Mathematicians from the University of Bath’s Institute for Mathematical Innovation (IMI) are helping post-Covid economic recovery for businesses hit by the pandemic, with a series of free workshops targeted at sectors that have been particularly affected.

The IMI, in collaboration with the KTN (Knowledge Transfer Network) and V-KEMS (Virtual Forum for Knowledge Exchange in the Mathematical Sciences), is hosting three mini-workshops.

The first, held on 9 June 2021, focused on the transport industry, and featured speakers from Bristol Airport, Firstgroup Rail and First Bus.

The other two will focus on the Healthcare sector (planned for September 2021) and the Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality industries (due to be arranged in November 2021).

Professor Chris Budd, from the University of Bath's Department of Mathematical Sciences and Director of Knowledge Exchange at the University’s Institute for Mathematical Innovation, said: “The Covid19 pandemic has completely changed how many people work, with many office-based workers doing their jobs remotely from home instead of commuting daily.

“Many businesses are looking to continue the remote working model post-Covid to some extent, which will have a significant impact on the transport industry.

“The goal of these meetings is to consider the positive and negative impacts of the pandemic, and to look at opportunities where mathematical modelling can help as we recover.”

The free workshops are conducted virtually, with break-out rooms facilitating the discussion further with research mathematicians to assess where modelling approaches might address these challenges.

The output of these scoping meetings will feed into a three day “Post-Covid19 economic recovery” Virtual Study Group in collaboration with V-KEMS in January 2022, where problems identified in the workshops will be worked on by mathematicians from across the UK.

Professor Budd said: “Previous study groups hosted by the IMI have looked at problems ranging from improving agriculture and the food industry to modelling the impact of climate change on the national grid.

“We look forward to using mathematical modelling to help tackle some of the many challenges faced by the transport industry following the Covid19 pandemic.”