A mathematician from the University of Bath has received a prestigious award from the Royal Society to help them pursue their leading research.

Professor Manuel del Pino has been awarded a Royal Society Research Professorship, the Society’s premier research award, which releases outstanding scientists from teaching and administration to allow them to focus on research.

Professor del Pino joins Bath from the Universidad de Chile, Chile. He has made significant contributions to the theory of asymptotic patterns in nonlinear partial differential equations. A member of the Chilean Academy of Science, he was awarded Chile’s National Prize of Science (2013).

Professor del Pino will use the professorship to investigate how and when singularities occur in natural phenomena. His research can help us understand climate change, the spread of a tumour or black holes. Singularities occur in a number of fundamental scientific problems and their analysis is a fascinating mathematical challenge.

Prof del Pino said: "It's a great honour to be awarded a Royal Society Research Professorship, and an exciting start to my new job at Bath. I personally feel it as extremely motivating to open new horizons in my research. I am grateful to the RIS team in Bath, especially Caroline Ang and to my colleagues in the Department of Mathematical Sciences, particularly Johannes Zimmer, for their essential help in preparing the proposal and interview.

“I feel the RS Research Professorship will give me the opportunity to generate new activities for the field, in collaboration with mathematicians in Bath, in the UK and with the finest experts in the discipline in the rest of the world, in particular with the growing mathematical communities in Chile and other Latin-American countries.”

Professor Paul Milewski, head of the Department of Mathematical Sciences, said: “Congratulations to Manuel for this absolutely unique award; the Royal Society Professorship is the premier research award in the UK and his success is a testament of the exceptional quality of his research.

“For this professorship he will be trying to make progress on the formation of singularities in the Navier-Stokes equations describing fluid flow, which is one of the outstanding open mathematical problems of our time.

“Manuel joins us from the Universidad of Chile and has worked, prior to that, at the University of Chicago and the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. This award will enable him to further build our Analysis group into a world leading research group, extending our department’s global connections and visibility."

This is the first Royal Society Research Professorship Bath has received since 2007, and only the second going back to 2000.