Department of Mathematical Sciences

Building a partnership for future nuclear modelling research

Thu Oct 27 10:17:00 BST 2016

In June 2015, we spent a week working intensively with representatives from the ANSWERS® Software Service in Amec Foster Wheeler at our second Integrative Think Tank. This led to the generation of two PhD projects, one in Monte Carlo simulation and one in uncertainty quantification, a number of research proposals, and the identification of a potentially new approach to traditional modelling of nuclear reactor cores.

simulated-neutrons-bouncing-around-in-a-reactorAmec Foster Wheeler have had a long and fruitful relationship with the Department of Mathematical Sciences and have part-funded a number of PhD studentships with Professors Ivan Graham and Rob Scheichl in the past. To build on this history and develop the ideas from the SAMBa Integrative Think Tank, Amec Foster Wheeler is supporting SAMBa by investing a fixed sum for the duration of our funding from EPSRC. The value of the company’s commitment to the SAMBa vision and delivery cannot be underestimated.

To add to this investment, EPSRC have recently awarded £550,000 to a three-year collaborative grant entitled Stochastic analysis of the neutron transport equation and applications to nuclear safety, a joint application between the University’s Probability Laboratory and Amec Foster Wheeler.

We are very excited to be working with Amec Foster Wheeler and looking forward to a very fruitful partnership.

Paul Smith, the Manager of ANSWERS, said: "I am delighted that this innovative project is to be funded; it has the potential to revolutionise the way the in which the radiation transport equation is solved."

Andreas Kyprianou, co-Director of SAMBa, said: "It was a happy surprise that the ITT revealed a genuine problem of significant depth that we were able to peel open with probability theory. It turned out there was quite a lot underneath! 

"One PhD student and half a million pounds of EPSRC funding later and this has become a headline research project. I can genuinely say, this really never would have happened without SAMBa and the enthusiasm of the many that are committed to taking and supporting risks in our collective research agenda."