Professor Nigel Mottram

Mathematics and Statistics

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.

Expertise

Has expertise in:

    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.

Prizes and awards

2017 Hilsum Medal
Recipient
2017
Fellowship of the Institute for Mathematics and its Applications
Recipient
2014
200 Young Scientist Award
Recipient
2000

more prizes and awards

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.

Publications

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
Physics of Fluids Vol 31 (2019)
https://doi.org/10.1063/1.5110878
Derivative-order-dependent stability and transient behaviour in a predator-prey system of fractional differential equations
Alqahtani Z, El-Shahed M, Mottram N J
Letters in Biomathematics (2019)
A model for the formation of mura during the One-Drop-Filling process
Cousins Joseph R L, Wilson Stephen K, Mottram Nigel J, Wilkes David, Weegels Leo, Lin KY
25th International Display Workshop 2018, pp. LCT8-4 (2018)
Nematic liquid crystal director structures in rectangular regions
Walton J, Mottram NJ, McKay G
Physical Review E Vol 97 (2018)
https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevE.97.022702
Electro-manipulation of droplets for microfluidic applications
Corson L T, Tsakonas C, Duffy B R, Mottram N J, Brown C V, Wilson S K
Progress in Industrial Mathematics at ECMI 2014 ECMI 2014 - European Consortium for Mathematics in Industry Mathematics in Industry Vol 22, pp. 1073-1080 (2017)
https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-23413-7
In-silico characterisation of the Kirkstall QV900 in-vitro system for advanced cell culture
McGinty Sean, Hyndman Lauren, Mottram Nigel, McKee Sean, Webb Steven
CMBE17 5th International Conference on Computational and Mathematical Biomedical Engineering, pp. 1174-1177 (2017)

more publications

Teaching

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

 

 

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. 

Professional activities

Edinburgh Mathematical Society (External organisation)
Advisor
2019
SIAM Annual Meeting and Materials Science Conference
Participant
2018
Student Experience And Enhancement Services (Organisational unit)
Advisor
2018
Newcastle University (External organisation)
Advisor
2018
Newcastle University (External organisation)
Advisor
2018
LMS Bath-Oxford-Strathclyde Network on Anisotropic Materials
Organiser
2018

more professional activities

Projects

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 2018-19 University of Strathclyde | Lesniewska, Magdalena
Henrich, Oliver (Principal Investigator) Mottram, Nigel (Co-investigator) Lesniewska, Magdalena (Research Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2018 - 01-Jan-2022
EPSRC Global Challenges Research Fund Institutional Sponsorship Award 2017 (GCRF) / R171051-104
Mottram, Nigel (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2017 - 31-Jan-2018
Mathematical Modelling and Analysis of Industrially-Important Flows of Liquid Crystals: Spreading and Channel Filling
Wilson, Stephen (Principal Investigator) Mottram, Nigel (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2016 - 30-Jan-2020
Industrial Case Account 2016 | Cousins, Joseph
Wilson, Stephen (Principal Investigator) Mottram, Nigel (Co-investigator) Cousins, Joseph (Research Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2016 - 01-Jan-2020
EPSRC Institutional Sponsorship: Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) / R160677-114
Pritchard, David (Principal Investigator) Corson, Stephen (Co-investigator) Mottram, Nigel (Co-investigator) Wilson, Stephen (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2016 - 31-Jan-2017

more projects

Address

Mathematics and Statistics
Livingstone Tower

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