Grant Balances 2010 - University of Birmingham

Lead Research Organisation: University of Birmingham
Department Name: School of Mathematics

Abstract

To spend the 2010 unspent balance from EPSRC grants strategically. The funds will be used on a series of mini-projects, that are of both strategic importance to EPSRC and to the University of Birmingham. The mini-projects will be used to fund: bridging funding to retain key staff; follow on studies to determine commercial viability; public engagement; collaborative meetings for future multi-disciplinary, international or industry collaborations; pilot projects to determine feasibility of future EPSRC applications.

The mini-projects will come from the following priority research areas:

1. Computation, Mathematics and Theory (http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/staff/excellence/fellows/areas/computation-mathematics-theory.aspx)
2. Engineering and Physical Science for Biomedicine and Imaging (http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/staff/excellence/fellows/areas/eps-biomed-imaging.aspx)
3. Materials and Manufacturing (http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/staff/excellence/fellows/areas/materials-manufacturing.aspx)
4. Sustainable Energy (http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/staff/excellence/fellows/areas/sustainable-energy.aspx)
5. Food security (http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/news/latest/2011/06/23June-UK-universities-partnership-deepens-links-with-Brazil.aspx)
6. Metamaterials (http://www.ph.bham.ac.uk/research/metamaterials.shtml)
7. Nuclear Engineering (http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/research/activity/nuclear/index.aspx)
8. Resilience (http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/research/activity/resilience/index.aspx)
9. Sustainable Transport (http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/research/heroes/themes/research-transport.aspx)
10. Systems Science for Health (http://www.ssfh.bham.ac.uk/)

Planned Impact

The impact will be different for each mini-project. Considering the 10 example mini-projects shown in the case for support, the summary impact of each will be:

1. Probabilistic and analytic tools in graph theory: The research, though fundamental, is on the borders of computer science and operational research. The understanding of these algorithms will ultimately feed into better algorithmic methods in computer science and operational research. Hence there is long term impact in any societal use of complex algorithms in computers or in business.
2. Developing chemistry that will enable in cellulo, dual modality, labelling with molecular probes based on nanoparticle technology: There will be a wide range of impact in bio-medical imaging with applications to human health.
3. Micro nuclear batteries: potentially revolutionary for the wireless sensor community.
4. Hydrogen for domestic boilers: could have significant long term impact in people's homes.
5. Modelling within the plant sciences: this is part of a large international effort to tackle global food security.
6. Photo-Induced Chirality Switching in Metamolecules: Metamaterials are materials with exotic optical properties (e.g. negative refractive indices). The use is for "invisibility cloaks", to shroud objects, and lenses which can image arbitrarily small objects (unlike normal lenses which are limited to see things larger than the wavelength of light).
7. In situ synchrotron X-ray studies of corrosion processes related to nuclear waste storage: to improve the safety of the storage of nuclear waste.
8. Asset Management for UK Infrastructure - Delivering Resilience via Plausible Analysis: In the current turbulent economic climate, asset management emerges to be one of the most dominant contributors to decision-making process for infrastructure projects in the UK.
9. Aspects of the aerodynamics of high speed rail: High speed rail developments are taking place around the world, with new lines being built in the far east (China and Korea) and in Europe (France, Spain, Germany and Italy). With the likely construction of High Speed 2 north of London, the UK will be at the forefront of such developments.
10. Novel Optimization Methods for Metabolomics: Fundamental research that, as part of other work, leads to a greater understanding of cancer metabolism and lipid-mediated diseases including obesity and inflammation, of high socioeconomic importance in relation to the future priorities of healthy aging and personalised healthcare.

Publications


10 25 50
Cheneler D (2015) Power output and efficiency of beta-emitting microspheres in Radiation Physics and Chemistry
Mohsin M (2012) Break-up and droplet formation in shear thinning compound liquid jets in IMA Journal of Applied Mathematics
Uddin J (2012) Drop formation in rotating non-Newtonian jets with surfactants in IMA Journal of Applied Mathematics
 
Description The grant funded a series of mini-projects. This included:



In collaboration with Prof. Xiang Zhang's group at University of California, Berkeley, and Dr. Antoinette Taylor's group at Los Alamos National Lab, we achieved the first demonstration of handedness switching chiral metamaterials, whose responses to left and right handed circularly polarized terahertz waves can be reversed under optical irradiation. The handedness switching effect can be many orders of magnitudes stronger than that of natural materials, and it was directly observed in the form of reversed circular dichroism and optical rotator dispersion measurements. This result will have broad impact in the areas of optics, material science and fundamental physics, since it offers the opportunity of experimental investigation of many extraordinary phenomena associated with chirality switching, such as switchable negative refraction, as well as important applications in terahertz devices. Benefitting from the strong switching effect in comparison to the natural materials, the handedness switching metamaterials may find important applications in THz circular dichroism spectroscopy where dynamic modulation of the handedness of the circular polarization of the electromagnetic waves is required.



The result from this project was accepted for publication by Nature Communications (will appear in about 4 weeks). EPSRC is acknowledged in this paper.





Also:





Description of what has been done



Experiments have been carried out to measure the underbody flow characteristics of a model train using the TRAIN Rig - a unique moving model facility that enables model vehicles to be propelled along a 150m long test track at speeds of up to 80m/s. A novel experimental arrangement was used with the train model mounted upside down on the rig with a false ground suspended above it. Pressures on the track surface and velocities in the gap between the train underbody and the track were measured concurrently. This data is now being analysed, specifically to investigate the correlations between underbody pressure and near track velocities.







Key findings



Nature of correlation of aerodynamic pressure transients and flow velocities in train underbody flow







Papers



One paper for Journal of Rail and Rapid Transit in preparation





Also:



The workshop `Probabilistic and analytic methods in Graph Theory' was very successful. There were 42 participants overall, with 12 from overseas. There was a mix of advanced and more junior researchers, with about half of the participants being PhD students or postdocs, mostly from the UK. These benefitted from the talks which described recent progress on major questions in the area.



The focussed nature of the workshop allowed for lively interaction between the researchers. In particular, 9 collaborations were initiated or further developed during the workshop (as reported by the participants so far), including:

- Gerke (Royal Holloway) & Pikhurko (Warwick) on random planar graphs;

- Mycroft (Birmingham), Allen (LSE), Boettcher (LSE) & Cooley (Munich) on hypergraph regularity;

- Pikhurko (Warwick) & Kral (Prague) on Quasirandom permutations;

- Hladky (Warwick), Patel (Durham)& Pikhurko (Warwick) on poset limits;

- Allen (LSE), Boettcher (LSE), Han (Sao Paulo) & Person (Berlin) on powers of cycles;

- Piguet (Birmingham), Hladky (Warwick), Taraz (Munich), Boettcher (LSE) on tree packings.



Furthermore, two significant problems discussed at the problem session have been solved since the conclusion of the workshop. More generally, feedback from the participants was excellent.





Also:



We have obtained the following research outcomes:

Publications:

1. T. White and S. He. "An Empirical Comparison of Several Recent Multi-Objective Evolutionary Algorithms". Submitted to Artificial Intelligence Applications and Innovations Conference (AIAI) 2012.

2. Q. Huang, G. Jia, T. White, M. Musolesi, N. Turan, K. Tang, S. He, J. K. Heath and X. Yao. "Community Detection Using Cooperative Co-evolutionary Differential Evolution". Submitted to 12th International Conference on Parallel Problem Solving From Nature.

3. Q. Huang, G. Jia, T. White, M. Musolesi, S. He, J. K. Heath and X. Yao "Comparison of Encoding Schemes for Community Detection in Complex Network". Submitted to 12th International Conference on Parallel Problem Solving From Nature.



Software package:

A java library implemented several novel multi-objective optimisation algorithms is finished. We have make the software package and source code available online at: http://cs.bham.ac.uk/~szh/software.xhtml





Also:



We have initiated a collaboration between Profs Herman Terryn, Johan Deconinck and Annick Hubin of VUB (Brussels), Prof Trevor Rayment (Diamond) and Drs Melanie Britton and Sarah Horswell (Chemistry) and myself concerning electrochemistry in concentrated salt solutions (in relation to corrosion and ionic liquids (in relation to electropolishing and deposition) to be pursued with MRI, synchrotron X-ray methods, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy and modelling.





Also:



Employed a research associate who completed simulations for a collaborative project with Dr Anja Geitmann, University of Montreal, and Dr Leah Band, University of Nottingham. A publication entitled " Intracellular dynamics of secretory vesicles in the tips of growing pollen tubes" is currently in preparation, intended for submission to Journal of Theoretical Biology.



Hosted an interdisciplinary meeting to showcase current research at the interface between mathematics, computer science, engineering and plant sciences. Participants from the Schools of Mathematics, Computer Science, Engineering and Biosciences from the University of Birmingham, and the Schools of Mathematics, Computer Science, Mechanical, Materials and Manufacturing Engineering, and the Centre for Plant Integrative Biology from the University of Nottingham. This served to disseminate the range of research applied to plant sciences currently undertaken within the two Universities, as well as spark collaborations within the subfields of image analysis and plant biomechanics.







Also:



The journal paper in preparation is:



C. Liaki, , M. El-Cheikh and CDF Rogers. Asset Management for UK Infrastructure - Delivering Resilience via Plausible Analysis. To be submitted shortly to Built Environment Project and Asset Management Journal





and

D. Al Sheikh, M. El-Cheikh and J. Omran (2012) Economic Analysis for Rail Projects using Fuzzy Set Theory. The First International Conference on Railway Technology: Research, Development and Maintenance, Civil-Comp Press, Spain 18-20 April 2012.







There has also been industrial collaboration with British Waterways on an MSc dissertation deriving from the project.





Also:



Two patents under review as a result of nanoscale project
Exploitation Route Railways: understanding of underbody flow to improve railway safety



Improved understanding of plants, with many applications in agriculture, food security and food safety. Also, important applications in agriulcture in developing economies Application



The results will have direct application to the problem of ballast flight - for modern high speed trains aerodynamic forces can cause ballast to be lifted from the track bed, resulting in significant damage to the train and the track.







Further work



Expertise gained will feed directly into another EPSRC funded project (The measurement of train aerodynamic phenomena in operational conditions) enabling more rapid progress in the developments of experimental techniques for the latter. On the basis of the experience gained, the technique is also proposed for use in a major collaborative bid between five or six universities on the development of slab track, which will be submitted to EPSRC in the next few months.)



Also:



The above mentioned collaborations in graph theory are being acted upon with new research created as a result of these collaborations.





Also: Collaboration with British Waterways





Also: Exploitation possible on one mini-project arising from two patents submitted
Sectors Chemicals,Environment,Transport
 
Description The award funded a series of mini-projects and each mini-project had a variety of impacts.
Sector Chemicals,Environment
Impact Types Economic
 
Description Electrochemistry in concentrated salt solutions 
Organisation DIAMOND Light Source Ltd
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We have initiated a collaboration between Profs Herman Terryn, Johan Deconinck and Annick Hubin of VUB (Brussels), Prof Trevor Rayment (Diamond) and Drs Melanie Britton and Sarah Horswell (Chemistry) and myself concerning electrochemistry in concentrated salt solutions (in relation to corrosion and ionic liquids (in relation to electropolishing and deposition) to be pursued with MRI, synchrotron X-ray methods, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy and modelling.
Start Year 2012
 
Description Electrochemistry in concentrated salt solutions 
Organisation Free University of Brussels (Vrije Universiteit Brussel)
Country Belgium, Kingdom of 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We have initiated a collaboration between Profs Herman Terryn, Johan Deconinck and Annick Hubin of VUB (Brussels), Prof Trevor Rayment (Diamond) and Drs Melanie Britton and Sarah Horswell (Chemistry) and myself concerning electrochemistry in concentrated salt solutions (in relation to corrosion and ionic liquids (in relation to electropolishing and deposition) to be pursued with MRI, synchrotron X-ray methods, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy and modelling.
Start Year 2012
 
Description Linking Mathematics, Computer Science, Engineering and Plant Science 
Organisation University of Montreal
Country Canada 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Employed a research associate who completed simulations for a collaborative project with Dr Anja Geitmann, University of Montreal, and Dr Leah Band, University of Nottingham. A publication entitled " Intracellular dynamics of secretory vesicles in the tips of growing pollen tubes" is currently in preparation, intended for submission to Journal of Theoretical Biology. Hosted an interdisciplinary meeting to showcase current research at the interface between mathematics, computer science, engineering and plant sciences. Participants from the Schools of Mathematics, Computer Science, Engineering and Biosciences from the University of Birmingham, and the Schools of Mathematics, Computer Science, Mechanical, Materials and Manufacturing Engineering, and the Centre for Plant Integrative Biology from the University of Nottingham. This served to disseminate the range of research applied to plant sciences currently undertaken within the two Universities, as well as spark collaborations within the subfields of image analysis and plant biomechanics.
Start Year 2012
 
Description Linking Mathematics, Computer Science, Engineering and Plant Science 
Organisation University of Nottingham
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Employed a research associate who completed simulations for a collaborative project with Dr Anja Geitmann, University of Montreal, and Dr Leah Band, University of Nottingham. A publication entitled " Intracellular dynamics of secretory vesicles in the tips of growing pollen tubes" is currently in preparation, intended for submission to Journal of Theoretical Biology. Hosted an interdisciplinary meeting to showcase current research at the interface between mathematics, computer science, engineering and plant sciences. Participants from the Schools of Mathematics, Computer Science, Engineering and Biosciences from the University of Birmingham, and the Schools of Mathematics, Computer Science, Mechanical, Materials and Manufacturing Engineering, and the Centre for Plant Integrative Biology from the University of Nottingham. This served to disseminate the range of research applied to plant sciences currently undertaken within the two Universities, as well as spark collaborations within the subfields of image analysis and plant biomechanics.
Start Year 2012
 
Title Java library implemented several novel multi-objective optimisation algorithms 
Description A java library implemented several novel multi-objective optimisation algorithms is finished. We have make the software package and source code available online at: http://cs.bham.ac.uk/~szh/software.xhtml 
Type Of Technology Software 
Year Produced 2012 
URL http://cs.bham.ac.uk/~szh/software.xhtml