Instability; making waves

Posted on 25 October 2010

Professor Jonathan Healey, Applied Mathematics at Keele, will deliver the second lecture in the University's programme of Inaugural Lectures for 2010/11, on Tuesday, 26 October, 2010, in the Westminster Theatre on the Keele University campus. The title of the lecture is “"Instability: making waves”.

Professor Healey graduated in physics from Corpus Christi College, Oxford University in 1987, and stayed on to complete a DPhil developing data analysis methods for chaotic systems. In 1991 he moved to the Engineering Department at Cambridge University for the first of two post-doctoral positions where he carried out wind-tunnel experiments on flows undergoing transition to turbulence, and started to develop his interest in theoretical fluid dynamics, which is now his main research area. He moved to a temporary Lectureship in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Brunel University in January 1996, and then to a Lectureship in the Department of Mathematics at Keele in 1996. He was promoted to Reader in 1998.

Many systems of intrinsic interest, and practical importance, evolve and develop in time and space. Such systems are called dynamical systems, and include, e.g., the weather and climate; the heart; the economy; evolution of galaxies; reacting chemicals; epidemics; flow in engines and around aerofoils, etc. Usually, the analysis of dynamical systems starts with the calculation of steady equilibrium solutions, but in practice, the systems are often observed in states with complicated unpredictable behaviour. Stability theory provides a framework for predicting when and how a dynamical system evolves away from a state of equilibrium, and sometimes gives information about subsequent behaviour.

In this lecture he will introduce the ideas of stability theory and briefly survey some typical applications where issues concerning the stability of fluid flows are important. He will explain the role, and nature, of the contributions that applied mathematics can make in collaborative projects with scientists and engineers, and show how seemingly abstract pieces of mathematics can give key physical insights into not just the problem at hand, but whole classes of problems. The case studies will draw on Professor Healey's work in this area.

Keele's programme of Inaugural Lectures are given by newly established professors within the University and aim to give an illuminating account of the speaker's own subject specialism. The lectures, which start at 6 pm in the Westminster Theatre, are chaired by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Nick Foskett. Admission is free; no ticket is required.
The other lectures in the series are:
Tuesday, 16 November 2010, Professor Val Wass, Medicine, “Globalisation: the educational challenges of human diversity”; Tuesday, 7 December 2010, Professor David Shepherd, Cultural Theory, “The Theory of Culture and the Culture of Theory"; Tuesday 18 January 2011, Professor Nadine Foster, Primary Care Health Sciences, “Challenges and Choices: Musculoskeletal Health in Primary Care”; Tuesday, 22 February 2011, Professor Gordon Ferns, Medicine, "A fire that burns within: the impact of free radicals in health and disease"; Tuesday, 15 March 2011, Professor Clare Holdsworth, Social Geography, "’A degree isn’t enough anymore’: Student experiences and orientation to HE”; Tuesday, 10 May 2011 Professor Krysia Dziedzic, Primary Care Health Sciences, “Best evidence for best therapies in osteoarthritis”.

For further information contact: Chris Stone, Press Officer. Tel: 01782 733375.