would like to move into the expanding field of biomathematics.

The Epidemiology and Modelling Group is large and very active, and is unusual in its close collaboration between biomathematicians, statisticians and experimental biologists. There are also well established links to several research institutes.

Current theoretical research in the Group includes:

Nonlinear dynamical systems - persistence and extinction
Stochastic processes and models- predicting disease spread
Reaction-diffusion systems - pattern formation
Cellular Automata - spatio-temporal dynamics
Nonlinear parameter estimation - disease models

We have a number of competitive studentships available for well qualified applicants (from the UK or other EU countries) from October 1997, including:

These research positions are strongly interdisciplinary in nature, science graduates without biological experience should not feel discouraged from applying.

Interested candidates should send a c.v., together with the names of two referees to:

Dr C. A. Gilligan, Department of Plant Sciences, University of Cambridge, Downing Street, Cambridge, CB2 3EA, UK.
Tel: (01223) 333904; fax: (01223) 333953; email:,

Further details can be obtained from:

Dr A. Kleczkowski, tel: (01223) 330229; email:
Closing date for applications is 31 May 1997.

For more details, see the group Web page at

Note for EC residents: Studentships cover tuition for EC (non U.K.) residents but additional funds may be available for maintenance (living costs) for EC applicants who are suitably qualified.

Source: Adam Kleczkowski (

University of Central Lancashire

Centre for Research in Fire and Explosion Studies

Intrinsic Instability of Premixed Flames with Complex Chemistry

A possibility of financial support for a PhD student is expected to arise within the Centre for Research in Fire and Explosion Studies, University of Central Lancashire. The prospective studentship will involve analytical and/or computational research on fundamental issues of Intrinsic instability of premixed flames with complex chemistry in close collaboration with Professor G. Makhviladze.

It is expected that the successful candidate will take up the post in October 1997.

The Centre was established in 1994 and has since grown rapidly. To date it has a broad range of computational and experimental facilities. We have close collaboration with academic and industrial research centres both in the UK, North America, and France.

Permanent residents of the UK and citizens of the EC who have resided in the UK during the last 3 years should be eligible. A minimum of an upper second class honours degree is required in a discipline relevant to combustion.

For further information and informal discussion contact Professor G. Makhviladze.

Georgy M. Makhviladze, Professor,
Head of the Centre for Research in Fire and Explosion Studies,
University of Central Lancashire,
Preston, PR1 2HE, U.K.
Tel: 01772 89 32 22 Fax: 01772 89 29 16

The research areas and main research directions in the Centre for Research in Fire and Explosion Studies are:

  1. Combustion and Explosions
    Studies in combustion and explosion phenomena. Development of new physical and mathematical models of these and related phenomena. Studies in fluid dynamics of reacting multi-phase media. Development of numerical and analytical methods.
  2. Fire Engineering, Hazard Analysis and Quantification, Risk Assessment.
    Study of fires, explosions and other potentially dangerous situations for the built environment, the chemical industry, process industries, transportation and the storage of chemically active substances. The analysis and development of fire engineering education.

The three active major current projects funded by the Engineering and Physical Science Research Council are:

  1. Dynamics of intrinsically unstable premixed flames.
  2. Two-phase flows accompanying fires in enclosures.
  3. Two-phase clouds: combustion and other effects following the release of fuel into the atmosphere.


Department of Mathematics and Department of Fuel & Energy

Theory of Ignition of Catalytic Combustion Devices

Applications are invited for a PhD Studentship on a project funded by EPSRC on catalytic combustion. The aim of the project is to apply the principles of non-linear mathematics to the transient behaviour of catalytic combustion devices. The student would use stability and bifurcation theory to analyse the highly non-linear combustion equation. The successful applicant would be under the joint supervision of Professor J. Brindley (Applied Maths) and Dr. A.C. McIntosh (Fuel and Energy).

Because catalytic combustion is a relatively new science, many unanswered questions remain concerning this mode of burning. Although there is undoubtedly great advantage in the low pollutant emission from such devices, the ignition behaviour is not well understood. Hysteresis effects are common, whereby the onset of the catalytic combustion occurs at a well defined temperature as a device is switched on, but persists to a lower temperature when the input power is reduced. This is a disadvantage when devices are switched on and off repeatedly as for instance in short journeys; the relatively high temperatures required for the onset of catalytic combustion leads to longer emission of unwanted NOx before light-off. From the theoretical point of view, hysteresis is the unmistakable signal of the response of a non-linear system.

The main aims of the research are:

For further particulars and an application form, please contact:

Dr M.J. Wilson,
Department of Applied Mathematical Studies,
The University of Leeds, LEEDS LS2 9JT, telephone: 0113 233 5148,

Informal enquiries to Professor Brindley,
telephone: 0113 233 5134

The University of Leeds promotes an Equal Opportunities Policy.


Department of Fuel & Energy

Mathematical Modelling of Thermal Degradation and Ignition of Polymeric Materials with Fillers

A Ph.D student is required from October 1997 to work on this EPSRC funded project. The project is aimed at modelling the effect of solid-phase additives on ignition resistance and degradation of polymeric materials in small-scale fires (length scale of the solid up to 10cm). Experimental data will be obtained mainly from Cone Calorimeter tests at Raychem (a materials science company in Swindon, Wilts.), and possibly also from the compartment-fire test rig at Leeds. The approach will be truly multidisciplinary, involving analytical and combustion chemistry, materials expertise, mathematical modelling, careful experimentation and numerical analysis. The specific aims of the project are:

  1. To develop mathematical models to investigate the ignition resistance and mass loss rate of simple polymeric materials in small scale controlled experiments such as Cone Calorimeter tests.
  2. To extend the mathematical models to investigate the effect of solid additives such as diluent or hydrated fillers on burning behaviour and ignition.
  3. To provide a predictive tool that describes the effectiveness of solid-phase flame retardants on small- scale burning behaviour of polymeric materials.

We seek a suitably-qualified student with a mathematical sciences/engineering background who is willing to undertake some experimental work. The student will register for a Ph. D. in the Department of Fuel and Energy, Leeds, and will work closely with Dr. J.E.J. Staggs. The Ph.D represents a first-rate opportunity for a student to liaise with our industrial partner and to gain considerable mathematical modelling and experimental experience. Informal enquiries should be addressed to Dr. J. E. J. Staggs at the address above, or by e-mail to

Dr. J. E. J. Staggs
Dept. Fuel & Energy
University of Leeds
Leeds LS2 9JT
Tel. 0113 2332495

Source: John Staggs (

University of Manchester

Nonlinear Dynamics Group

Department of Physics and Astronomy

There are currently a number of PhD studentships available in the Nonlinear Dynamics Group of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Manchester. Specific project areas are described below.

  1. Nonlinear processes in coupled optical arrays (Dr F. Papoff)
    The project will involve experimental and numerical studies of pattern formation and dynamics in optical array devices in which individual elements are coupled together. The aim is to understand the properties of coupled dynamical systems, with relevant applications to adaptive optics and modern information processing techniques.
  2. Inertial wave dynamics in rotating flows (Dr J. Kobine)
    An experimental investigation will be undertaken into the mechanisms governing the nonlinear excitation of inertial waves in a rotating fluid with precessional forcing. Measurements will be made using miniature laser systems and computer-assisted flow visualisation. The results of the study will be relevant to the control of spin-stabilised spacecraft.
  3. Magnetohydrodynamic and electrohydrodynamic convection (Prof T. Mullin)
    Two ongoing projects in fluid dynamics are available. One involves experimental and numerical research into the behaviour of liquid gallium under the combined action of a temperature gradient and a magnetic field. The other is concerned with pattern formation and dynamics in a microscopic cell of nematic liquid crystal with an imposed electric field.
  4. All enquiries should be sent to Mrs J. Merrill, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Manchester, Manchester, M13 9PL. Telephone (0161) 275-4070. E-mail:

    Source: Jonathan Kobine (


    Department of Mathematics

    Moving Boundaries with Non-Monotonic Curvature-Dependent Propagation Speed

    An EPSRC-funded studentship is available for research on:

    Moving Boundaries with Non-Monotonic Curvature-Dependent Propagation Speed

    working with Professor J.W. Dold in the Mathematics Department at UMIST.

    Interfaces which propagate include such different objects as flames and meandering rivers, and in general the speed of propagation (the rate at which any part of the interface moves laterally or in the normal direction to the interface) can be approximated to be a function of curvature. Mathematically, the description of the movement of the interface becomes very interesting when the propagation speed of the interface is a non-monotonic function of the curvature. Ranges of curvature give rise to strong instabilities and the dynamics of the interface should involve some unusual kinds of behaviour.

    The aim of the project will be to gain an understanding of both the dynamics of an interface with non-monotonic propagation and to identify physical systems with such laws of propagation. In particular, this kind of behaviour can be predicted for certain kinds of flame-models and an important part of the project will be the examination of circumstances that lead to non-monotonic propagation laws.

    Anyone interested in applying for this studentship should contact Professor J.W. Dold:
    Professor J.W. Dold E-mail:
    Mathematics Dept, UMIST FAX: (+44-161) 200 3669
    Manchester M60 1QD Tel: (+44-161) 200 3654
    Britain WWW:

    Source:Bill Dold (


    Department of Mathematics

    Dynamics of the Low to High Confinement Mode Transition and Edge Localised Modes in Tokamaks

    We have funding from the latest round of the EPSRC Applied Nonlinear Mathematics Initiative to employ a graduate student who would like to obtain a PhD on the above mentioned project. We hope to find a mathematician who is interested in the theory of nonlinear dynamical systems and would be happy working on a project which will involve a mixture in equal proportions of computational analysis of experimental data sets and the development of new nonlinear analysis techniques for relating data and models.

    For further information about either of the above please contact Professor Dave Broomhead at:

    Mathematics Department, UMIST
    P.O. Box 88
    Manchester M60 1QD

    telephone (0161) 200 3690 ( + 44 161 200 3680 from overseas)
    Fax (0161)200 3669 ( + 44 161 200 3669 from overseas)

    Source: Dave Broomhead (


    Department of Mathematics

    Studying Neural Control Systems Through Nonlinear Analysis of Eye-Movement Data

    We have, during the last two years, been developing a new and exciting inter-disciplinary collaboration at UMIST between Dr Richard Abadi in the Department of Optometry and Vision Sciences and Professor Dave Broomhead in the Department of Mathematics. We have begun to apply new methods of time series analysis based on mathematical developments in dynamical systems theory to eye movement data. This constitutes a new departure in the study of eye-movement control and has started to yield important new results. For example we have found strong evidence that congenital nystagmus - a well-known disorder suffered by 1 in 4000 of the population - is a low-dimensional instability of a neural control circuit which has simple deterministic features.

    We have money to fund a graduate student who would like to do PhD work in this area. We would like to find a mathematician, who is interested in the theory of nonlinear dynamical systems and who would be interested in doing inter-disciplinary work with a bio-mathematical flavour. This is a wonderful opportunity to begin working in a field which is in its infancy, but has the potential to change the way in which people think about their subject.

    For further information about either of the above please contact Professor Dave Broomhead at:

    Mathematics Department, UMIST
    P.O. Box 88
    Manchester M60 1QD

    telephone (0161) 200 3690 ( + 44 161 200 3680 from overseas)
    Fax (0161)200 3669 ( + 44 161 200 3669 from overseas)

    Source: Dave Broomhead (


    Department of Mathematics and the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research

    Theory and control of impact oscillators

    An EPSRC project studentship is available for research in the mathematical theory and experimental aspects of control of impact oscillators. The project will be jointly supervised by Dr David Chillingworth in the Department of Mathematics and Professor Joe Hammond in the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research (ISVR) at the University of Southampton.

    This studentship is funded from the Applied Nonlinear Mathematics Programme of the EPSRC, and is tenable from 1 October 1996 or from any other convenient starting date up to 1 October 1997.

    Further details are available from

    Dr Chillingworth (
    telephone 01703 593677 (messages 593612)

    Prof Hammond (
    telephone 01703 593467

    University of St Andrews

    School of Mathematical and Computational Sciences

    The School of Mathematical and Computational Sciences of the University of St. Andrews has a few Ph.D studentships available for study in Pure and Applied Mathematics; including fractal geometry, computational group theory, solar (m.h.d.) theory, plasma physics, numerical analysis, nonlinear diffusion and fluid mechanics. Please contact, as soon as possible, Professor A.D.D. Craik, Mathematical Institute, University of St. Andrews, St.Andrews, Fife, KY16 9SS (or e-mail:

    Source: Alex Craik (or e-mail:

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