Many of the problems that I work on are brought to my attention by industry. This term ‘industry’ is really meant in the broadest sense and essentially means ‘of societal or commercial benefit’. As an example, at one workshop I was asked the question ‘Why can’t my company grow larger crystals?’ Such an innocuous question in 2005 has lead to an amazing amount of applied mathematics.
Some of the recent work that I have been involved with and I’m investigating include but are not
1) Modelling batteries and solar cells in real time and in circuit.
2) Problems concerning the growth of crystals (typically III-V) and finding growth procedures that reduce
the thermoelastic stress and produce very high quality crystals.
3) Problems from the oil and gas industry including wellbore flow, well logging and innovative techniques
used to open fissures. These problems combine physical chemistry, fluid flow and heating in complicated
4) Modelling of electrical motors at a fundamental level to design optimal ways of controlling torque and
speed of the motor with a minimal amount of additional hardware.
5) Soil column problems where contaminants in the soil are identified.
6) Work within the field of forensics to help identify time of death be looking at the diffusion of fluids
through soil in the formation of a cadaver decomposition island.
7) Modelling sewage pumps and helping identify better manufacturing techniques to increase the lifetime of the pumps.