DPhil in Industrial Mathematics Studentship

Closing Date: 

Friday, April 30, 2021 - 12:00

Applications from graduates with interests in applied mathematics are invited for a four-year D.Phil. studentship in Mathematics, funded by EPSRC, to work on a project on modelling of batteries, decontamination, filtration, or glass. The position is open to all applicants, irrespective of nationality/residence.


The start date for the studentship is 01 October 2021. The studentship will be based in the Mathematical Institute at Oxford University. EPSRC training grant eligibility conditions apply for the award of these studentships; the four years of funding will cover a stipend (approximately £15,285 per year) and fees at the UK rate. Non-UK applicants are likely to need to pay the difference between UK and non-UK fees (currently £14,640/annum), although there may be opportunities to apply for funding to cover some of the shortfall.


The successful candidate will work on one of the following four projects; each of which will involve working with industrial collaborators:


Batteries (Supervisors: Professors Chapman and Please):

Mathematical modelling of batteries provides insight into how to design batteries and their charging/discharging regimes in order to maximise their lifetime. Large scale flow-batteries, used in grid-storage, have two porous electrodes through which an electrolyte is pumped and which are kept electrically apart by a porous separator. The flow is influenced by large gradients in chemical concentration, created by the electrochemical reactions occurring at the electrode surfaces. In this project, we will model the close coupling between fluid flow and electrochemical processes, exploit asymptotic methods and homogenisation to derive simplified models, and use numerical methods to provide comparisons with experiments as well as practical methods for finding optimal designs.


Decontamination (Supervisors: Professors Breward and Griffiths):

Following exposure of porous structures to hazardous chemical agents, one standard response is to apply cleanser to the outside of the surface and work it into the surface where it reacts with, and neutralises, the agent. In this project, we will build and solve models to explore the lateral spread of agents and optimal ways of cleansing, paying particular attention to the situation where the porous medium is unsaturated. This will involve a mixture of mathematical modelling, asymptotic analysis (including homogenisation theory), and scientific computing, and our aim will be to predict optimal strategies for decontamination.


Filtration (Supervisors: Professors Breward, Griffiths, Please):

Filtration encompasses a wide range of practical applications, including the separation of blood cells, the purification of water, and the removal of dust by an air-purifier. A common theme among filtration applications is the need to know the behaviour on the small scale (such as a single dust particle sticking to a part of the filter) in order to predict the behaviour on the large scale (such as how often an air-purifier filter should be replaced). In this project, we will use homogenisation theory to connect these two otherwise disparate scales, and analyse the resulting equations using asymptotic analysis and numerical methods to predict and improve filtration performance.


Glass (Supervisors: Professors Breward, Griffiths, Howell):

Glass processing typically involves the flow of a viscous liquid, whose viscosity is a strong function of temperature, in a thin domain. We are particularly interested in modelling situations where the geometry is complicated and unknown in advance and/or where the process may be subject to instabilities. In this project, we will focus on the drawing of thin glass sheets to make screens for TVs, tablets and smartphones. It is known that regions of compression can cause these sheets to buckle, resulting in local ripples in the final product. However, there is currently no good complete theory of viscous sheet buckling that explains how the amplitude of the disturbance saturates, due to weakly nonlinear effects, or how the ripples become “frozen in” as the glass cools.






and should include a CV, covering letter (in which the applicant should indicate which of the four areas they would like to work in), three references, and a transcript of previous degrees.  In the section of the application form “Departmental Studentship Applications” applicants will be asked whether they are applying for an advertised studentship. In this section please state “Yes” followed by BDFG.


Candidates who have already applied for a D.Phil position in Oxford should apply again, but need only send a covering letter.


Applications must arrive by noon on Friday 30th April 2021


This studentship is linked to Mansfield College


For further information please contact graduate.studies@maths.ox.ac.uk.