The BOS and DOS (Bath-Oxford-Strathclyde and Durham-Oxford-Strathclyde) Networks
The DOS, and its predecessor BOS, network unites researchers with an interest in anisotropy or directionality in materials, be they solids or liquids. The network brings together for the first time leading research groups in continuum mechanics from Durham, Oxford and Strathclyde.
Anisotropy means the "existence of special or distinguished directions" and "reduced symmetry" since all directions are not
physically equivalent. This, in turn, implies directional physical, optical, mechanical and rheological properties that pave the
way for new applications. Nematic liquid crystals are classical examples of anisotropic complex fluids for which the constituent
asymmetric molecules have translational freedom but tend to align along certain preferred directions, leading to long-range
Apala Majumdar leads the Strathclyde side, and specializes in the mathematics and modelling of nematic liquid
crystals, in particular spatio-temporal pattern formation for nematics in confined geometries and how their orientational
anisotropy may be tailored by material properties, geometrical properties and temperature using techniques from the calculus
of variations, algebraic topology, dynamical systems approaches and numerical studies. Her work is largely motivated by
questions in the display industry or new experiments on nano-confined systems.
Ian Griffiths leads the Oxford side, and has recently started to specialize in anisotropic solids, for example, porous media with non-periodic pores
and spatially dependent permeabilities. This can be mathematically studied using new techniques in homogenization theory,
with new applications in filtration and environmental problems. A recently studied example concerns a porosity-graded filter,
whose porosity varies with depth, such as fibrous filters and ceramic filters. Each of these materials offers the possibility
of improved performance either by filtering out particles more uniformly in the depth or by reducing the pressure required to
drive fluid through the filter, and there is ample scope for new mathematical insights from asymptotics, analysis and up-scaling
Nigel Mottram co-led the Strathclyde side until his recent move to the University of Glasgow. He specializes in the mathematics and applications of nematic liquid crystals, with a more recent interest
in bio-inspired active liquid crystals. Active liquid crystals are inherently non-equilibrium systems,
constantly producing and dissipating energy with striking and unique mechanical and rheological responses,
such as low Reynolds number turbulence, rapid density fluctuations and exotic singularities.
Active liquid crystals are ubiquitous in biology, common examples being the cell cytoskeleton and the human DNA
and a lot remains to be understood about the active terms in the phenomenological theories for
active systems and the new resulting anisotropies.
Halim Kusumaatmaja leads the Durham side, and is interested in a wide range of soft matter and biological problems which often show anisotropic behaviour. Examples of current interest include phase behaviour on non-uniform curved surfaces, spreading dynamics on structured surfaces, and reconfigurable elastic structures. His work is largely motivated by a strong interest to understand and mimic nature for engineering and industrial applications. He uses a combination of analytical and numerical techniques. The latter include Monte Carlo, Molecular Dynamics, lattice Boltzmann and energy landscape exploration techniques.
Meeting 6: Oxford hosted (remote)
18 September 2020
David MacTaggart (University of Glasgow). Anisotropy in magnetohydrodynamics - effects on nonlinear instabilities
Hilary Ockendon (University of Oxford). Recycling carbon fibres.
Sam Avis (Durham University). Reconfigurability of 3D buckled mesostructures.
Jingmin Xia (University of Oxford). A double Landau-de Gennes mathematical model of smectic A liquid crystals.
Linda Cummings (New Jersey Institute of Technology). Dewetting and dielectrowetting in thin films of nematic liquid crystal.
Meeting 5: Durham hosted (remote)
8 July 2020
Priya Subramanian (Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford) – Title TBD
Margarita Staykova (Physics, University of Durham) – Tearing of lipid and polymeric membranes upon stretch
Chris Prior (Mathematical Sciences, University of Durham) – Modes of internal buckling of bundle system
Joseph Cousins (Mathematics and Statistics, University of Strathclyde) – A static ridge of nematic liquid crystal
Anders Aufderhorst-Roberts (Physics, University of Leeds) – Title: TBD
Meeting 4: Strathclyde hosted (remote)
12 May 2020
Francesco Giglio (School of Mathematics and Statistics, University of
Glasgow) – Exact equations of state for nematics
Mark Miller (Department of Chemistry, Durham University) –
Continuum percolation of nanorod mixtures in quadrupole fields
Joshua Walton (Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of
Strathclyde) – Active Fluid Flows in Two-Dimensional Geometries
Elsen TJHung (Department of Physics, Durham University)
– Splay-bend phases in 2d liquid crystals: long-range order and beam-splitter
Alison Ramage (Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Strathclyde)
– A Moving Mesh Finite Element Methods for Modelling Defects in Liquid Crystals
Meeting 3: Strathclyde
24 September 2019
Apala Majumdar (Bath, Mathematics/Strathclyde, Mathematics and Statistics) – Pattern Formation in Confined Nematic Systems
Josh Walton (Strathclyde, Mathematics and Statistics) – Pressure-driven states in channel flow of active nematic liquid crystals
Oliver Whitehead (Oxford, Mathematics) – Active and passive driving in liquid crystal devices
Oliver Henrich (Strathclyde, Physics) – Microfluidic flow of colloid-liquid crystal composite materials
Joseph Cousins (Strathclyde, Mathematics and Statistics) –Nematic liquid crystal flow during the manufacture of liquid crystal devices
Carl Brown (Nottingham Trent, Physics) – Competition of flow and electric field alignment in nematics
Meeting 2: Oxford
22 May 2019
Patrick Farrell (Mathematics, Oxford) – Computing disconnected bifurcation diagrams of partial differential equations
Lidong Fang (Natural Sciences, Shanghai Jiao Tong University) – Bifurcation diagrams in the Landau de Gennes theory on rectangles
Josh Walton (Mathematics and Statistics, Strathclyde) – Ericksen–Leslie and Q-Tensor models of spontaneous flow transitions in active nematic liquid crystals
Marcin Mucha-Kruczynski (Physics, Bath) – Van der Waals heterostructures
Magdalena Lesniewska (Physics, Strathclyde) – Microfluidic flow of colloid–liquid-crystal composite materials
Andreas Muench – Thin-film models for an active gel (Mathematics, Oxford)
Meeting 1: Bath
10 April 2019
 Flow and nematic director profiles in a microfluidic channel: the interplay of nematic material constants and backflow
S. Mondal, I.M. Griffiths, F. Charlet & A. Majumdar
MDPI Fluids (in press)
 Nematohydrodynamics for Colloidal Self-Assembly and Transport Phenomena
S. Mondal, A. Majumdar & I.M. Griffiths
J. Coll. Interf. Sci. (in press)
 Solution landscapes in nematic microfluidics
M. Crespo, A. Majumdar, A. Manuel Ramos & I.M. Griffiths.
Physica D, 351-352, 1-13.