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Laboratory for Applied Mathematics

Experimental research at the interface between mathematics and physics has a long history in Manchester, starting with the pioneering work of Osborne Reynolds in the late nineteenth century. His observations of the transition to turbulence in pipe flow raised fundamental questions about nonlinear dynamics in fluids, which have have kept applied mathematicians busy ever since - and are still not fully resolved today! The understanding of complexity, which encompasses nonlinear behaviour, is of both fundamental interest and great technological importance. Our laboratory-based research, almost unique in the UK, enables challenging, inter-disciplinary phenomena to be addressed with a multi-prongued approach that integrates theoretical analysis, numerical modelling and experiments. This problem-solving capability makes us attractive to the wider Engineering and Science Faculty, and we have active collaborations within several departments. We also actively engage with industry with projects currently underway with Thales, Kraft Food Ltd, Cambridge Display Technology and BP on a broad variety of topics within our remit.

Examples of current fundamental projects are:

Example of current industrial projects are:

The laboratory for applied mathematics is an integral part of the Manchester Centre for Nonlinear Dynamics (MCND), an initiative taken by the University of Manchester to promote inter-disciplinary research into nonlinear systems. The centre, headed by Prof T. Mullin (Physics), is formed by researchers from within the School of Mathematics and the School of Physics and Astronomy. The laboratories are housed within the School of Physics and Astronomy.

Research within the MCND group is based upon the application of a combined approach of theoretical modelling, computation and detailed quantitative experimental investigations of nonlinear phenomena. For instance, researchers in the centre have developed a modern version of Reynolds' experiment, which is helping to settle long-standing questions about the transition to turbulence. Broadly speaking, research interests in MCND currently include fluid dynamics, microfluidics, granular flows, fluid-structure interaction and nonlinear elasticity. Thus, MCND provides an exceptionally attractive environment, unique in the UK, for interdisciplinary research into nonlinear phenomena.

Postgraduate students benefit from a vibrant research environment, which exposes them to a broad variety of problems and techniques, and which encourages interaction, through multiple forums for discussion, as well as with the many visitors to the centre.

There are currently 9 students and 4 PDRAs in MCND and the group has a healthy current grant portfolio to support research activities.

Further information can be found on the MCND website at


Members of staff involved

Juel Anne Dr Anne.Juel 0161 27 55829 ATB 2.121
Gray Nico Prof Nico.Gray 0161 27 55888 ATB 2.215
Hewitt Richard E Dr Richard.Hewitt 0161 27 55918 ATB 2.228
Hazel Andrew L. Dr Andrew.Hazel 0161 27 55809 ATB 2.213
Heil Matthias Prof Matthias Heil 0161 27 55808 ATB 2.224