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Department of Mathematical Sciences

Seminar Archives

On this page you can find information about seminars in this and previous academic years, where available on the database.

ECS-Mathematical Sciences Energy Seminars: Combustion modelling through principal manifolds & End users of energy: data, ethics and engagement

Presented by Jochen Einbeck and Gareth Powells, Durham University

25 May 2012 14:00 in CM221

Jochen Einbeck - Combustion modelling through principal manifolds

Abstract: Combustion systems generally involve a large number of variables (temperature and chemical species mass fractions). For instance, for simple fuels such as methane, the transport equations form a system of more than 50 highly coupled PDEs. It is well-known that the thermodynamic state of a reacting system relaxes onto a low-dimensional, strongly attracting manifold. The goal of this research is to exploit this intrinsic structure by modelling the state space explicitly through `local' principal manifolds, a nonparametric data approximation technique developed by the presenter and co-workers. It is shown how, via regression on the fitted manifold, good predictions of the `principal component source terms' (i.e., rates of production) can be achieved, which would be required for applications such as direct numerical simulation (DNS) of practical combustion systems.

Gareth Powells - End users of energy: data, ethics and engagement

Abstract: As the energy supply industry increasingly looks for new ways to co-manage end user consumption patterns and new ways to enrol communities into co-management of the grid, there is, more than ever, an imperative to know, measure, predict and persuade people. Different social science disciplines have historically approached this in different ways, to different extents, and have done so often in isolation from one another, let alone engineering or mathematical colleagues. In recent years there has been a move to bring the social and the technical into direct conversation but such efforts, although admirable in their intent, face real challenges in delivering the promise of interdisciplinary research. This talk provides an overview of social science research into end use energy consumption touching on psychology, economics, sociology, anthropology and geography and identifies some possible lines of enquiry and research design approaches that mathematicians, engineers and social scientists may wish to pursue.

Contact or for more information

Mathematical modelling underlies much of energy engineering. At Durham, relevant engineering research ranges from power network reliability, economics and planning, through reliability analysis of generation units, to computational fluid dynamics models of wind and steam turbines. For this reason, ECS and Mathematical Sciences are organising a joint seminar series to explore opportunities for future collaborative research and grant proposals.

Each seminar will consist of a 20-30 minute talk from each discipline, followed by an extended discussion. While these seminars are open to any Durham researcher, the series is tightly focused on discovering topics for future external proposals between the Mathematical Sciences and ECS.