Scientific Board

The Smith Institute's Scientific Board stimulate new thinking on active research areas which creates new opportunities for our clients to realise value from the mathematical sciences.

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  • Dr David Allwright

  • Dr Robert Leese

  • Prof David Abrahams

  • Dr David Allwright

    Technical staff BA PhD

    Dr David Allwright joined the Smith Institute in 2000.

    He holds a PhD in Mathematics from the University of Cambridge and worked as a Research Fellow on control theory at the Universities of Cambridge and Toronto.

    David's technical interests then expanded at Topexpress Ltd to include signal processing, acoustics, vibration and other areas of fluid and solid mechanics, and then further, to other wave phenomena and probabilistic and Markov models at the University of Oxford and the Smith Institute.  David joined the Smith Institute's Scientific Board when it was established in 2014.

  • Dr Robert Leese

    Chief Technical Officer MA PhD FIMA

    Dr Robert Leese was appointed as Chief Technical Officer in May 2017, and was previously Chief Executive of the Smith Institute and a member of its Council since 1999.

    He previously held Research Fellowships at the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, and a visiting position at Brown University.

    Robert holds a PhD in mathematical physics from the University of Durham and has been a Fellow of St Catherine's College, Oxford, since 1993. He is also a Fellow of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications and a member of the Peer Review College of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

  • Prof David Abrahams

    Prof I. David Abrahams is the N M Rothschild and Sons Professor of Mathematical Sciences and Director of the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences at the University of Cambridge, and past President of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications.

    David has devoted research effort to the broad area of applied mathematics, and specifically to the theoretical understanding of wave processes, since graduating in 1982 with a PhD in theoretical acoustics.  He has published extensively in the areas of fluid/structural interactions, nondestructive evaluation, fracture mechanics, electromagnetism, water waves and seismology.  He has been particularly concerned over the years with the development of existing or new mathematical techniques, and has had a number of successes in this direction, for example with matrix Wiener-Hopf systems.  He is also interested in the application of such methods, for example to problems in physics and engineering, including acoustics, Stokes’ flows in ducts, electromagnetic and geophysical wave propagation and scattering, and recently to mathematical finance.  Abrahams is enthusiastic about public engagement activities within the applied mathematics community and gives occasional talks to non-specialists.

  • Prof Kevin Glazebrook

  • Dr Keith Winters

  • Prof Alan Champneys

  • Prof Kevin Glazebrook

    Kevin Glazebrook is Distinguished Professor of Operational Research (OR) at Lancaster University holding a joint appointment between the Departments of Mathematics and Statistics (Faculty of Science) and the Department of Management Science (Management School).
    He has previously held a Chair in Applied Probability at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne and a Chair in Management Science at the University of Edinburgh. He has (co-)authored around 140 papers in outlets which span the leading international journals in OR, applied probability and statistics.
    Kevin is co-investigator of the STORI CDT and Investigator of an EPSRC funded Programme Grant entitled "Mathematical models and algorithms for allocating scarce airport resources".

  • Dr Keith Winters

    Co-Chairman of Scientific Board

    Dr Keith Winters is Co-Chairman of the Scientific Board.

    He was previously Chief Technologist at AEA Technology, where he was responsible for initiatives directed at medium to long-term market opportunities, and for strategic relationships with other technology companies and the science base.

    He is a Fellow of the Institute of Physics and the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications, and an Honorary Professor in the School of Mathematical Sciences of Nottingham University.

  • Prof Alan Champneys

    Prof Alan Champneys is Professor of Applied Non-linear Mathematics and Head of Queens School of Engineering at the University of Bristol.

    Alan's research interests include understanding complicated dynamics (e.g. chaos) in physical systems and their application across engineering to aircraft and structural dynamics, power electronics, fluid-structure interaction, numerical bifurcation algorithms for periodic orbits of large systems and localised phenomena.  In 2014 he gave the Alan Tayler Lecture at St Catherine's College, Oxford.

  • Prof Mark Girolami

  • Dr Jakob Blaavand

  • Prof Richard Craster

  • Prof Mark Girolami

    Scientific Board member

    Mark Girolami is an EPSRC Established Career Research Fellow (2012 - 2017) and previously an EPSRC Advanced Research Fellow (2007 - 2012). He is the Director of the Lloyds Register Foundation-Turing Programme on Data centric Engineering and in 2011 was elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Society of Edinburgh when he was also awarded a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award.

    He is Professor of Statistics in the Department of Mathematics at Imperial College London. He also holds an Adjunct Professorship in the Department of Computer Science at Imperial, and honorary Professor of Statistics at the University of Warwick. He was one of the founding Executive Directors of the Alan Turing Institute for Data Science from 2015 to 2016.

    His research and that of his group covers the investigation and development of advanced novel statistical methodology driven by applications in the life, clinical, physical, chemical, engineering and ecological sciences. He also works closely with industry where he has several patents leading from his work on e.g. activity profiling in telecommunications networks and developing statistical techniques for the machine based identification of counterfeit currency which is now an established technology used in current Automated Teller Machines. At present he works as a consultant for the Global Forecasting Team at Amazon in Seattle.

  • Dr Jakob Blaavand

    Mathematical Consultant BA MSc DPhil

    Dr Jakob Blaavand joined the Smith Institute in September 2015, having completed his DPhil in differential and algebraic geometry at the University of Oxford, and taught undergraduates there and at Aarhus University, Denmark, for a total of 7 years.

    Dr Blaavand works in the field of spectrum auction design and verification, offering independent advice, verification and testing of auction rules, algorithms and software in auctions worldwide. He has recently concluded a major verification project for the US 600MHz Broadcast Incentive Auction, being responsible for the design of a comprehensive test plan and the verification of all optimisations aspects for the reverse auction, the repackaging and the forward auction.

    He has given over 30 public lectures popularising mathematics, on topics including knot theory and the maths of Google.

  • Prof Richard Craster

    Scientific Board member

    Richard Craster is Professor of Applied Mathematics at Imperial College.  His research interests span across Fluid Mechanics and Elasticity/ Electromagnetism, primarily motivated by Engineering and Physics applications, and is often performed in close collaboration with scientists from those disciplines.

    In Fluid mechanics, Richard's interests are in fluid flows on the microscale concentrating on thin film theories, the effects of surfactants , electrokinetics and coupling between elastic substrates and fluid flow.

    In Solid Mechanics and Electromagnetism Richard's current interests are in wrinkling and buckling of thin elastic plates, fracture mechanics, trapped modes, slow waves in optics and high frequency homogenization theory for microstructured media.

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