Dr Geoffrey McKay

Senior Lecturer

Mathematics and Statistics

Personal statement

My research interests include the mathematical modelling of liquid crystals and other non-Newtonian fluids. My main focus at present is the application of static and dynamic continuum theories to models for nematic and cholesteric liquid crystals. Other areas of research include fluid flows in porous media and studies into the design of prosthetic sockets. Generally, I have a keen interest in all aspects of mathematical modelling of real world problems.


Minimality conditions for wave speed in anisotropic smectic C* liquid crystals
Crooks Elaine C M, Grinfeld Michael, McKay Geoffrey
Mathematical Methods in the Applied Sciences Vol 41, pp. 88-102 (2018)
Nematic liquid crystal director structures in rectangular regions
Walton J, Mottram NJ, McKay G
Physical Review E Vol 97 (2018)
Flow-induced delayed Freedericksz transition
Mottram Nigel, McKay Geoffrey, Brown Carl, Russell Craig, Sage Ian
Physical Review E Vol 93 (2016)
Measuring the daily stepping activity of people with transtibial amputation using the ActivPAL™ activity monitor
Buis Adrianus, Dumbleton Tim, Murray Kevin D, McHugh Brendan F, McKay Geoffrey, Sexton Sandra
Journal of Prosthetics and Orthotics Vol 26, pp. 43-47 (2014)
Unwinding of a cholesteric liquid crystal and bidirectional surface anchoring
McKay Geoffrey
Journal of Engineering Mathematics Vol 87, pp. 19-28 (2013)
Decoupling of the Ericksen-Leslie equations
Mottram Nigel, Pinto JT, McKay Geoffrey
Liquid Crystals Vol 40, pp. 787-798 (2013)

more publications


Since becoming a Lecturer in the Department of Mathematics (now Mathematics and Statistics) in 1994, and then a Senior Lecturer in 2004, I have been responsible for a large number of classes covering a wide variety of topics and at various different levels. As always, the challenge remains to engage students, highlighting the relevance of mathematics in everyday life and a variety of careers, while also trying to convey techniques that are vital to the knowledge development of any mathematics or engineering student.  Currently the classes in which I am involved cover material from Foundation Mathematics to Complex Analysis.

Within my department I have the role of year 3 coordinator, with responsibility for all aspects of the third year of our many degree courses. I have also been the academic supervisor for a significant number of final year undergraduate projects for students in the final year of our Honours degree courses. These projects have focused on topics as varied as The Mechanics of Sport, RSA Codes, Flows in Porous Media, Modelling Liquid Crystals, Phase Transitions, Chaotic Motion and Site Percolation.


Research interests

Areas of focus in the field of liquid crystals include:

  • Dynamic modelling of nematic flows
  • Unwinding cholesterics
  • Freely suspended smectic films
  • Weak anchoring effects
  • Bidirectional surface ordering
  • Mechanical actions of nanocyclinders on nematic liquid crystals
  • Smectic chevron structures
  • Orientation of liquid crystals subject to external fields


Doctoral Training Partnership 2018-19 University of Strathclyde | Allen, Erika
Mottram, Nigel (Principal Investigator) McKay, Geoffrey (Co-investigator) Allen, Erika (Research Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2019 - 01-Jan-2022
Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP - University of Strathclyde) | Walton, Joshua
Mottram, Nigel (Principal Investigator) McKay, Geoffrey (Co-investigator) Walton, Joshua (Research Co-investigator)
Active nematic liquid crystals in confined regions
01-Jan-2015 - 01-Jan-2019

more projects


Mathematics and Statistics
Livingstone Tower

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