Department of Mathematical Sciences

Early Career fellowship for mathematics researcher

Wed Aug 26 16:21:00 BST 2015

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) has awarded Dr Alexandre Stauffer an Early Career fellowship to develop mathematical tools to analyse random interacting systems.

Diverse applications

The fellowship is worth £900,000 over five years and Alexandre will carry out research at the intersection between mathematics and theoretical computer science. A key component of his work is to investigate dynamic networks, in particular those formed of several small components that move around and interact with one another over time.

These components affect the behaviour of the system as a whole. Such processes arise in a number of different areas, from mobile phone and wireless networks to systems formed of interacting microorganisms, and the study of electrical breakdown in physics.

Image of a forest fireOne potential application of his work could be in improving rescue efforts. Following an industrial or natural disaster such as a forest fire, robots are often used to survey affected areas. Combining the understanding of such systems with real time information could improve efficiency of robot deployment.

Alexandre said: “This is a great opportunity for me to pursue a really interesting and potentially transformative area of research. I am delighted to have had this acknowledgement and support from EPSRC and the academic community and I am looking forward to working with my collaborators here in Bath and internationally.”

Links to research students

Alexandre impressed reviewers with the links he has with the SAMBa CDT. There will be plenty of opportunities for the department’s research students to get involved in Alexandre’s research through the Integrative Think Tanks, interactions with Prob-L@b, and future PhD projects.

physical experiment of an electrical breakdown of a pexiglass Professor Chris Jennison, Head of Department, said: “This is a great achievement for Alexandre, and the department, and will boost the number of fellowships we currently hold to nine.

"Alexandre was hired as a University prize fellow in 2013 and has more than justified the University’s investment, becoming an integral member of the department with strong links to research groups around the world”.

EPSRC is the main UK government agency for funding research and training in engineering and the physical sciences. It invests more than £800 million a year in a broad range of subjects.

The image above shows a physical experiment of an electrical breakdown of a plexiglass. The structure inside the plexiglass illustrates a phenomenon arising in random interacting systems. Alexandre's research will determine the interdependencies within the network and their global effect on the system. Credit: Bert Hickman via Wikimedia Commons.