Industrial and Applied Mathematics Seminar

Please note that the list below only shows forthcoming events, which may not include regular events that have not yet been entered for the forthcoming term. Please see the past events page for a list of all seminar series that the department has on offer.

Past events in this series
Dr. David Hewett

Accurate simulation of electromagnetic scattering by ice crystals in clouds is an important problem in atmospheric physics, with single scattering results feeding directly into the radiative transfer models used to predict long-term climate behaviour. The problem is challenging for numerical simulation methods because the ice crystals in a given cloud can be extremely varied in size and shape, sometimes exhibiting fractal-like geometrical characteristics and sometimes being many hundreds or thousands of wavelengths in diameter. In this talk I will focus on the latter "high-frequency" issue, describing a hybrid numerical-asymptotic boundary element method for the simplified problem of acoustic scattering by penetrable convex polygons, where high frequency asymptotic information is used to build a numerical approximation space capable of achieving fixed accuracy of approximation with frequency-independent computational cost. 

  • Industrial and Applied Mathematics Seminar
24 January 2019
Dr Draga Pihler-Puzović

Blisters form when a thin surface layer of a solid body separates/delaminates from the underlying bulk material over a finite, bounded region. It is ubiquitous in a range of industrial applications, e.g. blister test is applied to assess the strength of adhesion between thin elastic films and their solid substrates, and during natural processes, such as formation and spreading of laccoliths or retinal detachment.

We study a special case of blistering, in which a thin elastic membrane is adhered to the substrate by a thin layer of viscous fluid. In this scenario, the expansion of the newly formed blister by fluid injection occurs via a displacement flow, which peels apart the adhered surfaces through a two-way interaction between flow and deformation. If the injected fluid is less viscous than the fluid already occupying the gap, patterns of short and stubby fingers form on the propagating fluid interface in a radial geometry. This process is regulated by membrane compliance, which if increased delays the onset of fingering to higher flow rates and reduces finger amplitude. We find that the morphological features of the fingers are selected in a simple way by the local geometry of the compliant cell. In contrast, the local geometry itself is determined from a complex fluid–solid interaction, particularly in the case of rectangular blisters. Furthermore, changes to the geometry of the channel cross-section in the latter case lead to a rich variety of possible interfacial patterns. Our experiments provide a link between studies of airway reopening, Saffman-Taylor fingering and printer’s instability.   

  • Industrial and Applied Mathematics Seminar
7 February 2019
Dr. Peter Stewart

Injection of a gas into a gas/liquid foam is known to give rise to instability phenomena on a variety of time and length scales. Macroscopically, one observes a propagating gas-filled structure that can display properties of liquid finger propagation as well as of fracture in solids. Using a discrete model, which incorporates the underlying film instability as well as viscous resistance from the moving liquid structures, we describe brittle cleavage phenomena in line with experimental observations. We find that  the dimensions of the foam sample significantly affect the speed of the  cracks as well as the pressure necessary to sustain them: cracks in wider samples travel faster at a given driving stress, but are able to avoid arrest and maintain propagation at a lower pressure (the  velocity gap becomes smaller). The system thus becomes a study case for stress concentration and the transition between discrete and continuum systems in dynamical fracture; taking into account the finite dimensions of the system improves agreement with experiment.

  • Industrial and Applied Mathematics Seminar
14 February 2019
Dr Anna Kalogirou

A two-layer shear flow in the presence of surfactants is considered. The flow configuration comprises two superposed layers of viscous and immiscible fluids confined in a long horizontal channel, and characterised by different densities, viscosities and thicknesses. The surfactants can be insoluble, i.e. located at the interface between the two fluids only, or soluble in the lower fluid in the form of monomers (single molecules) or micelles (multi-molecule aggregates). A mathematical model is formulated, consisting of governing equations for the hydrodynamics and appropriate transport equations for the surfactant concentration at the interface, the concentration of monomers in the bulk fluid and the micelle concentration. A primary objective of this study is to investigate the effect of surfactants on the stability of the interface, and in particular surfactants in high concentrations and above the critical micelle concentration (CMC). Interfacial instabilities are induced due to the acting forces of gravity and inertia, as well as the action of Marangoni forces generated as a result of the dependence of surface tension on the interfacial surfactant concentration. The underlying physical mechanism responsible for the formation of interfacial waves will be discussed, together with the complex flow dynamics (typical nonlinear phenomena associated with interfacial flows include travelling waves, solitary pulses, quasi-periodic and chaotic dynamics).

  • Industrial and Applied Mathematics Seminar
21 February 2019
Professor Kody Law

This talk will concern the problem of inference when the posterior measure involves continuous models which require approximation before inference can be performed. Typically one cannot sample from the posterior distribution directly, but can at best only evaluate it, up to a normalizing constant. Therefore one must resort to computationally-intensive inference algorithms in order to construct estimators. These algorithms are typically of Monte Carlo type, and include for example Markov chain Monte Carlo, importance samplers, and sequential Monte Carlo samplers. The multilevel Monte Carlo method provides a way of optimally balancing discretization and sampling error on a hierarchy of approximation levels, such that cost is optimized. Recently this method has been applied to computationally intensive inference. This non-trivial task can be achieved in a variety of ways. This talk will review 3 primary strategies which have been successfully employed to achieve optimal (or canonical) convergence rates – in other words faster convergence than i.i.d. sampling at the finest discretization level. Some of the specific resulting algorithms, and applications, will also be presented.

  • Industrial and Applied Mathematics Seminar
7 March 2019
Professor William J Parnell

Transformation theory has long been known to be a mechanism for 
the design of metamaterials. It gives rise to the required properties of the 
material in order to direct waves in the manner desired.  This talk will 
focus on the mathematical theory underpinning the design of acoustic and 
elastodynamic metamaterials based on transformation theory and aspects of 
the experimental confirmation of these designs. In the acoustics context it 
is well-known that the governing equations are transformation invariant and 
therefore a whole range of microstructural options are available for design, 
although designing materials that can harness incoming acoustic energy in 
air is difficult due to the usual sharp impedance contrast between air and 
the metamaterial in question. In the elastodynamic context matters become 
even worse in the sense that the governing equations are not transformation 
invariant and therefore we generally require a whole new class of materials.

In the acoustics context we will describe a new microstructure that consists 
of rigid rods that is (i) closely impedance matched to air and (ii) slows 
down sound in air. This is shown to be useful in a number of configurations 
and in particular it can be employed to half the resonant frequency of the 
standard quarter-wavelength resonator (or alternatively it can half the size 
of the resonator for a specified resonant frequency) [1].

In the elastodynamics context we will show that although the equations are 
not transformation invariant one can employ the theory of waves in 
pre-stressed hyperelastic materials in order to create natural elastodynamic 
metamaterials whose inhomogeneous anisotropic material properties are 
generated naturally by an appropriate pre-stress. In particular it is shown 
that a certain class of hyperelastic materials exhibit this so-called 
“invariance property” permitting the creation of e.g. hyperelastic cloaks 
[2,3] and invariant metamaterials. This has significant consequences for the 
design of e.g. phononic media: it is a well-known and frequently exploited 
fact that pre-stress and large deformation of hyperelastic materials 
modifies the linear elastic wave speed in the deformed medium. In the 
context of periodic materials this renders materials whose dynamic 
properties are “tunable” under pre-stress and in particular this permits 
tunable band gaps in periodic media [4]. However the invariant hyperelastic 
materials described above can be employed in order to design a class of 
phononic media whose band-gaps are invariant to deformation [5]. We also 
describe the concept of an elastodynamic ground cloak created via pre-stress 

[1] Rowley, W.D., Parnell, W.J., Abrahams, I.D., Voisey, S.R. and Etaix, N. 
(2018) “Deepening subwavelength acoustic resonance via metamaterials with 
universal broadband elliptical microstructure”. Applied Physics Letters 112, 
[2] Parnell, W.J. (2012) “Nonlinear pre-stress for cloaking from antiplane 
elastic waves”. Proc Roy Soc A 468 (2138) 563-580.
[3] Norris, A.N. and Parnell, W.J. (2012) “Hyperelastic cloaking theory: 
transformation elasticity with pre-stressed solids”. Proc Roy Soc A 468 
(2146) 2881-2903
[4] Bertoldi, K. and Boyce, M.C. (2008)  “Mechanically triggered 
transformations of phononic band gaps in periodic elastomeric structures”. 
Phys Rev B 77, 052105.
[5] Zhang, P. and Parnell, W.J. (2017) “Soft phononic crystals with 
deformation-independent band gaps” Proc Roy Soc A 473, 20160865.
[6] Zhang, P. and Parnell, W.J. (2018) “Hyperelastic antiplane ground 
cloaking” J Acoust Soc America 143 (5)

  • Industrial and Applied Mathematics Seminar


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