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Personal profile

Personal Statement

My research interests are in the mathematical modelling of real-world systems, generally focussing on those that include the dynamics of non-Newtonian fluids. I am particularly interested in anisotropic fluids such as liquid crystals, where viscoelasticity is an important consideration, as is their behaviour under electric fields. I also have projects in the areas of medical and biological systems. Current projects also include investigations of active fluids, such as bacterium or micro-organism organisation within fluid flows, and biological flow systems. 

In a wider context I am a member of the British Liquid Crystal Society, the Edinburgh Mathematical Society, and a Fellow of the Institute for Mathematics and its Applications, as well as an active participant in the European Consortium for Mathematics in Industry and the UK Fluids Network. 

I am interested in mathematics applied to real-world problems in a general sense and I welcome enquiries from anyone interested to understand more about mathematical modelling.

I currently have PhD, MRes and MPhil projects available and prospective applicants should email me at nigel.mottram@strath.ac.uk.

I have previously taken the roles of Director of Research, REF coordinator, Deputy Head of Department, and acting Head of Department. These roles involved strategic leadership and development, staff review, as well as oversight of all academic and teaching matters, including undergraduate and masters course development, awards and appeals matters.

Over the last few years I have become increasingly interested in the effects of online teaching methods for mathematics, including the use of lecture capture. I have developed online resources that can enhance standard lecture classes, but I have also created a number of completely online maths modules, designed for distance learning and to assist in widening participation, particularly through the Graduate Apprenticeship programme.

Research Interests

Continuum theory of anisotropic materials

  • Anisotropy in the natural environment: swimming/self-organised organisms, tissue growth, mixing 
  • Order parameter changes in nematic liquid crystals: defects, field induced changes, tensor theory.
  • Theories of biaxial nematic liquid crytals
  • Surface effects: induced order, bistabilty in anisotropic fluids.
  • Disclination line motion: annihilation, formation, effects of electric field and surface interactions.
  • Thin films: flow in thin films of anisotropic fluids, painting and spin-coating.
  • Use of fractional calculus to represent memory in dynamical systems.
  • Physiologically-based Pharmacokinetics and dynamics
  • Blood flow: non-newtonian models of blood flow in microfluidic devices.
  • Oxygen transfer: novel medical device modelling for artificial livers.

Collaborations

  • I collaborate with scientists from many different disciplines and many countries around the world.
  • My industrial collaborations currently include GSK, Merck and Kirkstall and past collaborators include HP, Sharp, Dow Corning. 

Teaching Interests

I teach, or have taught, various courses - at undergraduate, masters and postgraduate level, and to mathematicians, phsyicists, engineers, chemists and environmental scientists.

Over the last few years I have become increasingly interested in the effects of online teaching methods in mathematics, including the use of lecture capture. I have developed online resources that can enhance standard lecture classes, but I have also created a number of completely online maths modules, designed for distance learning and to assist in widening participation, particularly through the Graduate Apprenticeship programme.

 

Current PhD students:

  • Areej Abdullah Almuneef
  • Zuhur Moraya Alqahtani
  • Josh Walton
  • Pretheepan Radhakrishnan
  • Joseph Cousins
  • Magdalena Lesniewska
  • John Barrett
  • Erika Allen

Current teaching:

  • MM512: Optimisation: Theory and Practice
  • MM401: Communicating Mathematics and Statistics
  • MM301: Linear Algebra
  • EO001: Mathematics for University Enginnering (online distance learning class)
  • EO101 and EO109: Mathematical Tools (online distance learning class)

Previous teaching:

  • MM405: Fluids and Waves
  • MA409: Calculus of Variations
  • MM311: Mathematics for Physicists
  • MM202: Advanced Calculus
  • MM201: Linear Algebra and Differential Equations
  • ME209: Mathematical Modelling & Analysis for Mechanical Engineers
  • MM101: Introduction to Calculus
  • MM112/113: Engineering Mathematics
  • MM116: Mathematics for Chemists
  • CPD: Ordinary Differential Equations for NERC PhD students
  • MSc: Displaymasters

 

 

Academic / Professional qualifications

Biography
  • 1989-1992: BA in Mathematics at the University of Oxford (Keble College).
  • 1992-1996: PhD in the Department of Engineering Mathematics at the University of Bristol. Boundary effects in nematic liquid crystal cells, supervised by Prof. S. J. Hogan (external link)
  • 1995-1997: Post Doctoral Research Assistant in the Department of Engineering Mathematics at the University of Bristol. Working on nematic liquid crystal theory with Prof. Hogan.
  • 1997-1999: Post Doctoral Research Assistant in the Department of Engineering Science at the University of Oxford. Working on smectic liquid crystal theory with Dr S. J. Elston (external link).
  • 1999-2004: Lecturer in the Department of Mathematics at the University of Strathclyde.
  • 2001-2006: EPSRC Advanced Research Fellow
  • 2004-2007: Reader in the Department of Mathematics at the University of Strathclyde.
  • 2007-present: Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Strathclyde.

Expertise & Capabilities

Research areas of expertise

  • Mathematical modelling of real-world systems
  • Fluid dynamics
  • Liquid crystal theory
  • Optical devices
  • Multiphyscics models
  • Numerical simulation of fluids, electrostatics, ions.

Contact: nigel.mottram@strath.ac.uk.

Keywords

  • liquid crystals
  • anisotropic material science
  • mathematical modelling
  • self-organisation
  • environmental modelling
  • active fluids

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Nigel Mottram is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

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Projects 2006 2022

Doctoral Training Partnership 2018-19 University of Strathclyde | Allen, Erika

Mottram, N., McKay, G. & Allen, E.

EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council)

1/10/191/10/22

Project: Research Studentship - Internally AllocatedResearch Studentship (Internally Allocated)

Doctoral Training Partnership 2018-19 University of Strathclyde | Lesniewska, Magdalena

Henrich, O., Mottram, N. & Lesniewska, M.

EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council)

1/10/181/04/22

Project: Research Studentship - Internally AllocatedResearch Studentship (Internally Allocated)

Research Output 2001 2019

Derivative-order-dependent stability and transient behaviour in a predator-prey system of fractional differential equations

Alqahtani, Z., El-Shahed, M. & Mottram, N. J., 8 Aug 2019, (Accepted/In press)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Predator prey systems
Transient Behavior
Predator-prey System
Fractional Differential Equation
Differential equations

Squeezing a drop of nematic liquid crystal with strong elasticity effects

Cousins, J. R. L., Wilson, S. K., Mottram, N. J., Wilkes, D. & Weegels, L., 22 Aug 2019, In : Physics of Fluids. 31, 8, 41 p., 083107 .

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
File
compressing
elastic properties
liquid crystals
squeeze films
radial velocity

Thesis

Theoretical studies of smectic liquid crystals in the presence of flow, oscillatory perturbations, and edge dislocations

Author: Snow, B. C., 1 Oct 2015

Supervisor: Mottram, N. (Supervisor) & Stewart, I. W. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

Prizes

200 Young Scientist Award

Nigel Mottram (Recipient), 2000

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

liquid crystals

2017 Hilsum Medal

Nigel Mottram (Recipient), 2017

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

liquid crystals

Activities 2008 2019

Edinburgh Mathematical Society (External organisation)

Nigel Mottram (Advisor)
2019 → …

Activity: Membership typesMembership of committee

Newcastle University (External organisation)

Nigel Mottram (Advisor)
2018 → …

Activity: Membership typesMembership of committee