Imperial College London, Department of Mathematics

Position ID: 434-RA [#17928]
Position Title: Research Associate in Mathematics
Position Location: London, London, United Kingdom [map]
Subject Area: Mathematics
Application Deadline: 2021/08/10 11:59PMhelp popup finished (2021/07/27, finished 2022/02/12, listed until 2022/08/10)
Position Description:    

*** this position has been closed. ***

Research Associate in Mathematics

Applied Mathematics and Mathematical Physics Section, Department of Mathematics, Faculty of Natural Sciences

Location: South Kensington Campus

Salary: £40,858- £42,609 per annum

The position is funded by the Leverhulme Trust through the Research Project Grant “Asymptotic modelling of symmetry breaking Leidenfrost flows”.

The main objective of the project is to develop and analyse reduced dynamical models of “Leidenfrost” drops, namely drops levitated on a thin-film of their own vapour above a superheated surface. These models will be used to theoretically interpret recent experiments showing that Leidenfrost drops within a certain size range spontaneously move, in a random direction, in the absence of geometric asymmetries or external forces. The project also aims to study the analogous spontaneous mobility of Leidenfrost drops and solid particles levitated above liquid pools, as well as the competition between spontaneous dynamics and more traditional modes of Leidenfrost-drop dynamics associated with imposed asymmetry.

From a mathematical modelling and analysis perspective, these problems are hugely challenging as they involve the coming together of various physical phenomena in a nonlinear dynamical scenario, on multiple length and time scales. In particular, the identification and characterisation of the symmetry breaking instabilities triggering the experimentally observed spontaneous mobility, as well as the motion itself, present a tremendous challenge which is currently the topic of extensive research.

You will work on developing an applied mathematics methodology incorporating elements of mathematical modelling (involving interfacial fluid dynamics, wetting and transport phenomena), asymptotic analysis and singular perturbation techniques. The work may also involve numerical simulation, dynamical-systems analysis and interpretation of experimental data.

Duties and Responsibilities

You are expected to play a crucial role in the accomplishment of the following objectives:

• Establishing a mathematical formalism for modelling the linear and nonlinear dynamics of levitated “Leidenfrost” drops and other closely related physical systems involving levitated or non-wetting drops on solid or liquid substrates. • Carrying out advanced asymptotic analysis using singular perturbation methods such as matched asymptotic expansions. • Numerical implementation of asymptotic models and numerical simulation of thin-film models and other reduced fluid-flow problems. • Interpretation and comparison with experimental data. • Engagement with theoretical and experimental groups in the UK and abroad. • Dissemination of results by writing and publishing papers and giving research talks at conferences and workshops.

Essential Requirements

The essential requirements for this post are as follow:

• Research Associate: Hold a PhD in Mathematics or a closely related discipline, or equivalent level of professional qualification Research Assistant: Near completion of a PhD in Mathematics or a closely related discipline, or equivalent level of professional qualification • Experience: o Mathematical modelling of interfacial fluid dynamical phenomena o Using the method of matched asymptotic expansions to solve singularly perturbed boundary-value problems o Carrying out research of high quality, independently and in a team, evidenced by publications of high quality o Desirable: Derivation and asymptotic or numerical analysis of thin-film models • Knowledge: o A broad and strong background in fluid dynamics including hydrodynamic stability theory o A broad and strong background in asymptotic analysis and singular perturbation theory o Desirable: Familiarity with wetting and transport phenomena, Dynamical-systems theory, nonlinear dynamics and bifurcation analysis, Numerical simulation of interfacial fluid dynamics • Ability to carry out original research and to produce published research papers • Ability to identify, develop and apply new concepts, techniques and methods • Willingness to travel both within the United Kingdom and abroad to conduct research and attend conferences/workshops and other meetings

Further Information

The position is full-time and fixed term for 36 months. The expected start date is 1 October 2021 or soon thereafter.

*Candidates who have not yet been officially awarded their PhD will be appointed as Research Assistant within the Level A salary range, £36,045- £39,183 per annum.

In addition to completing the online application, candidates should attach:

• A full CV, • A 1-page research statement describing why the candidate’s expertise is relevant to this position and future research plans; and • The details of three referees.

For any specific queries regarding the post please contact Dr Ory Schnitzer, (

The College is a proud signatory to the San-Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA), which means that in hiring and promotion decisions, we evaluate applicants on the quality of their work, not the journal impact factor where it is published. For more information, see

The College believes that the use of animals in research is vital to improve human and animal health and welfare. Animals may only be used in research programmes where their use is shown to be necessary for developing new treatments and making medical advances. Imperial is committed to ensuring that, in cases where this research is deemed essential, all animals in the College’s care are treated with full respect, and that all staff involved with this work show due consideration at every level.

Imperial College is committed to equality of opportunity, to eliminating discrimination and to creating an inclusive working environment. We are an Athena SWAN Silver award winner, a Stonewall Diversity Champion, a Disability Confident Employer and work in partnership with GIRES to promote respect for trans people

Closing date: 10/08/2021 To apply, please visit and search for the reference NAT00967.

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