Dr Jim Austin

Title: Honorary Research Fellow
Phone: 01782 733652
Email: j.c.austin@keele.ac.uk
Location: 0.11 (Create) Science Learning Centre
Role: FY Teaching Fellow (Maths)
Contacting me: By phone or email

My academic life began, as a mature student here at Keele, with a first degree in Electronics and Mathematics. This was immediately followed by a PhD in Diagnostic Ultrasonics awarded in 1997. Previously I had established a career in Engineering (mainly Power Electronics) at the local Michelin Tyre factory in Stoke on Trent. So I had done what most Engineering graduates do, but in reverse.

My PhD was followed by an unusually long five-year (1996-2001) post doctoral position investigating methods of defect detection in unfired ceramics using ultrasonics and X-ray imaging. It was during this period that an interest in broad-spectrum X-ray imaging took hold. This led to my second full time post doc (2005-07) investigating broad-spectrum element specific X-ray imaging with an underlying objective of crime prevention and forensics.

In between full time post doc periods I occupy the post of Honorary Research Fellow during which I teach part time for the School of Computing and Mathematics, and the Foundation Year Office.

My academic interests are quite broad, which is why I will never be regarded as a household name in any one area. I have published in areas as diverse as Time Series Analysis (Mathematics) and Cationic Polymerization (Organic Chemistry). However, by far the bulk of my publications fall under the heading of Non-Destructive Testing (NDT).

In addition to these I have a keen interest in Mathematical Physics, particularly General Relativity and interpretations of Quantum Mechanics. The latter invokes many deep philosophical questions and is still very controversial. Personally I favour what are generally known as pure wave theories which seem to be growing in popularity. This and the paradigm of modern physics generally, continue to have deep consequences for consciousness and the way we perceive reality (Noetics).

Teaching involvement in current modules:

Foundation Year Modules

FYO-00012  Numerical Skills for Physics

FYO-00053  Elementary Mathematical Methods 1

FYO-00054  Elementary Mathematical Methods 2