Organization profile

Organisation profile

Bristol's mathematics department has a long and illustrious history in fluid dynamics, starting in the 1940s when the group was established by Prof. Leslie Howarth, famous for research into the mathematics of supersonic flight such as boundary layer and compressible flow equations, as well as the theory of turbulence.

Building on that foundation, the fluids group boasts several full-time faculty members, plus several post-doctoral fellows, researching the nonlinear dynamical equations behind diverse phenomena such as drops, vortices, transition to turbulence, particle-laden and granular flows.

On microscopic scales, complex materials such as shape memory alloys and liquid crystals reveal a rich and fascinating small-scale structure which eludes the reach of classical mathematical tools. So researchers at Bristol deploy new tools, drawn from areas such as nonlinear analysis, the calculus of variations, topology and algebraic geometry, to derive and study new models which can capture this fine-scale behaviour.

Research includes analysing energy-minimising configurations of shape-memory materials, including the fundamental but poorly understood mathematical property of quasiconvexity. The group is also investigating small-scale liquid crystal structures that form in complex geometries. This work, in partnership with scientists at Hewlett Packard, is directed towards designing bi-stable liquid crystal displays (LCDs), in which power is required only to change display states but not to maintain them.

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  • Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

    Research Output

    Cox-Voinov theory with slip

    Chan, T., Kamal, C. E. M., Snoeijer, J. H., Sprittles, J. & Eggers, J. G., 15 Jun 2020, (Accepted/In press) In : Journal of Fluid Mechanics.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

  • Detecting reactive islands in a system-bath model of isomerization

    Naik, S. & Wiggins, S., 2020, In : Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

    Dynamics of ferromagnetic domain walls under extreme fields

    Goussev, A., Robbins, J. M., Slastikov, V. & Vasylkevych, S., 28 Jan 2020, In : Physical Review B. 101, 2, 5 p., 020418(R).

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

    Open Access
  • 48 Downloads (Pure)


    Stratified Turbulence

    Kerswell, R. R.


    Project: Research

    Student theses

    Nonlinear Lattice Structures: A Numerical and Analytical Study on their Stability

    Author: Dixon, M. D. X., 23 Jan 2020

    Supervisor: Pirrera, A. (Supervisor) & Chenchiah, I. V. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)



    Lahar hazard model training

    M J Woodhouse (Keynote/plenary speaker), , Andrew Hogg (Keynote/plenary speaker), & Jeremy Phillips (Keynote/plenary speaker)

    2 May 20177 May 2017

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

    BGER - Stress-Induced Phase Fronts and Networks in Polycrystals

    Isaac V Chenchiah (Examiner)

    26 Mar 201331 Mar 2013

    Activity: Examination typesExternal Examination and Supervision


    Princeton University

    Tanniemola B Liverpool (Visiting researcher)

    15 Jan 201331 Mar 2013

    Activity: Visiting an external institution typesVisiting an external academic institution