Research Associate in Mathematics

Job summary

The position is funded by the Leverhulme Trust through the Research Project Grant “Asymptotic modelling of symmetry breaking Leidenfrost flows”. The main objective of the project is to develop and analyse reduced dynamical models of “Leidenfrost” drops, namely drops levitated on a thin-film of their own vapour above a superheated surface. These models will be used to theoretically interpret recent experiments showing that Leidenfrost...

Job listing information

  • Reference NAT00967
  • Date posted 16 July 2021
  • Closing date 3 August 2021

Job description

Job summary

The position is funded by the Leverhulme Trust through the Research Project Grant “Asymptotic modelling of symmetry breaking Leidenfrost flows”.

The main objective of the project is to develop and analyse reduced dynamical models of “Leidenfrost” drops, namely drops levitated on a thin-film of their own vapour above a superheated surface. These models will be used to theoretically interpret recent experiments showing that Leidenfrost drops within a certain size range spontaneously move, in a random direction, in the absence of geometric asymmetries or external forces. The project also aims to study the analogous spontaneous mobility of Leidenfrost drops and solid particles levitated above liquid pools, as well as the competition between spontaneous dynamics and more traditional modes of Leidenfrost-drop dynamics associated with imposed asymmetry.

From a mathematical modelling and analysis perspective, these problems are hugely challenging as they involve the coming together of various physical phenomena in a nonlinear dynamical scenario, on multiple length and time scales. In particular, the identification and characterisation of the symmetry breaking instabilities triggering the experimentally observed spontaneous mobility, as well as the motion itself, present a tremendous challenge which is currently the topic of extensive research. 

You will work on developing an applied mathematics methodology incorporating elements of mathematical modelling (involving interfacial fluid dynamics, wetting and transport phenomena), asymptotic analysis and singular perturbation techniques. The work may also involve numerical simulation, dynamical-systems analysis and interpretation of experimental data.

Duties and responsibilities

You are expected to play a crucial role in the accomplishment of the following objectives:

  • Establishing a mathematical formalism for modelling the linear and nonlinear dynamics of levitated “Leidenfrost” drops and other closely related physical systems involving levitated or non-wetting drops on solid or liquid substrates.
  • Carrying out advanced asymptotic analysis using singular perturbation methods such as matched asymptotic expansions.
  • Numerical implementation of asymptotic models and numerical simulation of thin-film models and other reduced fluid-flow problems.
  • Interpretation and comparison with experimental data.
  • Engagement with theoretical and experimental groups in the UK and abroad.
  • Dissemination of results by writing and publishing papers and giving research talks at conferences and workshops.

Essential requirements

The essential requirements for this post are as follow:

  • Research Associate: Hold a PhD (or equivalent) in Mathematics or a closely related discipline
  • Research Assistant: Near completion of a PhD (or equivalent) in Mathematics or a closely related discipline
  • Experience:
    • Mathematical modelling of interfacial fluid dynamical phenomena
    • Using the method of matched asymptotic expansions to solve singularly perturbed boundary-value problems
    • Carrying out research of high quality, independently and in a team, evidenced by publications of high quality
    • Desirable: Derivation and asymptotic or numerical analysis of thin-film models
  • Knowledge:
    • A broad and strong background in fluid dynamics including hydrodynamic stability theory
    • A broad and strong background in asymptotic analysis and singular perturbation theory
    • Desirable: Familiarity with wetting and transport phenomena, Dynamical-systems theory, nonlinear dynamics and bifurcation analysis, Numerical simulation of interfacial fluid dynamics
  • Ability to carry out original research and to produce published research papers
  • Ability to identify, develop and apply new concepts, techniques and methods
  • Willingness to travel both within the United Kingdom and abroad to conduct research and attend conferences/workshops and other meetings

Further information

The position is full-time and fixed term for 36 months. The expected start date is 1 October 2021 or soon thereafter.

*Candidates who have not yet been officially awarded their PhD will be appointed as Research Assistant within the Level A salary range, £36,045- £39,183 per annum.

In addition to completing the online application, candidates should attach:

  • A full CV,
  • A 1-page research statement describing why the candidate’s expertise is relevant to this position and future research plans; and
  • The details of three referees.

For any specific queries regarding the post please contact Dr Ory Schnitzer, o.schnitzer@imperial.ac.uk

 

 

The College is a proud signatory to the San-Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA), which means that in hiring and promotion decisions, we evaluate applicants on the quality of their work, not the journal impact factor where it is published. For more information, see https://www.imperial.ac.uk/research-and-innovation/about-imperial-research/research-evaluation/

 

The College believes that the use of animals in research is vital to improve human and animal health and welfare. Animals may only be used in research programmes where their use is shown to be necessary for developing new treatments and making medical advances. Imperial is committed to ensuring that, in cases where this research is deemed essential, all animals in the College’s care are treated with full respect, and that all staff involved with this work show due consideration at every level.

http://www.imperial.ac.uk/research-and-innovation/about-imperial-research/research-integrity/animal-research

 

We are committed to equality of opportunity, to eliminating discrimination and to creating an inclusive working environment for all. We therefore encourage candidates to apply irrespective of age, disability, marriage or civil partnership status, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion and belief, gender identity, sex, or sexual orientation. We are an Athena SWAN Silver Award winner, a Disability Confident Leader and a Stonewall Diversity Champion.

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About Imperial College London

Imperial College London is the UK’s only university focussed entirely on science, engineering, medicine and business and we are consistently rated in the top 10 universities in the world.

You will find our main London campus in South Kensington, with our hospital campuses located nearby in West and North London. We also have Silwood Park in Berkshire and state-of-the-art facilities in development at our major new campus in White City.

We work in a multidisciplinary and diverse community for education, research, translation and commercialisation, harnessing science and innovation to tackle the big global challenges our complex world faces.

It’s our mission to achieve enduring excellence in all that we do for the benefit of society – and we are looking for the most talented people to help us get there.

Additional information

Please note that job descriptions cannot be exhaustive and the post-holder may be required to undertake other duties, which are broadly in line with the above key responsibilities.

All Imperial employees are expected to follow the 7 principles of Imperial Expectations: 

  • Champion a positive approach to change and opportunity
  • Communicate regularly and effectively within, and across, teams
  • Consider the thoughts and expectations of others
  • Deliver positive outcomes
  • Encourage inclusive participation and eliminate discrimination
  • Develop and grow skills and expertise
  • Work in a planned and managed way 

In addition to the above, employees are required to observe and comply with all College policies and regulations.

We are committed to equality of opportunity, to eliminating discrimination and to creating an inclusive working environment for all. We therefore encourage candidates to apply irrespective of age, disability, marriage or civil partnership status, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion and belief, gender identity, sex, or sexual orientation. We are an Athena SWAN Silver Award winner, a Disability Confident Leader and a Stonewall Diversity Champion.

For technical issues when applying online please email support.jobs@imperial.ac.uk.