Kate was one of just three PhD students to win a prize at this year’s conference which took place at the University of St Andrews.

BAMC is the biggest annual event in UK applied maths with over 300 attendees, half of which are PhD students.

Kate is currently studying for a PhD in the Centre for Doctoral Training in Statistical Applied Mathematics (SAMBa). She is working on a joint project on turbochargers with Professors Chris Budd and Paul Milewski from the Department of Mathematical Sciences, and Professor Chris Brace and Dr Colin Copeland from the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

The purpose of a turbocharger is to compress the air in an engine to produce more power. In order to get the most out of a turbocharger, the air before and after the compressor needs a high pressure ratio for a relatively low massflow. If the massflow is too low, the air flow can reverse direction and cause surge. Surge is a difficult phenomenon to model because it exhibits oscillatory behaviour that is sensitive to many physical parameters.

Kate aims to find a model that can give a better prediction of the onset of surge and describe what happens to the air flow during surge. This will involve analysis of experimental data as well as a combination of theory from compressible fluid dynamics, rotating flows, dynamical systems and bifurcations.

Kate said: “There were so many good talks at the BAMC, so I was surprised and thrilled at being awarded a prize for my talk!

“I love working on the interface between mathematics and mechanical engineering, and speaking at the BAMC has been a really valuable opportunity to share this enjoyment with an audience of fellow industrial and applied mathematicians.”

BAMC will be hosted by the University of Bath in April 2019.